A Prayer

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul…Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Excerpt from Psalm 23

In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
Excerpt from Isaiah 38:1-3

Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Excerpt from John 11:3-5

Let us pray that God may be glorified, and His will be done.

Power of Prayer and Communion

Last week, I was called in to do an interview about what I do at work–facilitate professional development at the District level in the area of Instructional Technology. The interview was great because it allowed me to share what I’ve been doing the last 4.5 years. As I kept talking, I was getting more and more excited because the conversation–essentially a summary of what we’ve done–reminded me of how far we’d come.

At the end of the interview, after the digital recorder and tape recorder were turned off, the interviewer–a Harvard ph.D of Asian descent–looked over at me and said, “Do you have any spiritual motivations for what you’re doing?” I was shocked by the question. We were sitting in a public school building in a room to ourselves, but this lady had clearly crossed the line.
However, an honest question gets an honest answer. I responded, “Yes. Ever since I’ve been working with children, later with adults, I have felt that my work touches people for eternity. What I show someone in class isn’t as important as how i do it, and even then, all work done is a prayer.” I shared that I am a Christian. The researcher appeared overjoyed to hear this. In a few minutes, I understood why.

“I could tell from the moment I met you that you were a Christian.” She said a lot more about her impressions, but let’s just say that while those comments were great, I was reeling from the shock of having a spiritual conversation in that public school building. It was a surreal experience, I kid you not. Perhaps, one can even characterize it as “supernatural.” She shared her experiences as a Christian, but she used those to amplify my experiences, to help me view them through a different filter.
I shared with her the story of Peter in the boat and Jesus commandment to come to him. I likened the experience to that of educators who are struggling to overcome fear and oppression represented by current legislation. As we ended our conversation, she started to reach across the table to take my hand but stopped short…neither one of us wanted to cross the line of propriety. We had connected as Christians in our beliefs and sharing of the Spirit, an experience that does NOT happen every day for me with absolute strangers. I jokingly said to myself (internally) that I needed to hang out with more born again Christians or more strangers….

She asked me, “Do you mind if we pray?”

“Not at all,” I replied. I bowed my head, closed my eyes and entered into meditation. The prayer she spoke was Spirit-filled. I was immediately touched by the words and I hadn’t felt the Spirit like that in a long time. That very day, I remember experiencing despair that K-12 education would ever see change and “giving it up to God” on my drive to work.

But, praying with this person I had never met before and probably wouldn’t see again, her words hit me like a freight train, again and again. She prayed that God give me the courage to be bold, and being bold, that I might go out and do what needed to be done. She made a connection to Peter’s story of walking on the waves, she prayed for my wife and I and blessed me in what I had done.

I have to tell you that everything she said shook me to my core because I needed to hear it, experience it in prayer. I only wish the digital audio recorder I had with me had been indeed been on to record the prayer. I told her that I would never again doubt God answered prayers quickly. The prayer restored my confidence and left me exhilirated. I shared the story with others, and meant to write sooner here, but other events took precedence.

I honestly wish I could share exactly how the prayer went, but the euphoria of the moment washed the words from my mind. I do not remember them. I like to describe this as receiving one’s daily bread, not counting on prepared words or speeches, only trusting to the Lord and letting the Spirit guide one. This had been my experience with the Spirit before so I was not surprised that it was what happened. When I left that meeting, I knew God had answered me and I knew that both the Harvard researcher and I had shared a moment of communion that would stay with us both forever.

When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.
Psalm 138:3

Prayers for Miguel and family

Please keep Miguel Guhlin, his father and family in your prayers. Miguel’s dad was hospitalized today and prospects for a recovery do not look good. Updates will be posted– but whatever happens this is a difficult time for the Guhlin family. May the God of peace comfort his sons and daughters in this time of suffering and uncertainty.

Lord, I am not worthy…

In the Catholic Mass, one of my favorite prayers is encompassed in these few words, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the Word, and I shall be healed.”

Writing in this blog is not easy for me. It is not easy because Luke 18:9-14 lies heavy on my mind. I am that Pharisee, unworthy of your attention. Yet, I am also a shard of a broken mirror that is called to reflect the Light whose illumination brings peace and comfort (Psalm 97:11). Broken, I cannot fix myself. Scattered to pieces, I pray that He will make me whole, restore me to what I should be.

Like a worker in the fields longing for the day’s end, working in spite of the insects, the unbearable sun, the weariness that permeates my being, I wait for Him to say the Word so that I might be healed. Though I am surrounded by people who encourage me, who wish me well, and for whom I labor, I still long for your peace. I am a foreigner in a land I never intended to know or become familiar with. I do not find myself anywhere I look. I pray I may never forget I am a foreigner, a parched piece of earth waiting for your healing rain (Deuteronomy 28:12).

Let us pray to the Lord.

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