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Daily communion with God demonstrates my humility and provides me with the realization that an entity more powerful than I is willing to help me if I cease trying to play God myself.

~ Daily Reflections, page 202

This morning, as I prepared for my meditation with my daily readings, two of the four books stressed the importance of humility and daily prayer practice. This makes sense. Moreover, what I find worth pondering is trying to reconcile humility and self-esteem. We spend much time, women especially, trying to overcome feelings of inferiority by building self-esteem. Then along comes our reading material to remind us to be humble.

There is a difference between humility and inferiority; it merely means that we need to recognize that God made us beautiful, worthwhile creatures, and that we should be satisfied with that. Humility, however, means “to show submissive respect” and that, we owe to God as well as to God’s other creatures.

Will you pray with me, please?

Glorious Grandparent,

I approach you today, as always, with humility. I know that you are much greater than anything I can imagine. You are the eternal energy that began the universe and relentlessly renews it. Constant change is thy method. I am but one of thy humble creations. You are amazing!

Gracious Grantor,

I bring myself to you today, asking that you imbue me with healthy doses of both humility and self-esteem. Let me remember whose creation I am, that you made me and called me by name generations before my parents were born. Let me also remember to value you and all your other creations. Let me have respect for each and every one and remember that, in your sight we are precious and equal.

Generous Giver,

Thank you for my life. Thank you for coffee and a breakfast to go with it of a protein bar and Diet Dr. Pepper! Thank you for sunshine on a day when storms were predicted. Thank you for being my God! I love you so much.

And I pray this in the loving name of Jesus,

Amen.

 

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

1050 Lakeview Road, Elgin, Illinois 50123

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.net

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

© Melissa Pazen, 2020

 

 

Creator God,

I come to you this morning because you are the only one with the power and love to make all of this creation. And so I come to praise and worship you. It is only right and just. You are so amazing!

Heavenly Healer,

I bring many requests to you, knowing that your will, not mine, will be done. I trust that if I ask for something that should not be part of your universe, it simply won’t’ happen. And so I ask again that you bless me. Make me love you more and more each day. Fill me with gratitude and awe at your being. Make me happy just to spend time with you. And I pray for Steve and our marriage; if it be thy will, strengthen it and make us love each other and behave in a loving way toward each other. I pray also for my children and their spouses, strengthen the marriage of Chris and Margaret and of Kate and William. May they be blessings to one another and make one another happy, filling their hours together with contentment. I pray for Mary, if it please you, Lord/Lady, improve her health and remove her desire to judge; strengthen her marriage and improve her relationship with her children. I bring to you Ali, Jennifer, Judy and Sue C.; help them to grow closer to you and, as they become more spiritually attached to you, improve their lives and their relations. I pray for Sue P., having been asked last Saturday to remember her in my prayers; keep her healthy and bless the relationship that makes her willing to risk living with this new man. I know only you can make these things happen, for you are the God who makes the universe continue. I pray that you will help the scientists find a vaccine and a cure for COVID-19. Your herd of humanity has been culled and it’s hard to believe it needs to be culled more.

Magnificent Majesty,

I am grateful for all that you have given to me, from the scented candle that I light while I read, meditate, and pray to my car to my dogs to my husband. All these come from you, only you. Thank you for free daylilies to plant around my house. Thank you for unidentified clumps of blooming plants that were here when we arrived. Thank you for my dogs, my husband, my children, my friends, and my life. Lord, I love you so much!

And I pray this in the loving name of Jesus,

Amen.

 

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

1050 Lakeview Road, Elgin, Illinois 50123

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.net

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

© Melissa Pazen, 2020

As I was praying this morning, an old hymn came to mind:

“Holy God, we praise your name;
Lord of all, we bow before you;
all on earth your scepter claim,
all in heav’n above adore you.
Infinite your vast domain,
everlasting is your reign.”

Will you pray with me, please?

Holy God,

You are the Ruler of all creation. Heaven and earth resound with your praises, just by being the work of your hands. The universe cries out of your majestic creative abilities. Nature shows your concept of beauty. You are amazing!

Lord of Love, Lady of Light,

Today I come to you asking for a bountiful harvest from the community garden at First Congregational Church of Dundee. I’ll go to water it shortly and I pray you’ll bless the nourishment released in the soil and send it to the crops. Just as there is a kernel of your divinity in each human, there is creative energy in each seed that starts a new plant. Bless the peppers, the carrots, the beets and all the plants we set out on Saturday. And bless those who planted and those who water and feed the garden.

And I ask you to bless me, make me more like you: loving, kind, patient, joyful and always hopeful. Bless my marriage and make it thrive like the garden. Let me act lovingly. Bless my family and friends. Heal the sick who will be healed and keep those who will die from suffering.

Generous Giver,

Thank you for the resources to plant the garden. Thank you for Steve, who loves me. Thank you for awakening me this morning. Thank you for the chance to serve. I love you so much!

And I pray this in the loving name of Jesus,

Amen.

 

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

1050 Lakeview Road, Elgin, Illinois 50123

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.net

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

© Melissa Pazen, 2020

Gracious God,

You are the source of all things that are good. When bad things happen, although they are not from you, you leave it up to us to make good result from them. You are the originator of the universe, the one who called all things into being, the relentless renewer of all creation. You are amazing.

Lover of Light,

You have the power to drive out the darkness. I pray of Thee today that you will bless my actions, make me more loving, more trusting and more patient. Bless those with whom I come into contact today by making me a blessing to them. Bless my family and make good for them, I pray of Thee. Give me the strength and endurance to care for my body, since you have made it; help me to get proper exercise and diet. In this Covid-19 pandemic remind me to take proper precautions to stay healthy and avoid the virus. Help me to pass wisdom about this to those with whom I come into contact when I must go out.

Generous Giver,

You have given me more than I need and I am grateful. Thank you for furnaces and air conditioners to keep me comfortable. Thank you for the resources to buy food that can nourish my body. Thank you for the love of friends and family. Thank you for health. Thank you for my life. I love you so much.

And I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus,

Amen.

 

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

1050 Lakeview Road, Elgin, Illinois 50123

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.net

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

© Melissa Pazen, 2020

Grandparent God,

You are holy, indeed the fountain of all holiness. From age to age you have been the source of all good things. You are the everpresent energy, relentlessly renewing all of your creation. And so always and everywhere I praise you. You are bigger than I can comprehend; more than I can imagine. You are amazing.

Generous Giver,

Thank you for crisp mornings and warm, sunny days. Thank you for family, draw them to you and hold them close, I pray. Thank you for a warm welcoming house that holds Henri Nouwen’s paradox of hospitality, this hospitality that wants to create emptiness, not a fearful emptiness, but a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free; free to sing their own songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances; free also to leave and follow their own vocations. Hospitality is not a subtle invitation to adore the lifestyle of the host, but the gift of a chance for the guest to find his own. I love you so much!

And I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus,

Amen.

 

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

1050 Lakeview Road, Elgin, Illinois 50123

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.net

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

© Melissa Pazen, 2020

 

 

Creator God,

You are the relentlessly renewing everpresent energy responsible for all of the universe. You are in the quarks. You called the earth into being and you made me, knitted into my mother’s womb. You are amazing.

Loving Light,

Today I praise you and ask for nothing more than to spend all the days of my life in your presence. For one day with you is worth thousands elsewhere.

Glorious Giver,

I thank you for all with which you have blessed me, a good husband, two wonderful children, two silly dogs (the current ones in a string of pets), a loving group of friends and members of my congregation. For all this and more I thank you. Lord/Lady, I love you so much!

And I pray this in Jesus’ mighty name,

Amen.

 

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.net

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

© Melissa Pazen, 2020

Humblest of Holies,

The universe cries out “I am beautiful! I am glorious! I am God’s!” Every space in creation echoes praises of you; every corner and opening demonstrates your incredibly beautiful work. You are the ever-present energy that is the sole source of all, great and minute, subtlest and brightest. Even the tenacious dandelions and the violets raise a cacophony of your elegant glory. We cannot ignore it, whether it be visual or the voices of a gaggle of geese on their way to the lake, honking to proclaim your powers, beyond our imaginations. You are amazing!

Gracious Giver,

I ask nothing today but to be aware of all of this. Thank you for ears to hear and eyes to see. Thank you for a nose to smell and a mouth to taste and experience the goodness of our Creator. I love you so much!

And I pray this in Jesus’ powerful name,

Amen.

 

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.net

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

© Melissa Pazen, 2020

I love alliteration and if you’ve read much of my blog, you’ve noted that I try to find alliterative names for the Holiest of Holies. Here’s an attempt to get through the entire alphabet. It may take some editing over time.

Will you pray with me please?

To the…

Almighty Architect

Blessed Builder

Curious Compassion, Continuous Creator

Divine Deity

Everpresent Energy

Faithful Father

Generous, Gracious Giver

Humble Holy

Infinite Inviter

Joyous Jester

King of Kings

Loving Light

Mysterious Mother

Never Nothing

Omnipresent One

Peaceful Pasture Preparer

Quest

Resounding Restful River

Silly Serious Sustainer, Source of all Strength, Sustaining Source

Truthful Tester

Unblemished Unifier, Unique Universe-Creator,

Various Veracity

Wondrous Wonder

X

Yearning Yahweh

Zealous Zestfulness

 

And I pray in the Jesus, who jealously enjoys us,

Amen.

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

1050 Lakeview Road, Elgin, IL  60123 USA

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.net

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

© Melissa Pazen, 2020

 

 

Praying for the Pandemic © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.

(by Lisa Degrenia, http://www.revlisad.com). Rev Degrenia is a United Methodist Clergy. She currently serves Trinity UMC in Sarasota, Florida.

 

Matthew 8

Jesus heals a leper.

When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; 2and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” 3He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

 

Jesus, hear our prayer

For the quarantined

The stranded

Those feeling isolated

And those being treated as diseased outcasts

End the prejudice and mistreatment

Make us one in you

Lord, hear our prayer

 

Jesus heals a centurion’s servant who is paralyzed.

5When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him 6and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” 7And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 8The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 10When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour.

 

Jesus, hear our prayer

For those feeling paralyzed

by fear

by uncertainty

by the markets

For business owners and all unable to work

For students and educators as schools close

For congregations unable to gather

Lord, hear our prayer

Jesus, hear our prayer

For those, like the Centurion, risking much to help others

Medical professionals and researchers

Health Departments, the CDC, and the WHO

Cleaning crews

First responders

Those who work in assisted living facilities and nursing homes

Like the Centurion, grant us all great faith

And the strength to ask for help

Lord, hear our prayer

 

Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law who is bedridden with a fever.

14When Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever; 15he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she got up and began to serve him. 16That evening they brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and cured all who were sick. 17This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah, “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.”

 

Jesus, hear our prayer

For equal access to testing and treatment

For virus carriers and authorities to make wise choices

For an end to this pandemic

Heal all who are sick with the virus and those who will become sick

Raise them from their sickbeds to bless their homes and communities

Lord, hear our prayer

 

Jesus heals the Gadarene Demoniacs.

28When he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him. They were so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29Suddenly they shouted, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30Now a large herd of swine was feeding at some distance from them. 31The demons begged him, “If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” 32And he said to them, “Go!” So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water. 33The swineherds ran off, and on going into the town, they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs. 34Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood.

 

Deliver us from evil, Jesus

End its destructive influence

Turn the hearts of all who use this pandemic for selfish gain

Deliver us from panic, Jesus

Help all who are struggling with their mental health

All whose souls are screaming

We welcome your presence and peace

Lord, hear our prayer

 

Jesus stills the storm.

23And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. 27They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”

 

The situation is beyond us, Jesus

It feels out of control and dangerous

We are swamped

We are perishing

Save us, Jesus

The waves of news and need overwhelm us

But not you

You calm the storm

You bring good out of this great need

You hear our prayer

Glory to your Holy Name. Amen.

In today’s StillSpeaking Devotional, Matthew Laney uses a passage from Genesis:

God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham! Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” – Genesis 22:1-2 (NRSV)

Laney likens inoculating his daughter to God’s test of Abraham. He goes on to say that many of us sacrifice our “children on the altars of our careers and smartphones.” I’ve been guilty of the former.  I’ve also sacrificed my children on the altar of romantic relationships. I confessed this to my now-grown children as part of my 9th step amends, but it still hits a nerve to read today’s devotional. Will you pray with me, please?

Unique Universe-Creator,

You are the God of Abraham and Isaac; you are the God of Christopher and Katherine and me. Only you could have called the worlds into being. You are bigger than, more than anything I can imagine. You are amazing!

Loving Lord,

Today, I bring my relationships to you; those with my children and all my relationships, even my relationship with you. Remind me to prioritize and be right-minded in setting the proper things before others. Remind me not to squander my inheritance, nor the inheritance I might leave to my children. Keep my heart pure and help me to remember responsibilities before frivolities.

Generous Giver,

All that I have, from my car to my coffee, from my house to my husband, from my children to my childishness, all comes from you. Thank you for a warm home in the winter, a car to carry me to contemplative worship on Wednesday mornings, for my children who are now adults and who can be honest enough with me to call me out on my transgressions of parenthood. Thank you for clearing the ice from the patio before the prospect of snow tonight. Thank you for everything. I am grateful. Lord, I love you so much!

And I pray in the powerful name of Jesus, who told me to do so,

Amen.

To God be the Glory!

 

Love always,

Melissa

Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.net

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

© Melissa Pazen, 2020

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