August 19, 2014
Focus! Focus! We've said that to our children and ourselves, but the catch is knowing what, or rather Who, to focus on -- and also how or when.
As I look at the review copy Paraclete Press kindly sent me of Centering Prayers by pastor-writer, Peter Traben Haas, the poetic words enable me to see the focal point and adjust my sights clearly to get centered on God.
Each month of the book’s year-long daily devotionals begins with a timely word “as if God says to me _____.” Then each day of that month includes a theme in the title, followed by a brief prayer that comes from the Christ-given heart we have in common-union at the center of ourselves.
To provide you with examples of what to expect, I turned to the preface for my birthday month, July, and read:
It is as if God says to me:
You are a lamp and my love is your fuel.
I love you and wish to anoint your life with the
kind of light that heals your deepest darkness.
I am with you on your journey.
Follow the Son who knows the way and is always close.
Once I'd read that, the inevitable interruptions and morning routines occurred, but after the children had safely caught their school buses for their first day back to class, I turned to the centering prayer for today, entitled “Returning to you in surrender.”
Bless all students returning to school.
Bless all teachers returning to teach.
Bless all leaders returning to lead.
Bless all workers returning to labor.
Bless all beggars returning for more.
Bless all heart returning to you in surrender.
Remind us all that your gift of grace takes us all the way home.
Hopefully, prayerfully, that amazingly timely word to me speaks to you too, and yet we cannot help but be aware of the troubling times around the world where too few choose to surrender to God’s way of love as revealed to us in Christ. And so, after closing this highly recommended book, I opened its pages at random and found a prayer dated June 27 that speaks to current needs, too, in the prayer “The miracle of many voices becoming one.”
Refresh me by your Spirit.
Lead me into peace and understanding with others and help me experience the miracle of many voices becoming one in you.
Yes! and amen. So be it in Jesus' Name.
© 2014, Mary Harwell Sayler, Bible Reviewer, poetry reviewer, and poet-author of Living in the Nature Poem and the Bible-based poetry book Outside Eden
Centering Prayers, paperback