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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

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

God said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”    ~ Genesis 22:2

Yesterday morning, I went to the contemplative worship service at the Congregational United Church of Christ in St. Charles and our scripture was the story of Abraham being told to sacrifice Isaac. In case you don’t remember the story, Isaac (meaning ‘she laughs’) was born to Sarah and Abraham when they were older, maybe even in their 80’s. God had promised Abraham that Isaac would be the beginning of THE Israelite bloodline and that the Israelites would someday be a great nation. Now, in this passage, God is telling Abraham to kill and burn that long-awaited child.

Wait, what?!?

I could imagine Abraham’s dismay, his disappointment, his grief.  But we, as good Christians, are told that Abraham obeyed God. Fortunately, at the last moment, God’s messenger gave Abraham a reprieve. God’s sense of timing, horror, and humor continue to amaze me. I know about hoping for that reprieve. I started seminary and whether I wiggled out of it or God said, “just kidding, Melissa; you don’t have to go anymore,” I still don’t know. But I went saying that I hoped for Abraham’s reprieve.

Yesterday, for a split second, I understood terrorism or one possibility for some terrorists. And the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.  My hand flew over my mouth. “What if this is what the fundamentalist terrorists hear?” I don’t think they hear the one true God, but they do. I could imagine thinking, “God (or whatever name), you tell me to kill people. Please, God, oh please, don’t make me do that.” But they don’t get Abraham’s reprieve.

Will you pray with me, please?

 

Maker Most Mysterious,

I don’t even know if this story actually happened. I do know that only thee could make it happen. Impregnating 80-year-olds then obligating an offering of the offspring, only thee. Only thee could cause Mary to be pre-marital and pregnant. These stories shake me up. Thee make me think, God, and that can’t be bad. Thee are amazing!

 

Lover of Life,

I bring to thee today my family. Keep me married and make that marriage thrive if it be thy will. Give me reason to laugh in my 80’s. Grant children to my daughter, Kate, when/if the time is right. (Perhaps she could name her first daughter ‘Isaica’.)

And, Lord, bring wisdom to those who would otherwise commit acts of terror. Help us all to remember that life and love is always thy will, no matter how hard it may be to feel love. Help me to remain a calm, healthy adult in all circumstances.

 

Generous Giver,

It’s soon to be one of the most busy times of year. Thank thee for the resources to make a Thanksgiving and a Christmas celebration. Thank thee for good smells, not burnt offerings. Thank thee for the ability to await all that is to come, with patience, joy and excitement. God, I love thee so much!

In Jesus’ precious 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!

 

“… I have chosen (her), and I have filled (her) with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills…”

Exodus 31:2-3

Gracious God,

You have given Debbie to me as my Counselor. Only You could have known of such a perfect fit for one to help me disentangle my thoughts and become truly honest with myself. You gave her a listening heart and light-handed wisdom. You made her with a sweet sense of humor. She is the right Counsel for me.  You are amazing.

Heavenly Healer,

I pray that Thee will bless marriage today.  If it be Thy will, bless mine with Steve and make it grow stronger. Bless Debbie’s with Sean and let them continue to be open with one another. I pray for my son’s upcoming wedding. If it be Thy will, let Chris and Margaret live together in peace, joy, and honesty for many years.

Merciful Maker,

As I look at the trees and the garden outside my window, I remember that it is all from Thee. As I feel the keys on my computer, I know it came through Thy overwhelming abundance. Everything I have is from Thee and I am grateful.

I pray in Jesus’ almighty name,

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, 2019

God of sun and rain, God of calm and catastrophe,
Only you can heal our church, only you can heal our souls. You called the world into being; you were there before the beginning and you will be there long after the end. You seek in Holy Love to save us from aimlessness and sin. You are amazing!
Loving Lord,
I call you to be with us. Hold each of us close to you, support us with love, wrap your arms around us, let us cry if we must and help us to heal. Remove our anger and our doubt. I pray that, if it is your will, you will heal my church; that all may be one and that any conflict may be resolved: peacefully, fully and to your Glory. And, Lord, let me be a blessing. Let me be a peacemaker.

Almighty Architect,

We thank you for all that you have given us: millions of shades of green in the gardens, more than enough resources to sustain us, and people who strive to emulate you, who love with us and work with us.
I pray in Jesus’ mighty and loving 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, 2017

The Lord’s Prayer — Even for Your Enemies

The place to start in praying for our enemies is the prayer that the Lord taught us to pray. Whatever else you pray for your enemies, pray for them like this:

  • Father, grant that my enemy — my colleague who snubs me, my wife who belittles me, my child who disrespects me, the ISIS member who wants to kill me — grant that they would come to hallow your name. Grant that they would treasure you above all, and reverence you, and admire you more than anything.
  • Father, grant that my enemy would come under the saving, purifying sway of your kingly rule and that you would exert your kingly power to make my enemy your own loyal subject.
  • Grant, Father, that my enemy would love to do your will the way the angels do it in heaven with all their might, and without reservation, and with the purest motives, and with great joy.
  • Grant, Father, that my enemy would have all the physical resources of food and clothing and shelter and education and health-care and transportation that he needs to fulfill your calling on his life.
  • And forgive my enemy his sins, as you bring him to repentance, and make him a forgiving person, and protect him from overpowering temptations, and from the destructive power of the devil.

Source:  http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/pray-for-those-who-abuse-you

“I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you.” – Revelation 3:20

 

The only people who knock at the door are people trying to sell siding or windows. Oh, and the the Jehovah’s Witnesses who act in perfect faith and bring us news of a way of faith don’t want to hear.

We live in a day of texting, so we can be least obtrusive when we want to be in contact with one another. Even with the next door neighbor, I text before I run over to drop off the mail left in my box by mistake.

We live in a day of email. The daughter of the neighbor down the street is in Girl Scouts and group blasts everyone on the block asking if we want to place an order for cookies.

We live in a day of isolation. I fall prey to it as much as anyone, maybe more. I simply don’t want to bother people who probably don’t want to hear from me anyway. Or it’s the wrong time to make a call.

But God – God doesn’t care about any of that. God doesn’t text or email or even use the cell phone that’s replaced the old yellow wall phone in the kitchen. If I knew it was God standing at the door, I’d wonder why God didn’t just walk in. Jesus walked through walls after his resurrection, I suspect God’s a phenonenal locksmith. God stands at the door and knocks.

Classic-Yellow-Daffodil

Or maybe God makes the first daffodil bloom, or puts buds on the trees. Maybe God causes a freak micro-blizzard followed by five minutes of sunshine followed by another five minutes of micro-blizzard. Maybe God puts us face-to-face with two friends who are planning to have dinner on Wednesday and invite us to join them.

All of the things God does in the paragraph above have happened to me within the last week. I wonder what God’s done to get your attention. I wonder how many of God’s countless little actions have not gotten my attention. Will you pray with me, please?

Almighty Architect,

You are behind every occurrence in every day. You are the healing of the paper cut and the cancer. You are the energy in the battery that keeps the clock on my desk running. You are the love that created the new baby whose photo is on Facebook. You create the world, over and over. You were there before the world began and you’ll last long after it’s gone. And you never seem to tire of it, because you just keep creating and healing and loving. God you are simply amazing!

Forever Forgiver,

I’ve been walking in more than 40 days of a spiritual desert in the midst of an exceptional spring. You’ve been knocking on my door and I’ve neither answered nor knocked at yours. Forgive me.

Loving Lord,

There are too many to mention who need your visit. I’ve been asked to pray for Thea, again her body is cancerous, even with the amazing medications you’ve created that she takes daily. I’ve been asked to pray for Susan who wears a WonderWoman headband while she sits for five hours of chemotherapy. I can only pray for Carol, whose cancer has returned with such a vengeance that I hope she’ll let me visit. A dream from the other night reminds me to pray for Blair. Sally is having suffering with her husband’s negativity. Rose and Holly still struggle to steer clear of alcohol, even though they know they can’t control their drinking. Loving Lord, every one of these and so many more need your energy, your attention, and some kind of billboard from you to continue to have courage in the face of these troubles. And there’s me, too, Lord. I need to stop trying to carry things on my own, even though my shoulders and neck ache because of the weight of these troubles.

Granting Grandother,

You give and you give. And you give and you give. And while I am grateful for some things, even making lists of them, there are myriad occurrences and items that I don’t realize. Thank you for medical technology and medications. Thank you for hope. Thank you for batteries. Thank you for computers and the internet. Thank you for loving me. And loving me and loving me. Thank you for holding me gently always, leaving it up to me to remember that you are.  Lord, I love you so much!

And I pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

To God be all 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!

 

Today’s Stillspeaking Devotional, written by Donna Schaper, is called “Pointsettias”.  As I was reading, the phrase I’m using for the title jumped out at me and I hurried here to paste it and start my notes for my prayer.  And then, to have integrity, I read and reread the entire devotional. 

“Substituting details for depth” …is that when I buy so many Christmas presents for someone instead of spending time with him? …is that when I criticize the grammar and punctuation instead of lavishing in the thoughts behind the writing? …do I decorate for Christmas instead of contemplating the possibility of Jesus coming as a human and changing the world?

What does “prepare for the glory of the Lord by fixing the universe, despite itself” mean? I long to leave the world better than it was when I arrived, yet I have a bit of trouble realizing that sometimes I need to be ‘accepted the things I cannot change’, in Bonhoeffer’s words. I’m good at attempts to improve the large social ills and need to keep working on keeping my side of the street clean in my closest relationships.  Mindfulness, sometimes a difficult practice to keep in place.  

Quinn Caldwell’s All I Really Want has been a wonderful source of contemplation last advent and this. 

Unimaginable One,

I come to humble myself and to worship you, shouting your praises internally while be quiet externally. Your name should echo throughout the universe and I praise you, adore you. You are the almighty, the all mighty, and I am but one of your creations. Yet, you know me inside out. You know my name and speak to me individually through little bursts of inspiration. You are amazing!

Indescribable God

Loving Lord,

Today, I ask that you will heal Steve’s bruises from his fall. He’s feeling better yet plans to stay off the bruised leg today and that’s a little difficult for me to accept (even though I can’t change it). Thank you for the chance that he might work Saturday to make up the hours. 

I ask for the ability to relax my own aching neck and head today. I try to avoid pain medication for fear it will harm my kidneys and/or lose its effectiveness.

SONY DSC

Super-giving Source,

Thank you for advent meditation opportunities like the one I enjoyed last night. Thank you for Susan, who loves me dearly. Thank you for my faith community who are extensions of family for me. Thank you for a brain to think. I love you so much!

And I pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

To God be all glory!

Love always,

Melissa
Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.com

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

Today’s devotional is one of those that helps me. If you haven’t already, I hope you take the time to read it.

Times of trial are definitely times for reflection and determination to change ourselves for the better. I add to Rev. Robinson’s thoughts one more: Try to stop saying “why me?” instead say “of course me, every human – even Jesus – suffer times of trial. Now, what can I do to make something good come from this?”. Focusing on what God would have me do has been the best way for me to again feel God’s power. And when I feel God’s exquisite energy working through me, the importance of the trial melts away.

Still-speaking Sovereign God,
gold ore

You are the creator of all the elements of this earth.

gold oreYou are the fire that allows gold to become closer to pure. You are the ever-present energy that is the force to keep the world spinning. You are my creator. You are amazing!

Loving Lord,

This morning I have all my regular requests that I bring to you. I bring my sister, once again, as she struggles to continue her life here. If it please you, heal her completely and remove these recurring cancers. Make the chemo effective to the point that it totally removes the cells that mutate. Please keep Susan healthy and happy. Bring Bill Gunderson, Jill Thompson, and so many back to complete health, please. I pray of you to heal relationships and bring battling people to realize that they are merely your creations and they should, before all else, love.

Generous, Giving God,

Thank you for blood moons, to watch and revel in the glories of your creation. Thank you for Tom, who rescued me from a truly unattractive yard. Thank you for Helen, who went so far as to give of her bone marrow. Thank you for Susan and all friends who lift me up. Thank you for the world. Thank you for my life. Lord, I love you so much!

And I pray in Jesus’ 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.com

 

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

 

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