Random Ramblings

Reflections on my walk with God


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Trying to pray

The kitchen vent rattles and clatters
The sun burns golden through tightly shut eyes
Seconds tick away
A door slams

I’m trying to pray
The quiet I long for escapes me
Dirty dishes wait patiently
The laundry pile beckons

I am trying to pray
Behind closed eyes
The needs of friends and family
Situations local and global
My mind is wandering

Thoughts of what I have to do today

I’m trying to pray
Thanks to God for the new day
Thanks for prayers answered
Requests for healing
For answers to questions

I’m trying to pray
But there is a list of jobs to be done at home
Surrounded by the family clutter
And the messiness of life

I’m trying to pray
Thankful for my own health
Praying for those not so fortunate

I’m trying to pray
But my mind wanders to the pile of marking
The emails to be answered
Lessons to prepare
Work engulf my thoughts

I’m trying to pray
Resting in God’s presence
Trusting Him with my problems

I am praying that
I will be at peace even as I plunge into the busyness
As I deal with the messiness
Remembering that this it not all that there is


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But Lord…..

You know those times when you are praying, alone or with others….. You or someone starts to pray …. thanking God, praising Him, lifting up a person or situation …….. searching for words to say and then it slips out “..but, Lord ….”

Often it is a cry to God to do something that we think He should, or to remind Him of the details….
The there are the times that we just cannot imagine the answer to the situation, a friend with incurable cancer, a marriage broken beyond repair, a family member so damaged that God seems like a joke, unbelievable horrors in distant lands…. …….

We go through the situation over and over in our minds, we discuss it and try to pray. Our thoughts and prayers go round and round as we try to think of human fixes until we eventually are ready to say “But Lord …you know this situation better than I ever could…. only You know how this person/situation can be ‘fixed’ …and we hand it over to Him.” Our petitions spilling out, an acknowledgement that He knows what we need and when we cannot find the words “the Spirit groans”

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 NASB)


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A prayer for our children

I have assemblies to do at my daughter’s school tomorrow.  While  looking for inspiration in some of the original training materials that I was given by Samaritan’s Purse when I first trained as an OCC presenter I came across this. I will be reading it….

Our Lord, Creator and Sustainer of all our lives,
We come before you today to pray for the children…
Who sneak biscuits before tea-time,
Who erase holes in math’s workbooks,
Who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those who stare at photographs from behind barbed wire,
Who can’t run down the street in a new pair of trainers,
Who were born in places we wouldn’t be caught dead,
Who never go to the pantomime,
Who live their lives in an X-rated world.

We pray for children, who bring us sticky kisses, and a fistful of dandelions,
Who hug us in a hurry, and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those who never get pudding,
Who have no comfort blanket to drag behind them,
Who watch their parents watch them die,
Who can’t find any bread to steal,
Who don’t have any rooms to clean up,
Whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s refrigerator,
And whose monsters are very, very real.

We pray for children who spend all their pocket money before Tuesday,
Who throw tantrums in the supermarket
and pick at their food,
Who like ghost stories,

Who hide dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the bath,
Who get visits from the tooth fairy,
Who don’t like to be kissed outside school,
Who squirm in church and yell down the phone,
Whose tears we sometimes laugh at, and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those, whose nightmares come in the daytime,
Who will eat anything their hands can find,
Who have never seen a dentist,
Who aren’t spoiled by anybody,
Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
Who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried, and for those who must,
For children we do not allow to be born, and for those who are born, but not allowed to truly live,
For those we never give up on, and for those who won’t have a second chance,
For those we smother, and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.
We pray for all these children whom Jesus loves, and especially for those who haven’t heard of Him.

All these prayers we offer in the name of Him who came as a little child, and became poor for our sakes,
Our Lord, Jesus Christ,

Amen.


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Being Random with a Purpose

Starting in 2010 and running into 2011, I had many months of ill-health (may write about that some other time…..), which culminated in me being off work for about 3 months. During this time, I was greatly blessed by having time to spend reading my Bible and just being with God. I journaled some of my thought and when I went back to work tried kept up my study. I have worked part time for years, fitting work around looking after my daughter and other family commitments. Up until last September I always had Fridays off and got into the habit of using my free day to spend an hour or more reading my Bible and writing a journal of sorts.

As part of this discipline, I started sharing verses with my house group family. At first these were typed out letter by letter on my old Nokia. Getting a smart phone meant I was able to get really clever and and copy verses over from my YouVersion Bible. I mentioned this habit to others in church and as they were interested I expanded my group and decided that it should be called “Tricia’s Random Bible Verses” or TRBV … The group of people to whom I regularly text verses now includes house group members, other church family, a gap year youth worker who was with us for a short while, and a couple of work colleagues. One or two of them regularly forward the verses onto several others.

I try to do it every day, but often don’t. If I have missed a few days it acts as a reminder to me that I have not been doing my Bible study and sends me to the Book. The verses may be from my daily readings (when I do them) or from YouVersion verse for the day or from a Twitter friend. Some days I am really stuck – like when I was reading Judges – difficult to friend uplifting material there – on those days I look through some of my favourite verses or just wait for “inspiration”. The idea that the verses are random has slowly been eroded by friends telling me that the verse that I sent on a particular day was “just the one that I needed to hear”. I always preface the verse with a greeting and sometimes a few words to explain my choice. On several occasions I have felt really sure that someone needed a particular verse, and have found out later who it was.

In February I heard something on UCB that really made me think and then shared this with my friends:

“This verse really grabbed my attention today:
Mark 4:39
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

Whatever storms we go through, Jesus can give us calm amidst them”

I also forwarded it to someone who was not on my list at the time. He was speaking to his sister on the phone at the time and shared it with her, and thought no more of it. The next day he was served with notice to attend court the following day. After years of prayer and trying to honour his marriage his wife is divorcing him and the proceedings had been rumbling on but the court appearance was completely unexpected….

More recently I shared the following with my friends:

“Some encouragement from Isaiah xx
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” ( Isaiah 41:10, 13 ESV)”

Two days later I was in the hospital with most of my family waiting whilst the medics treated my Dad for septicaemia. It was touch and go, we nearly lost him. I called on my group and church family for prayer – it was answered. Dad is still far from well, at 85 it will take time and God’s healing, but he is alive and I pray daily for his salvation. At the weekend I looked back on the verses sent out that week and realised that God had given me a really clear message through those words from Isaiah.

Slowly God has opened my eyes to the fact that he is using me to give words of encouragement, strength, peace to my good friends. I am humbled by this and give Him the glory.