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The prayer at the end of this devotional,  published today, reminds me of Stephen Ministry and my training for it.  The body of the devotional is exactly the kind of story that led me to a talk I gave a year ago in San Diego.

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I doubt the Stephen Ministers are often privileged to have someone share such serious parental abuse, yet I pray that as each care giver stands in the mud with her/his care receivers (official or unofficial), we can lean on God’s strength to avoid slipping with them into the ‘slough of despair’.

Will you pray with me please?

Unimaginable One,

You call us out of the darkness.  You created the light and you invite us to come live in the light of your kingdom.  We are honored, humbled, privileged.  You are amazing!

Lord of Love,

I pray for all who suffer the abuse of power by another human.  I pray especially for the vulnerable who should be cherished and protected but who are harmed by those who they were told to trust.  I pray for those who are told they must be wrong or that they are liars when they tell another adult of the abuse.  Be the comfort.  Be the healing energy.  Enfold them in your loving embrace and let them again feel safe.  You are the love through all the world and beyond.  Only you can help them by empowering them and others to do well.

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I pray for those too weak or naïve to protect the vulnerable.  Lord, please open their eyes and let them lean on your strength.  Let them use your strength to create a safe place for the victims.  Let them help to keep the victims out of harm’s way.

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Lord, I bring to you also the abusers.  They have been weak to these sins; they have not overcome the temptations.  Bring them, too, into the light, Lord.  Show them the path on which to put their feet.  Make their journey aim for your kingdom and straighten the path for them as they begin to walk with you.  Send your saints to them, to walk beside them and encourage them and love them.

Gracious Giver,

You are the source of the technology to deliver the devotionals.  You put the thought into Donna Schaper’s mind to write the words we read.  You inspire me with forgiveness for perpetrators of hate, compassion for those to weak to stop what they know is wrong, and love for those who suffer from violations.

All that we have, all that we cherish, all that we enjoy comes from you.  I am grateful.  Lord, I love you so much!

Jesus told us to ask in his name, that our joy be made full.

I pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Not to us, but to God be the glory!

© Melissa Pazen, 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

This morning I had my weekly call with my friend and colleague, Marlaine Cover.  Marlaine is the founder of Parenting 2.0.  I realized that while I’ve told her about Instead, I’ve never told her about “So What?”.  

Whenever I’ve planned a retreat or most anything that involves a teaching point, I find myself at a place where I’ve covered the material and I’m just about done.  I then put my test of “So What?” to it.  “OK,” I think.  “I’ve just spent x amount of time listening to all this…  so what?  What have I learned?  What will I do differently?  How will this ‘wisdom’ change my life?  How will I make the world a better place?  So What??

So What by Roy Lichtenstein cartoon

God of All Good Things,

If you had stood back after showing the first sentient beings everything you gave them, you could have said “So What?”  I don’t know if their names were Adam and Eve, but somewhere along the line your creations got to ‘grow a brain’ – that is, a thinking brain.  Only you could have made that happen.  You are the creator; I am the creation.  So what?

So as often as I can remember, I write a prayer here to tell you that I worship and adore you.  I write a prayer to let you know that I have a sense of your infinity and my tiny part in it.  I write a prayer to tell you that I want to make the world a better place.  I write to tell you and anyone who reads, that I want to help bring your kingdom to come on earth.  You’re amazing!

Lord of Love,

So what?  Where do I start?  You know I try to do good, and fail.  You know I try to say at least one affirming statement to everyone I meet.  You know I try for two ‘strokes’ before I say something corrective or negative.  Do I help?  Does it matter? So what?

If it please thee, Lord, I pray you will help me to make my life matter to someone. Let me love someone enough that she or he finds you. Let me make even a little bit of a difference. Let me lighten someone else’s load, just a little bit.

so-what-baby

 

So there, so what!  So there!

Extravagant Energy,

You clearly love me so much; I only need to look at my home, my jobs, my causes, to know that your handiwork is everywhere.  I am grateful.  I love you so much!  And I pray

In Jesus’ holy name,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

Incredible Imagineer,

You have  created a universe in which you baffle me.  You think you’re funny.  I do too.  In the midst of my confusion and ‘flurrious’ activity, I needed a laugh; you knew it before I did.  Humans are imperfect, flawed, unknowing. You know everything.  We are merely your creatures.  You are the creator.  Amazing!

god-sits-in-his-throne-and-plays-fetch-with-his-dog-who-has-just-brought-Mick-Stevens

“God sits on a throne and plays fetch with a dog who has brought the world” ~ Mick Stevens for the New Yorker

Loving Lord,

Today I ask that you will continue to amaze and delight me, yet keep me in line.  I ask that you will remind me to move only as quickly as my mind can think.  Help me to be careful.  Yet, help me to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with you.  Remind me that I can help to make your kingdom come on earth.  Help me remember to be agreeable, sympathetic, loving, & compassionate.  Let me be a blessing to those I meet.

Glorious God,

Your ways are perfect.  Your goal is peace, justice, and love.  You have blessed me abundantly and given to me wastefully, so much more than I need.  Thank you for water.  Thank you for coffee.  Thank you for healing and feelings.  I am grateful.  Lord, I love you so much!

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

Oh my God,

You make time pass.  You created time, just as you made everything, seen & unseen. I pause on a very busy day of  year end bookkeeping to praise your name.  For you are the one who made the mountains and the seas.  You are the one with the plan for the universe.

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Your people and your world are more important than money Lord. Amazing!

Lord of Life and Light,

Today is my husband’s birthday.  Steve’s knees give him pain because of all his college sports injuries.  It’s hard for him to breathe because of allergies and smoking.  Help him to care for himself and overcome these ailments, I pray of thee, Lord.

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For my sister, Thea, and my sister-in-Christ, Susan, I pray for health and the knowledge that they are loved beyond their wildest imagination.  For my colleague, Paul, I pray for an easily treatable outcome from his procedure today.

I pray for peace in 2013.  Let your kingdom on earth, Lord.  Let me be one who acts to make this happen, Lord.

hicks-peaceable-kingdom-122012

Generous Giver,

Thank you for sunshine.  Thank you for air to breathe.  Thank you for water to drink and to use for so  many things.  Thank you for food.  May I be a good steward of all these things that you have extravagantly given to me.  I am blessed.  And Lord, I am grateful.  I love you so much!

Through Jesus, my Christ & Lord,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2012

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

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