Friday, December 30, 2011

Look Back

Dear God,

Remembering our past can be difficult, especially when we have memories of broken dreams, painful ordeals and unresolved conflicts. Help us to remember that in the midst of the darkness there was also the light of your grace. The moments when life seemed to offer nothing became occasions of discovering that you are everything.

When we look back today, we can see you working behind the scenes transforming our difficult moments into a means of grace. Thank God, weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning!

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sue Burton

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Going Deep

“All night all day angels watching over me my Lord!”

Hope of my present and future, I thank you for my experiences today. In the morning I praise you for new mercies and in the evening I thank you for grace. Thank you for the high positive moments and thank you for standing with me as storms cloud gathered. I can't help but thank you for your presence and care in the deepest struggles of my life.

May the experiences of today produce in me the deepening of my faith, strengthening of my love and affirmation of my Divine purpose. Thank you for every good and perfect gift and the favor you shared that was so undeserved.

In the name of Jesus, grant me perfect peace and perfect rest tonight, Amen.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Knock Knock

Eternal Spirit, come knock on the door and give us grace to open. Come to us in stimulating thoughts, clear insights, and illumined faith, in moving gratitude that makes us humble, in penitence that cleanses us, in a sense of vocation, that challenges us. Come to us in a fresh vision of Christ, his grace and mercy, his call to our consciences, and his appeal to our strength.

Let the light shine on all of us today, making plain some answers to our questions, some assurance for our doubts, some strength for our weakness, some vision for our duty, and may we be the more valiant and triumphant spirits because we have worshipped, in the Spirit of Christ, Amen.

Harry Emerson Fosdick

Monday, December 26, 2011

We're On Our Way

Prepare us Lord to begin a new year. Lead us to do those things that help our hearts and minds to be receptive to a fresh start.


We will begin by discarding thoughts, attitudes, and habits that are not compatible with an abundant, beautiful and excellent life.

We turn away from negative people, places and things and turn towards that which is positive and uplifting.

We let go of whatever caused past discouragement, disappointment, or disagreement.

We reach for those things that encourage, support and nourish my body, mind and spirit.

We stand boldly on your Word that tells us you shall do a new things, bring water to parched places and cause the wilderness to bloom.

We are open and receptive to new ideas, activities and relationships. We are on our way to a new year!

In Jesus name, I pray, Amen


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Take The Journey

In times of instant travel, the notion of “a journey” may lose its symbolic significance. Yet each of us knows that whenever we have an experience; times of transition in our lives, whether they be individual transitions or transitions in our families or communities, no instant arrival at a new way of looking, knowing, valuing, or believing is possible. Internal and external conflicts signal that the old ways of understanding and making sense of our lives no longer hold us together. We have indeed set out, but we have yet to arrive at the place of our destiny.

T.S. Eliot writes, “Emptied, the Magi come to the place where the star reappears brighter than before. Not a moment too soon, the Magi entered into the stable and “they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage.” (Matt. 2:11) The desert or (wilderness) journey prepared them for this moment of seeing, of encountering the Holy Mystery of God in the very midst of human experience. Indeed, the Magi could not grasp themselves to be grasped by the Holy Mystery revealed in this moment. Nevertheless, they worshiped the one they had been led to find and they found joy.

In this season, let not the fear of the disruption of our normal lives cause us to miss an opportunity to gain a deeper connection with our greater self and find the joy that rest in us when we follow the our star. Fear attempts to distract us and hinder us from arriving at the place where the star will lead us. Remember, at the end of that journey lies our destiny and no matter how dark the journey, when we arrive, we will be illuminated.

Rev. Nigel Felder, Louisville, Kentucky

O Lord, help us not to be too lazy to take the journey to participate in kingdom events. Prepare us to bring the necessary gifts to honor you and demonstrate our love. In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Silent Holy Nights

Nights are rarely silent and holy in too many places in the world.

Let us pray:
Lord, help us to carry a little bit of silence within us as we meet the busy rush of crowded streets, malls and agendas, tinkling brass and sounding cymbals. Help us to enter into the chaos with your silence to encourage others to be still and know that you are God. Help us to be holy because you are holy in thought, word, and deed. Help us to have extra calm so that wars and worries won’t capture us today.

And when the night comes, may we sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace. Amen.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Know, Love and Praise

Grant to me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, to love what I ought to love, to praise what delights thee most, to value what is precious in thy sight, to hate what is offensive to Thee. Do not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes, nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant men; but to discern with true judgment between things visible and spiritual, and above all things to inquire what is the good pleasure of thy will.

Prayer of Thomas a Kempis

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's What You Pray

I said to the Lord this morning,
O God, yet another phone call about tragedy, loss, poor prognosis, emergency surgery, tumors, pain and suffering. What can I say?

There is yet another sound bite of misfortune and misspent opportunities. What can I say?

There are yet too many crises in too many places with too many people we care about and a multitude of people we do not know. What can I say?

God said to me, Daughter, it’s not what you say it is what you pray.

So, I prayed, God of grace and glory, hear the cries of your people. Where healing is needed, dispense it now, in Jesus name, where help is needed, give it now in the name of Jesus. Where shelter is needed, provide now in the name of Jesus, and where there is a need for sustenance, supply it now, in the name of Jesus.

In the name of Jesus, let your healing waters flow, let your love abide and your mercy endure forever in this Advent season. Amen.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Staying Focused

"Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, watching at the posts of my door."

Proverbs 8:34 KJV

Have you ever looked up at the sky and watched the clouds move from one place to another? Watching the clouds assemble into figures that seem to be recognizable can cause you to become focused on the beauty of God’s glory.

In our daily lives, we rely on our eyes to help us see and focus on the glory of God. Have you ever taken your eyes off of God? Have you allowed your focus to be consumed by hatred, jealousy, bitterness, prejudice, gossip, malice, or worldly things?

Examine yourself today and see when you have taken your focus off God’s divine way as you progressed throughout your day. Staying focused takes discipline. If we keep our focus on God, we will be able to see how God is moving the clouds out of our lives, clearing our vision so we will be able to see and focus on the glory of God and his righteousness.

Let us pray:

Lord, when we are consumed by our daily events that we cannot see you clearly, please help us to regain our focus on you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Rev. Sheilah Y. Robinson,

Itinerant Elder

Quinn Chapel AMEC, Louisville, KY

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Do Unto Who?

A friend of mine took her life in her hands and braved the holiday traffic to shop at a big mall. She said once she got off the interstate at the mall exit, it took 30 minutes to get to the entrance and another 30 minutes to find a parking space. Words like crazy, insane and I-will-never-do-this-again-on-a-Saturday ran through her mind.

It was all worth it. She was going to shop for a senior who lived next door to her. The senior had mobility challenges and mall shopping was like walking an obstacle course. The trip was long but the list was short. In the end, my friend felt like she honored God’s call to serve with more than pious gestures or empty words building community with those around her.

Let us pray:

Fountain of life, we thank you for the gift of another day. Forgive us of our sins of omission –the things we didn’t do and should have done. Forgive us for the sins of commission- the sins we do that so easily beset us.

Help us today to offer thanks to you, not in pious gestures or empty words but by living faithful to your call to serve. Enable us to bear the fruit of thankfulness by serving others. Empower us to reach beyond our comfort zones to build community with those around us. Help us to willingly accept the love and friendship of others.

We know that you are with us and for us everyday. In Jesus name, we offer this prayer, Amen

Monday, December 12, 2011

Restart The Vision

“Come, Thou long expected Jesus 
Born to set Thy people free;
 From our fears and sins release us,
 Let us find our rest in Thee.”

Charles Wesley

God of promises made and promises kept come again into our hearts. Come in such a way that our fears do not stand a chance against faith. Come, thou long expected Jesus in a way we need the most. Help us rejoice again for divinity clothed in human flesh.

Open our hearts so that we will continue to rescue the lost, strengthen the weak and support your call to this ministry of reconciliation.

Awaken old discarded dreams, restart the vision and reset the goals for the coming new year. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Shake It Off!

"And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”

Romans 13:11

Amazing God, thank you for this Advent season where we can once again engage in activities of spiritual preparation. It is exciting to hear the call to draw closer to a love that gave the ultimate sacrificial gift so that we can enjoy by faith through grace eternal life. Thank you for this season where we can stir up the gifts that are within us to apply them according to your will. Thank you for these days where we can shake off a lethargic faith that has been lulled to sleep by delays and disappointments.

Help us to emerge from slumber and sleep to shake off the apathy that keep us disengage from the things of God. We know what we do matters to you, O Lord, and to those we live and work with. Therefore, in Jesus name help us to keep a spiritual vigilance over our words and deeds, as we are no longer children of the darkness but children of light. Amen.


Thursday, December 8, 2011


Beloved, it’s hard to believe but there are many among us who have a hard time receiving. Give them a compliment and they may tell you it is so undeserved. Give them a helping hand and they will try to do it on their own. Give them a break and they will doubt your motives. Give them the love they are looking for and they will deny its authenticity.

Let us pray:

Lord, help us to receive as much as we love to give this season. Help us to receive the good and perfect gifts that come from your hand. Help us to receive the answers we have been awaiting for with joy and gladness. Help us to receive forgiveness of our sins, deliverance from our infirmities and morning mercies as we continually give our lives to you.

Now Lord, help us to tell the testimony of how You did the impossible, fixed what was broken, solved what was problematic, straightened what was disfigured, and restored what had been taken away. In Jesus name, Amen.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Divine Protection

"The Lord is your protection; you have made God Most High your place of safety. Nothing bad will happen to you; no disaster will come to your home. He has put his angels in charge of you to watch over you wherever you go.."

Psalm 91: 9-11 NCV

My first pastoral charge was 99.9 miles toward West Tennessee. My two children traveled with me at all time.

On one occasion following a late afternoon program, we started back to Nashville on State Highway 100. Since it was getting late I decided to take a road that would lead us to the interstate. The road I chose was a narrow rural highway with many curves and no lights.

Without warning, a group of fawns (baby deer) appeared on the highway in front of us and went into the field on the right side of the road. The children and I were already afraid because of the late hour, dark road, and the presence of the fawns. I didn’t strike the fawns and we made it back to Nashville safely.

I am reminded that the Lord is with us at all times. He is our shield and protector. The Psalmist says that God is our protector if we dwell in him and believe in him. God will send ministering angels to guard us in all of our ways.

Let us pray:

God, may you always be our divine protector in all situations of our lives. Let us continue to lean and rely on you, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Rev. Pattie Hardimon

Itinerant Elder, Tennessee Annual Conference

Monday, December 5, 2011

God With Us!

Have you ever been in God's presence and hardly noticed it? Have you ever suddenly realized that God had been with you long before you knew God was there?

The good news of Jacob's story is not simply that there was a stairway to heaven or that Jacob was a special kind of man despite his deceitful ways. The good news is that God comes into our lives even when we don’t deserve God’s presence. For surely the Lord entertains us and we do not even know it.

God will surprise us by turning our greatest afflictions into sources of strength and healing. God will surprise us by converting moments of pain into stripes that heal. God will surprise us by changing a time of death into an eternity of glorious life. Yes, God is in our lives, even when we do not know it.

“When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

Genesis 28:16

Let us pray:

Lord God, help us to know that you are here to bless and heal, comfort and guide, change and transform, and help and reassure us. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor, III,

Editor The Christian Recorder

AME Church


Today, do not allow the crush and crises of a hectic holiday season blind you to the presence of God in your life. God is with us!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Come Now, Again!

What are your Advent memories? I remember as a child that December seemed to be the longest month of the year. Christmas Day couldn’t come fast enough. I remember that we celebrated the Lord’s birthday with lots of food, fun and family. It wasn’t MY birthday but I got lots of gifts.

Here is something to pray about today. What are you going to give to Jesus as a birthday gift this year?

Let us pray:

“Come thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.”

Charles Wesley, 1744

Hymn: Come Thou Long-Expect Jesus

Dear Lord,

There is a longing in our hearts for the more you have to give us. The more you give cannot be bought in a store or purchased on the Internet. It is Your love, salvation, peace, joy and hope that we long to receive.

Come and clean out the closet of our hearts where we have hung bitter feelings and unpleasant memories. Come into the living room of our spirits, which has been littered with disappointments. Come into the dining room of our minds, which has been set with complacency and apathy.

Come thou long-expected Jesus and set us free from all of our sins, doubts and fears. Come and dwell with us again. We will give you our souls for saving, our sins for forgiving, our minds for renewing, our hearts for cleansing and our service to you now and forever more. Amen.


Thursday, December 1, 2011


It's Advent! This is the four-week season to prepare us spiritually for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The sounds of Christmas will be everywhere. Carols will be sung in church, heard on the radio and while shopping in over crowded malls.

The sound of Advent is the sound of prayer, fasting, study, meditation and worship that seeks the face of God. The sound of Advent is a longing for God to appear. It is the anticipation of the arrival of God's promise and at the same time looking beyond what we can see.

This is the time of year when I seek to increase my prayer time. I listen intently to the voice of God seeking instruction for the celebration preparation as well as guidance for the coming new year.

Advent is more than which grinch will try to steal Christmas or how many sugarplums should be dancing in our heads. It is a concerted seeking season to dig into the Word of God, increase prayer time, worship abundantly and practice authentically your Spiritual Disciplines.

Start with Praycation, a companion for those who want to go deeper in Christ and practice spiritual disciplines, now through Christmas. Stay with Praycation in the coming new year to grow stronger in the things of God. Many people will watch faithfully a favorite television show, football or basketball game. It only takes a minute to stick with Praycation daily. Make it a part of the regular devotions. Seleh: stop here before moving forward!


“ Be not afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all people; …”

Luke 2:10

Let us pray:

Behold! Lord you have our undivided attention. We confess that we have been so busy with the minutia of life that we failed to hear again the good news you have for us all. We have been so caught up in black Fridays and cyber Mondays that we missed the good news about our Christ being born again in our hearts.

Lord we want to see what matters to you in this Advent season not what merely matters to our financial status. Open our eyes to see beyond the natural to behold the wonder of the good news you still have for us. Prepare our hearts to anticipate the gift of the Christ child. Cultivate within us a deeper spiritual attentiveness so we yearn to learn to love you more than decking the halls. In Jesus name, amen.