Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Ahmaud Arbery of Georgia R.I.P

Before we turn the page let’s park and pray at 1:11 for Ahmaud

God, You who formed his inward parts; You, Almighty God knitted him together in his mother’s womb. We praise you, for he was fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works.” Psalm 139:13-14.

Dear God, your eyes beheld his unformed substance. In Your Book were written all the days that were formed for him. A precious gem, a work in progress and a life that tragically ended.

Merciful God, comfort his family, friends, community and world, shaken and awakened again by the stench of evil. Hear our prayers.

Almighty Healer, search all who are wicked. Give them a clean heart, a renewed spirit, and a mind that rejects evil and delights in goodness.

May the Light of your Holy presence be our Guardian and Protector. Thank You for promising to love us, give us grace and eternal peace.

Lord, hear our prayers. ICN, Amen

Jesus is Risen!

God, your love broke through death’s dark tomb and opened the path for Jesus’ resurrection. Praise God! Jesus is Risen!

Almighty God, open wide the doors of your people’s hearts to receive the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Praise God! Jesus is Risen!

We remember the life-giving words and ways of Jesus Christ, Savior, Redeemer, Healer, and Deliverer. Hear our Easter prayers. Calm our deepest fears, and dry our grief stricken tears.

Merciful God, mend our broken lives. Heal all manner of diseases, especially sickness due to the Covid-19. Help us to live into a new normal. God, we are eager to please you and grateful for the many ways you are present.

God, we thank and praise you. May the power of your love rise within us. We park and pray at 1:11 and celebrate, Jesus is risen! We shall rise too! In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Are You Parked?

Are you PARKED?

Let us park and pray at 1:11 pm.

Almighty God, we are parked in our homes, away from businesses, schools, churches, merchants, family, friends and foes. We are parked and now we pray.

Lord, we call on you to help us. We need your supernatural power to overcome the Coronavirus and it’s impact in our world.

Your Holy power is greater than any strength we can ever imagine.

Merciful God, increase our ability and stamina to withstand the risks of sickness and sorrow.

I lift up my eyes to the hills from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord. Ps 121:1

Our eyes are upon you, O God. Here our prayers and have mercy on us, we pray.Almighty God, speak peace, calm the raging seas within and around us. We are parked in shelters, institutions and communities. Lord, arrest the forces of this horrific virus. Bend stubborn attitudes, disingenuous behaviors and injustices that threatens to interfere with medical care.

We are your people. We hear your call. We are parked and we pray.

Loving God, we look up to you for our help and strength. We depend on You. Holy Mother comfort and feed us. Holy Father protect us from harm. Holy One, breathe on us.

Unite us as your children.

Answer our prayers.

You have our attention.

Give us Your Grace, Peace, Healing, Love and more.

Have Mercy on us. Lord, we are parked now and we are praying now at 1:11, morning, noon and night. We cry ABBA! Hear our prayers.

In your Holy Name. Amen.

Next Prayer: The Prescription

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn…then I will hear from heaven and forgive…heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

God Bless America

God Bless America!”
I wonder what the speaker understands about this request. Listen carefully while saying this powerful prayer request out loud. “God Bless America!”

It often appears at the end of politically charged speeches. In this context, it may sound like a command, demand, or mandate rather than a prayerful request. Practice saying, “God, bless America.”

These words spoken with humility are a supplication, petition and prayer. Try saying, God, bless…
The comma offers a way for us to practice pausing, parking, and praying. We reflect on our thoughts before proceeding.

“God, Bless, “allows us time to turn our attention away from ourselves and towards Spirit. The comma positions us to PARK. Commas will enable us to stop the excess chatter in our mind and lay our thoughts in our hearts. When we park at the thrown of Grace, we connect with the Holy One. We are fully present with God.

Many of us wouldn’t begin our phone conversation by saying, “Diane, give me” or “Martha bless me!” We usually give a greeting or say a welcoming statement. “Good Morning John, how are you? I hope all is well.” We check in with one another.

Try saying, “Good Afternoon, God! Thank you for taking my call.” Then, “God, I am not satisfied with…” Or, “God, I am thankful for what you did…” Then ask, “God, Bless America.” Our prayer ends with a powerful affirmation of faith that indicates God is the source of power. Therefore, say, “I pray in Your Holy Name.” Finally, consider ending your prayer with “Amen,” or “So be it,” or “According to God’s Will.”

I believe God answers our prayers. I hope you will recognize God’s answer as a blessing. God often gives us what we need, and when we need it.
Let’s Park and Pray at 1:11 pm this prayer:

Almighty God, we thank you for your omnipresence. Thank you for the many ways you share your unconditional love with us. God, keep us healthy in body, mind, and Spirit so we may live according to your will and ways. Give us hope for our future and patience to endure and overcome our troubles. Heal our brokenness. Bless us with your truth as the source for our wisdom and decisions. Forgive our sins and help us to recognize and overcome our transgressions. May we live each day to satisfy you and to receive your favor. Merciful God, we pray in our Savior’s Name. Amen.

Not Again!

O Lord not again!
Not again!
Not Again!

It’s hard to comprehend
Seems impossible to defend
A call, a response and an innocent life ends?

Again?
Oh Lord not again!
why!
When no one provokes or ignites!
No one defends or fights!
No one is armed or threatens to harm.

But, Lord again and again!
An unarmed innocent life ends.
It keeps happening over again!

O Lord not again!
Not again!
We need You
To Protect and Defend
Children and innocent victims
Without You there is no end

O Lord not again!
Not again!
Not again, Lord,
Please Lord not again. Amen.

Let It Begin With Me

The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama is a place where I found this peace sign. Our prayers this month will focus on peace in our lives, our homes, our communities and in our world.

Park and Pray at 1:11 pm

Holy One, thank you for “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” I pray that I may have an appreciation of the peace that you offer me. Bless me with an awareness of your peace so that I may receive it and share it with others. Guard my heart and my mind in Christ, the Prince of Peace.

The Hands of Women

Dear Friends,

I thought you might like this interesting quote:

“The destiny of nations lies far more in the hands of women—the mothers—than in the hands of those who possess power. We must cultivate women, who are educators of the human race, else a new generation cannot accomplish its task.” – Froebel

What are your thoughts?

Let us Park and Pray at 1:11 pm.

Holy Mother of all living beings, thank you for Your Mighty hands that stretch beyond our imagination. You embrace the universe, touching stars and hugging our lives. Holy One, you help us imagine ourselves as an extension of your hands, heart, feet and spirit in our nation. Love Divine, inspire us to unite, love and share your bountiful blessings around the world. Empower us to be steadfast, to persevere and to resist the forces of evil. May we glorify you O God far greater than we praise ourselves. Merciful God, receive our prayers. In your Holy name. Amen

Thanksgiving Meal Blessings

Dear Prayer Partners,

I am sharing these Thanksgiving “blessings, prayers, and invocations from diverse traditions, for meal times, gatherings, and grateful living” which I found on Gratefulness.org
— Read on gratefulness.org/resource/thanksgiving-meal-gratitude-blessings/

Praying your Thanksgiving is a time of gratefulness and abundant blessings.

Agape,

http://www.parkandprayat111.com

Overcoming Evil

I stepped on a thorn and I screamed, “ouch!” Then, I said, “I hate you!”

I crushed beautiful flowers and I said nothing. Yet, some of us have reacted the

same way in our relationships.

A bruised word, an evil thought, evil ways and deeds.

Sometimes it seems hard to overcome evil. But, we can overcome evil.

Evil is unlike the sweet aroma emanating from these beautiful flowers.

Evil stinks!

Sometimes it’s hidden but it never goes undetected.

It seems to be everywhere ! But, it is not.

There is a remedy.

Let’s seek Divine wisdom:

Almighty, Merciful and Wise Spirit, thank you for the gift of your presence.

Lately, evil seems so pervasive in our society.

It’s heartbreaking to mourn the loss of innocent lives who are hated for the image you created them.

It’s hard to understand massacres like the Tree of Life Synagogue and other places of worship where people gather to pray.

It seems difficult to overcome evil.

Yet, many of us are inspired by your word and your ways. You give us guidance and solace in the midst of our pain.

When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we ask you for daily bread, physical and spiritual food to fulfill our needs. We ask you to “Forgive us our trespasses (sins).” We pray, “Deliver us from evil.”

You remind us and equip us to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.” Micah 6:8

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:12

We pray for the victims. We seek ways to comfort our wounds.

Help us pray for the thorns in our lives?

Help us pray for those who crush flowers?

We are called,

To do good. Simply do good.

Help us Almighty One

To be good. To be profoundly good.

Love Supreme, you are good! All the time!

Help us to answer your call.

We prayer in our Savior’s name. Amen.

Power in Peace

Park and Pray at 1:11 pm

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭‬‬

Almighty God, as each day begins, help me to be aware that there is power in the peace that you give me. Help me to hold onto this power and peace. Merciful God, help me to resist any temptation, apathy or tendency, that may cause me to relinquish it. O God, I call you at 1:11 pm and I prayerfully look to you to renew my power, refresh, restore and maintain my peace and my neighbor’s peace. At the end of the day, may I rest and sleep in peace and gratitude for the gift of power and contentment in Your Holy presence. In my Savior’s name. Amen.

Search Me,

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24 NIV

LET’S PARK AND PRAY AT 1:11 pm

Search me, O God – deep within,

Know me – my heart, mind and soul,

Test me – examine me,

Know me – know my anxious thoughts,

See me – see my ways,

Lead me – Your way.

Receive me – my heart, my prayer,

and the prayers of those in need.

Praying in the Savior’s name. Amen

Aretha, Beauty, Virtuous & Excellent

Dear God, thank you for blessing us with Aretha Franklin. Her gifted voice and powerful spirit continue to edify your name. Your teachings about love, respect, righteousness and more are woven in her songs. Her music represents a tapestry of life. Holy One, thank you for inspiring and equipping Aretha with a powerful voice, an instrument of love, peace, and healing. There’s no sitting still when Aretha, the Queen of Soul’s voice is heard. Her spirit filled voice propels us to rise, hold our heads high, reach beyond the sky. We remember her manner of praise in her life and song as an extravagant and awesome gift!

Thank you Almighty God for Aretha, who experienced your holy presence early and throughout her life. Her music reflected the times in which we live. Times when we shed tears and laughed with her! Aretha, the Queen of Soul, often grounded us in your Supreme Love, a Divine Love. Aretha’s life and her songs are also reflections of our joys and sorrows. Queen Aretha reminded us in her life and in her passing that still waters run deep. In the midst of troubled waters, there is hope. You are One Lord of all who is the Bridge, the Way Maker, the everlasting Savior who gives us Life, Breath, Pulse, and Passion. Aretha means Beauty; Virtuous; and Excellent! She lived her life as the Queen of Soul, who ministered to many souls. Aretha, the Queen of Heart whose music still tugs on our heartstrings. Aretha, gone but never forgotten.
Eternal God, receive her into your everlasting peace. In our Savior’s name. Amen.

image_557509650880833

Are You Hot & Thirsty?

Lately, it has been so hot! Scorching temperatures, hot topics, heated conversations and shifting emotions. We look for relief in cool places. Still, we are hot and thirsty. We call on our Creator to fix it! Oh Lord, soothe our bodies and quench our thirst.

Let’s Park and Pray at 1:11 pm this pray by the Psalmist

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.” Psalm‬ ‭63:1-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

http://bible.com/111/psa.63.1-11.niv

Prayer for the elections in Zimbabwe, July 30, 2018 | Gifts in Open Hands

There is a week until the elections in Zimbabwe. Please pray for this so beautiful, so battered country. The world rejoiced with citizens dancing in the street in Harare last November when Mugabe left office. His near-endless violent incumbency in office did little to change the repressive white-minority-led leadership that preceded it. God’s people live…
— Read on giftsinopenhands.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/prayer-for-the-elections-in-zimbabwe-july-30-2018/

Thank you Maren Tirabassi for this post

It’s 1:11 p.m! Where Are You?

It’s 1:11 p.m! Where are you praying?

It was a sunny day when I parked under this tree to pray at 1:11 p.m. Here’s what happened.

After praying I looked down and the ground was covered with blackberries!

I looked up at the trees above my head and I snatched a handful of this sweet fruit.

I looked up at the trees above my head and I snatched a handful of this sweet fruit.

I stayed under the covering of these beautiful trees and I enjoyed these gifts.

I embraced the sunlight that pierced through the branches. I stayed and prayed.

Lord, I give thanks with a grateful heart for our time together. Thank you for your grace. Your blessings are unconditional and your love is boundless. Your Fruits of the Spirit nourishes the body, mind and spirit. Lord help your spiritually malnourished children receive you and use your food according to your will. Bless all with a constant flow of compassion for all your children. May serving you with passion be our first and last meal of each day.

Parking and Praying at 1:11 p.m. in our Savior’s name. Amen

God’s Presence, Power & Purpose

It’s amazing what we miss when we fail to simply park and pray at 1:11pm.

There are signs of God’s Divine presence, power and purpose all around us. God’s creation is filled with signs that we can see, feel, touch and hear. God speaks to us in many ways. God wants to be in our lives.

Sometimes I barely say a spoken word when I pray. When I park and pray at 1:11pm outdoors, I listen to the sounds around me. I am reminded of this great hymn “How Great Thou Art!” It becomes a chant in response to burdens I’m carrying. “How Great Thou Art!”

In the midst of your inner challenges try chanting “How Great Thou Art!” Look around you and imagine the branches of the trees clapping. Listen to the birds sing and the sounds of squirrels running across the grass. Feel each mighty breeze brush against your back as if you grow wings. There’s a power that stirs within us as and offers a blessed assurance that God knows our joys and our tribulations.

For many years, I searched for God’s presence and I wanted to strengthen my relation with God. This is what I discovered. First, believe God is present. Second, believe God can and will fulfill your needs. Third, believe in the power of prayer and then, Pray. My life changed as I became aware of God’s presence.

Let us pray.

Almighty God you make your presence known day and night. You are the Light that pierced through dark clouds, trees and landscapes. You meet us at the crossroads of our lives. You call us to “Be still and know that I Am God.” You remind us to call on You and ask for “Amazing Grace.”

Thank you Lord. Thank you for being patient with us. Thank you for picking us up when we fall down. Thank you for holding our hands and at times carrying us when our burdens weigh us down.

Have mercy O God! Lord forgive us. God, renew, strengthen, guide and bless us. Bless our neighbors near and far. Shine your light on us and in us. Give us your everlasting peace.

God teach us to pray.

Amen (Let It Be).

Come With Me

http://bible.com/111/mrk.6.31,33.niv

It’s 1:11 pm. Time to stop. Park and Pray. Rest in God’s presence.

Dear Lord,

Thank You for inviting me to rest in your presence. Thank you for calling me to a quiet place with you. Thank you for guiding me to a quiet place.

For in your presence I find peace. Lord, in your presence I find silence. In your presence I find rest for my weary body, mind and soul.

Lord, save a place for me.

Help me to hear your call in the midst of so many voices and places. My Lord, you patiently wait for me as I learn to stop, to park in the midst of your presence. I sit at your feet and release my burdens. You hear my prayers. Lord give me ears to hear you and strength to walk with you. Help me to be in your presence daily.

Oh Lord, I cherish my time with you. I come to glorify your name. I come to rest in your presence. I come to receive your peace. I eat your Bread of life. I rest with you. I am restored. I go in peace.

I pray in Your Holy Name. Amen.

O Christmas Tree!

O Christmas Tree
I wrote this O Christmas Tree song 2015 after I selected my Christmas Tree. No matter what’s going on in our lives, I find the touch and smell of a freshly cut pine tree gives a lasting impression. Will you sing it with me?

A Grateful Heart

God, thank you for
Creating us

Loving us
Caring for us
Anointing us
Bearing with us
Being patient with us
Carrying us
Delivering us
Educating us
Forgiving us
Giving us
Helping us
Investing in us
Joining us
Keeping us
Leading us
Making us lie down
Never leaving us
Opening doors for us
Blessing us,

Making us leap with joy!

Emmanuel! God is with us!

Biologist affirms Park and Pray at 1:11 pm

matsumoto-700

“Everyday prayer is a cleansing and healing spiritual experience”  Dr. Lloyd Matsumoto
http://www.ric.edu/biology/Pages/newsMatsumoto.aspx 

Several months ago, Dr. Lloyd Matsumoto, a renowned RI College Professor of Biology, sent the following Blog for Park and Pray affirming it as an everyday prayer that “is a cleansing and healing spiritual practice.”  He retired, June 2017 after 34 years of service. Dr. Matsumoto is a remarkable liver transplant recipient, whose method of transplant contributed to the advancement of science. Matsumoto joined a clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital, and he became one of three patients to participate in an experimental method of organ transport.  Lloyd and his wife Terry are members of Beneficent Congregational Church United Church of Christ. IMG_1361Dr. Lloyd Matsumoto appreciates the power of prayer through his own personal experiences and relationship with God. His high risk surgeries and significant medical and surgical challenges didn’t change his commitment to pray daily. Lloyd believes God’s grace and his faith in the Divine saved his life. Prayer is a staple in his life.

Scientific Evidence Suggests Prayers Positive Effect

In 1988, Cardiologist Randolph Byrd conducted a landmark study at San Francisco General Hospital on the positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer on cardiac care patients.  The control group or patients who did not receive intercessory prayer required ventilator assistance, antibiotics, and diuretics more frequently than patients in the Intercessory Prayer group. This study and other data suggest that a prayer mediator or intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial therapeutic effect in patients admitted to a CCU. This study laid the ground work for other related studies.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3393937

Try the A-C-T-S Prayer Method 

Adoration Loving God you're amazing!
Confession Merciful God I confess my sins and ask forgiveness.
Thanks Lord I come before you with praise and thanksgiving 
Supplication Almighty God help, save, heal and bless me.
I ask in the powerful name of my Savior, the Christ. Amen.

Prayer Chants (spoken repeatedly):

The Jesus Prayer – “Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on me.”

A Prayer for Mercy & Thanks – “Lord have mercy.” and “God, we thank you.”

Fear Not, Prayer is Powerful

expressions_shared.jpgPrayer is powerful. It’s a treasured investment. It’s free, available to everyone and useful. You can freely give it to anyone and freely receive it without conditions. The rewards are greater than we can imagine. When we park and pray at 1:11 pm, we set aside a time and place to intentionally enter into God’s presence.  We knock on God’s door with wonder and expectation. God knows our name, understands our desires, hears our prayers, and fulfills our needs according to God’s will and purposes. We set ourselves up for heartache when we schedule God’s response to our prayer. Our internal alarm clock rings and we expect God to disregard divine time and immediately obey our timed commands. Anxious and discouraged, we let go of our prayers and praying. We experiment with fear and other ways to fill the void.

It’s 1:11 pm, we pause, rest, stop, PARK and PRAY at 1:11 pm.

We pray, “Lord have mercy!” Awesome God, forgive us for worrying about matters that seem to make us more anxious. Thank you for reminding us that “truly you know the plans you have for us, to prosper and to give us a future and a hope.”(Jeremiah 29:11) God, make your presence known to us all. You know what we need for today and tomorrow. Comfort all who are afflicted. Heal all who are wounded and brokenhearted. Satisfy our hunger and thirst for your grace, righteousness, goodness, and mercy.  Bring relief to all who are without shelter and loving support. “Give us this day, our daily bread.” We pray in Thy Holy Name. Amen.

 

Words Like Leaves On a Tree

 

Our words are like leaves on a Tree. Some leaves need to cling to the branches until they mature. Some leaves need to hold onto to their stem until their pain is fermented. Some leaves like words should not fall from the tree until it is certain it can stand on its own word. Once it is released it can never return back to the tree, its source. It gathers on the ground as a community of words, phrases, messages and metaphors as a blanket of thoughts. It gathers as a heap of expressions blown around. Then, carried away to distant places where it finally settles as dust. It becomes a memory and a seed that offers a new thought, a grand idea and words that cling to us like leaves on a Tree.

Park and Pray at 1:11 pm
Creator God bless the life that is mine to hold and beg for your Grace and Mercy. I pray that I may not wander too far from the tree. “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to You, O GOD, my Source, my Strength,” my Love, and my Heart Desire. (Psalms 19:14) In Your Name I pray.

Image (http://bible.com)

Reverent Submission

img_1413-1Friends, I am convinced that when we park and pray at 1:11 pm we engage in reverent submission. When we practice reverent submission we release our hands and our hold on our lives. We surrender our will and allow space for God’s will to manifest in our lives.

When we say the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” What is God’s will for us and for our situations? We often believe our will is not satisfied when God’s will, different from our will, prevails.

Friends, trust God to hear your fervent prayers and petitions. Depend on God to do whatever is best in your life. Pray, asking in Christ’s name. Just as Jesus’ prayers were heard you will be heard because of your reverent submission.

Prayer

Dear God, we long to do your will. Thank you for teaching us how to pray through lessons on Jesus’ prayer life. Help us to release our will, which holds us back from discerning your will. May the righteous desires of our hearts be fulfilled. In Christ name, we pray. Amen.

Biologist affirms Park and Pray at 1:11 pm

matsumoto-700

“Everyday prayer is a cleansing and healing spiritual experience” Dr. Lloyd Matsumoto
http://www.ric.edu/biology/Pages/newsMatsumoto.aspx

Several months ago, Dr. Lloyd Matsumoto, a renowned RI College Professor of Biology, sent the following Blog for Park and Pray affirming it as an everyday prayer that “is a cleansing and healing spiritual practice.”  He retired, June 2017 after 34 years of service. Dr. Matsumoto is a remarkable liver transplant recipient, whose method of transplant contributed to the advancement of science. Matsumoto joined a clinical trial at Massachusetts General Hospital, and he became one of three patients to participate in an experimental method of organ transport.  Lloyd and his wife Terry are members of Beneficent Congregational Church United Church of Christ. IMG_1361Dr. Lloyd Matsumoto appreciates the power of prayer through his own personal experiences and relationship with God. His high risk surgeries and significant medical and surgical challenges didn’t change his commitment to pray daily. Lloyd believes God’s grace and his faith in the Divine saved his life. Prayer is a staple in his life.

Scientific Evidence Suggests Prayers Positive Effect

In 1988, Cardiologist Randolph Byrd conducted a landmark study at San Francisco General Hospital on the positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer on cardiac care patients.  The control group or patients who did not receive intercessory prayer required ventilator assistance, antibiotics, and diuretics more frequently than patients in the Intercessory Prayer group. This study and other data suggest that a prayer mediator or intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial therapeutic effect in patients admitted to a CCU. This study laid the ground work for other related studies.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3393937

Try the A-C-T-S Prayer Method 

Adoration Loving God you're amazing!
Confession Merciful God I confess my sins and ask forgiveness.
Thanks Lord I come before you with praise and thanksgiving 
Supplication Almighty God help, save, heal and bless me.
I ask in the powerful name of my Savior, the Christ. Amen.

Prayer Chants (spoken repeatedly):

The Jesus Prayer – “Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on me.”

A Prayer for Mercy & Thanks – “Lord have mercy.” and “God, we thank you.”

A Prayer at 1:11 pm

Dear Family and Friends,

It’s been more than two years since I have intentionally prayed for you daily at 1:11 pm. While  praying for you, I hoped you were praying with me in spirit at that same moment. I’d like to believe we were praying together. I’m inviting you to sign on and partner with me by enrolling in this blog as a follower. I’d love to hear your comments, testimonies and prayers. Here is the prayer I am inviting you to pray with me at 1:11 pm. daily:

Dear Holy One, 

We come to draw from your Great and Mighty  Fountain and receive your love, comfort and peace. As we “park and pray” today, we thank you for your unconditional love and constant presence.  

We realize that at times we come with a long list of requests without considering your promises or plans for us. We often seek to satisfy our needs instead of considering your desires for us. Lord, we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness.  

Your Holy Word reminds us of your promise to answer our prayers. We are reminded to keep the faith and that you will bless us with the righteous desires of our heart. Loving God, strengthen our faith so our joy may be fulfilled.  

Merciful God, help us master those things in our lives that interfere with our relationship with you and others. Help us to know your presence in tangible ways. Loving God in your presence we find love, peace, comfort, healing, safety, financial security and shelter from the storms in our lives. Almighty
God, bless us abundantly. Bless us while we sleep, while awake, when we talk, walk, live, breathe and have our being. Bless us now, to be still and know that You are God. Bless our going out, our coming in now and always. In Christ’s Name we pray. Amen 

Your name will be added to the Prayer List Page once you sign on as a follower of this blog. Thank you for “parking and praying at 1:11 pm.”
God’s Abundant Blessings,

Pastor Cleo

I’ve Seen the MountainTop!

Feb. 12th, the final show and my second time seeing the MountainTop at Trinity Rep Theatre. I’m still thinking about this extraordinary performance by Joe Wilson, Jr. and Mia Ellis. They are two gifted actors, whose personal journeys are unlike the characters they portrayed.

Imagine it’s 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee and you’re looking through a window of the Lorraine Hotel. You watch the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and a decoy maid who was really an angel. It’s King’s last hours before he’s assassinated. The maid knows every bit of his story from the beginning to the end.

February 14, 2017, I’m still thinking about the MountainTop images, messages and meanings. I’m convinced there’s a connection with God’s redemptive power and promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

I reflect on these words by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
And this I know that I must

Fear not.

Have faith.

Be not alone.

For I am convinced
God is here.

God loves us.

God hates evil.

God forgives

God gives

Eternal life.
Thank God.

Thank you.

A Chosen Instrument 

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REFLECTION

I keep thinking about my post-election dream, vision, warning or revelation. It was three o’clock in the morning when I woke up to relieve my full bladder. I turned on my cellphone and I was shaken by the news that Donald Trump won the election. I leaned into my bathroom sink and prayed, “Lord have mercy! What does this mean?” I felt as if I received a blessed assurance that the answer was found in this passage Acts 9:11-20. Could it be that our next president “this man” is the chosen instrument and one whose scales will fall from his eyes? I thought about this passage for several days and I listened to the many voices throughout our nation. Then I parked and prayed this prayer at 1:11 p.m. for him and our nation as I rested in peace.

Let us Pray the Prayer of Saint Francis (revised)

Lord, make him an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let him sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy. 

O divine Master, grant that he may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

I Can’t Face It Alone

120_martin_luther_kingImagine, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said, “I can’t face it alone?” He was a dynamic leader, a pillar of strength and he is still an inspiration. But, he was like many of us who reach a breaking point. Some of us may fall down on our knees and look up. We might stretch out our hands like a beggar and surrender to the Almighty. At times we feel like we don’t have enough strength to calm our shivering heart. We struggle to confess our fears and acknowledge our limitations. Finally, we let go and let God. When we come to a point when we can say, “I can’t face it alone,” then, what seems impossible happens.  We rise, turn the corner, and arrive on the doorstep of hope.  We receive the gift of grace, unmerited favor from God. We join with Dr. King and others whose witness marks the beginning of renewed strength and healing. Maybe you know someone who says “I can’t face it alone.”

Today, I learned that three children in my church community recently lost their young father. He rapidly succumbed  to uncontrolled asthma. My heart goes out to these children. I want them to know they do not have to face it alone. God is present in good and bad times. But, are we present and are we in God’s presence? Dr. King’s prayer, “Lord, I can’t face it alone,” is a powerful and profound truth that we “can’t face it alone.” But, with God, we can face it.

A  Prayer written by Dr. King:

I Can’t Face It Alone

Lord, I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But now I am afraid. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I’ve come to the point where I can’t face it alone. (M.L.K.)

Prayer is an Excerpt from ,”Thou, Dear God”: Prayers that Open Hearts and Minds,
For more prayers visit
http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/galleries/thou-dear-god.aspx?p=4#gDID38mvtalxVDyo.99

 

All I Wanted For Christmas

As a child I sang, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, my two front teeth, my two front teeth.” But I don’t sing it anymore. I’m no longer a child, I have my two front teeth and I seek a greater desire. 

I can’t think of any gift that I rather have for Christmas than Love. Love is free, available and accessible everyday. There’s an unconditional fountain of Agape Love. The invisible Divine Light, Spirit Breath, Holy Wind, God is Love that knocks on the doors of our hearts.

The gift of love gives us hope not despair, faith not fear, and peace not turmoil. 

“Love bears ALL things, believes ALL things hopes ALL things, endured ALL things.” Love is the muscle that never gives in or gives up. Love never dies. Love is the gift that keeps giving. 

Today, I sing “All we need is LOVE. All we need is LOVE. All we need is LOVE, LOVE…LOVE is all we need.” I sing “Love Lifted Me.”

Waiting on the Lord

It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. Isaiah 25:9

Waiting is difficult to do these days. 

We rev up our motors hoping red lights quickly change to green.

We  deliberately press “Enter” with precision and repetition hoping our devices will respond quicker.

We turn off our ovens too soon, prematurely shut off the burner and rush to pop open a vintage bottle of wine that lacks savor.

We race up the escalator only to discover we’re going the wrong way.

We pray with rapid-firing speech while speeding pass the Divine Drive Through.

We  expect God to deliver us without ever opening the windows of our heart and hands.

Let Us Pray

Thank you God for Advent, a time to wait for the Star, God’s Light onto our path.

Thank you God for Advent, a time when we rise like freshly baked bread.

Thank you God for Advent, a time when we dare to stop to sing O Holy Night.

Thank you God for Advent, a time that prepares us to receive Jesus, the Christ.

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Advent, the bridge to Christmas where we touch that blessed hope, peace, joy and love.

My God, we thank you! Amen.

‘Tis the Season to be…

imageA time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down,

and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance; Ecclesiastics 3:1-4 KJV

Reflection:

What season best describes where you are today? Why?

Let us Park and Pray at 1:11 pm

Loving God, Master of the Seasons in our lives, lands, seas and world. We call on you.

You touch us, blow on us, rain down on us and remind us you are near, here and with us.

You cover us with snow, slow our pace and draw us closer to you.

You satisfy our shivers and quivers, with your soothing blanket of sunlight.

You carry us over hills, under valleys, and through the seasons in our lives.

Today, in the midst of our bubble wrap, gift cards, tinsel and carols, we remember the story of Mary and Joseph’s search for an Inn.

We celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christ, and the Son of God.

Loving God, lead us to the shelter of your Holy Presence.

Guide us to your manger, a birthing place where Christ is born within us.

Bless us with renewed faith and hope.

Thank you for being a Refuge and a Shelter.

Thank you for the gift of Christ in Season and at all times.

We thank you for hearing our prayers and our praise, in Christ’s name. Amen

 

A Heart for Thanksgiving Prayer

God of Life
We give you thanks O Mighty God for each breath
As we inhale, we embrace the power of your love
We hold onto your peace
As we exhale, we release the forces that drive us apart from you

God of Love
We give you thanks O Merciful God for each moment
As we spend time resting in your presence
We wait for you
As we listen for your still speaking voice

God of Plenty
We give you thanks O Bountiful God for each fruit
As we celebrate the harvest of your Spirit
We remember your call
As we prepare to serve a table of blessings for all

God, our Provider
We give you thanks O God for life, living and being in you
As we feel your unconditional love
We are grateful for your provisions and yet we yearn
As people who need you.

For in you O God we live and move and have our being
(Acts 17:28)                                               Rev. Cleo 11/23/16

Finding Your Center

Finding Your Center
Rev. Cleo Graham
Inspired by Ephesians chapter 4

This past Sunday Beneficent Church, my home church invited each person in the congregation to break off a thread from one skein of yarn. Although Delbert helped some of them do so, I noticed people pull one strand of yarn from the center of the skein. Each one held onto their thread during our prayer time and when we recited the Benediction while standing together in one circle. I marveled at the way the children used their peice of yarn to creatively make bracelets, rings, adorn their hair and clothing. I left with the image that we are one people, woven together, attached, at times pulled apart, broken, tied together and knitted. I think we naturally return to our center which is often the Center of something greater than ourselves.

Where is your center? Is your center found in a skein or a circle? Here’s why it matters. “Skeins are longer and more narrow, and are designed to be pulled from the center. Pulling from the center is neater overall, and the yarn won’t roll around. Balls are rounder and shorter and are not wound to have a center pull end. If you try to pull from the center of a ball, you will get a tangle.” http://www.redheart.com/articles/what-is-the-difference-between-balls-and-skeins-of-yarn

Centering prayer helps us focus our attention on God. Finding our center allows us to connect with our Higher Source and avoid entanglements when we are tossed and pulled along life’s journey. Park and pray at 1:11 pm offers a way to find the Divine Center in our day and lives.

Prayer
Loving God, you are the Center of life and source of all goodness. You keep us grounded in your love. Thank you for providing ways for us to connect with you and with each other. Bless the many strands of lives woven in our communities. Help us to live into the moral call to unite and grow in love, to embrace peace, to have mercy and do justice for all. May we recognize we are your handiwork, a work in progress. We are stronger, greater and secure when we center our thoughts and ways on you. In Your Holy name, Amen.

A Prayer For Rest and Healing

Lord of life, I park and pray at 1:11 pm to remember You call me your child. You call me to rest in Your care. Help me to remember that rest is not achieved through a distressed heart, troubled thoughts, vindictive  behavior  nor can rest come through haste and discontent. In my moments of rest, O God show me how to “Be still and know that You are God.” Show me how to release my grip on my ways and open my heart and hands to Your guidance. Awesome and Loving God show me how to let go of my will, relax, and lean on You. Help me to lean into Your will and wait knowing that Your will is on time, perfect and good. Now, as I rest in Your divine peace, may I gather strength for the day and bright hope for a renewed ambition. I park and pray at 1:11 pm with thanks for the blessings of time, rest, thy Holy Word and presence. In my Savior’s name. Amen.

A Prayer for Our Children and Veterans

Park and Pray at 1:11 for the children

Who wear the flags on their faces

Who wear the shades of all races

Young Americans, 

They march as one representing many nations

Waving the flag in many directions

Listen to the children sing “This land is you land, this land is mine land, this land was made for you and me.”

Let us prayer

O God, who comforts us, who wipe our tears and shoulders our fears.

Help us sing “You Got the Whole World in Your Hands”

Merciful God, hold us, America, the USA, the red, white and blue

Remind us O God we are in your palm too!

We thank you for our children who remind us that we have a future and

 a hope. We give thanks for all who serve our country as veterans, 

volunteers, canvassers, prayer warriors and more.

Unite us as one nation under God. Amen

Fuel for the Spirit

I parked and I captured this photo. I was inspired by the light and the green that broke through the openings in between the rocks. I prayed this post election prayer written earlier. 

Dear God, 
Emotions are scattered and often numb

You console and remind us

there is work to be done

it’s a tough message, a rough lesson

we may not want to hear

but we’re told to listen as it rings loud and clear.

We asked for change,

a jumpstart, a way to fulfill our needs

but like a rose that grew from a tainted seed

the unexpected happened right under our feet

like a landmine, like an explosion

like a tough bed of thorns

like darkness before a noonday storm

but, another way of listening is born.

My God! You often remind us

of One who lighted the Way

the Divine One who taught us how to pray

the Lord’s Prayer,

give us this day, our daily bread, we say

Then, we receive bread that’s hard to chew

Dear God,

In your holy presence we remember

our jaws are not broken

our hands are not chained down

yes, many hearts are sorely bruised

our eyes are wet and yet, opened too

Merciful God, awaken us to the reality that

You, O God Governs

Not man or woman

Not polls or pollsters

Not sound bites, hash tags, sweet or bitter tweets

Not likes, strong mikes or uncanny might,

Rules this country or world

It is the unseen Spirit, the Holy Light

That fuels our spirit and gives us the grace,

gives us the reason and the hope to be a light.

                                                       Cleo 11/10/16

Park and pray at 1:11 pm

CAST A VOTE not A STONE


So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
John 8:7‭-‬11 KJV

http://bible.com/1/jhn.8.7-11.KJV

I am convinced that a trailblazer weathers more storms in her or his life than most people. It seems as though whenever I got closer to breaking through the proverbial glass ceiling I was challenged. My competency was challenged and I was made to feel as though I didn’t belong. But, to be branded as a sinner and only a sinner is so ironic. Why? We are all sinners. I have never met a sinless leader. We have never elected a sinless president. Nor have we ever elected a woman. 

Fear and anxiety is rampant these days. We can do both elect a sinner and a woman.  We can also park and pray at 1:11 pm daily in spirit with so many of us who believe PRAYER CHANGES THINGS.

CAST A VOTE not a STONE 

http://www.parkandprayat111.com

Where are the Peacemakers?

“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:16-18 NIV

Where are the Peacemakers?

Lately, sowing seeds of peace seem to be unfashionable, outlandish, strange, old-school and boring. There appears to be an uncanny attraction to disorder and evil practices. Some people follow the trajectory of shotgun comments closer than a stream of heavenly wisdom. Like bullets, our words fire a steady stream of grave insults that accumulate as spoiled, rotten fruit. We wonder how to get rid of the stench that breeds envy and hatred. Sugarcoated words without deeds done in humility only deepen the wounds that lead to disorder. Many of us get caught in the web of despair trying to find peace and justice. 

 Where are the Peacemakers?

We shout, “Come out, and come out wherever you are!” We sing,

“We are the world, we are the children

We are the ones who make a brighter day

So lets start giving

There’s a choice we’re making

We’re saving our own lives

Its true we’ll make a better day

Just you and me.”

Shouting and singing taste good and satisfy our hunger for peace for a little while but it doesn’t give us lasting peace. We need divine wisdom that springs forth from a godly truth. Let us pray:

Holy God of Wisdom, Might, Light, and Love give us a renewed heart, mind, and spirit. Bless us with heavenly wisdom that springs forth from your truth. Your truth is pure, peaceful, loving, considerate, submissive and full of mercy. Bless us, O God to embrace your truth, hold onto your peace. Give us the stamina to be impartial and sincere peacemakers who sow in peace and reap a harvest of righteousness, good fruit that is fresh and enduring. In Your Holy Name, we pray, Amen.

WHEN A CHILD PRAYS

She held “The Thankful Book.” 

She thanked her mom for her pizza.

She thanked God praying:

Thank you for the world so sweet,

Thank you for the food we eat,

Thank you for the birds that sing,

Thank you God for everything. Amen!

I gave her a compliment and she thanked me. I thanked her for making my day a special one. Then I prayed:

Holy One bless and keep this child in your loving care. In my Savior’s name. Amen.

After Sabbatical

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 NIV

Last month, I accepted an offer (Matthew 11:28) for Sabbatical, a time to rest, release and relax. I received Divine Mercy and I experienced the gifts of rest and time. I took time to be still, to release and at times play. During my Digital Sabbatical, a time away from Social Media, I missed celebrating your birthdays, offering comfort for your losses, congratulating you for new relationships, new births, new jobs, Calls, homes and new experiences. I missed reading your Facebook posts and emails. I missed you. Yet, I remembered you each day as we “parkandprayat1:11” in spirit and in many places. Thank you for your prayers and for praying with me at 1:11 each day.

Let US Pray

Thank you God for loving us. You show your love for us in so many ways. Your love heals our wounds. Thank you for reminding us to be still and know that you are God. You call us to rest under the shadow of your wings. Thank you for inviting us to release our burdens. You restore our soul. Creator God, You encourage us to care for ourselves as good stewards of your creation. We are grateful for the gift of Sabbath as a time for intentional rest, release and self care. Our strength and joy is renewed. Help us to truly honor you by loving you and loving your neighbor as we love our self. Lord, hear now the silent prayers of our hearts. (silence)  In Thy Holy name. Amen.