Aug 192017
God of our times, our years, our days.
     You are the God of our work,
      of our rest,
      of our weariness.
Our times are in your hands. We come to you now
     in our strength and in our weakness,
     in our hope and in our despair,
     in our buoyancy and in our disease.
We come to pray for ourselves and for all like us
     who seek and yearn for life anew with you and from you and for you
We pray to you this day, for ourselves and others like us in our greed.
     We are among those who want more,
          more money, more power, more piety, more sex,
          more influence, more doctrine, more notice, more members,
          more students, more morality, more learning, more shoes.
     Be for us enough and more than enough,
     for we know about your self-giving generosity.
We pray to you this day, for ourselves and others like us in our disconsolation.
     We are not far removed from those without,
          without love, without home, without hope,
          without job, without health care.
     We are close enough to vision those who must
          check discarded butts to see if there is one more puff,
          who must rummage and scavenge for food,
          for their hungers are close to ours.
     Be among us the God who fills the hungry with good things,
          and sends the rich away empty.
We pray to you this day, for ourselves and others like us who are genuinely good people,
     who meditate on your Torah day and night,
     who are propelled by and for your best causes,
     who are on the right side of every issue,
     who wear ourselves out in obedience to you,
          and sometimes wear others out with our good intentions.
     Be among us ultimate enough
          to make our passions penultimate,
          valid but less than crucial.
We are your people. We wait for you to be more visibly and palpably our God.
So we pray with our mothers and fathers, “Come, Lord Jesus.”
We wait for your coming with all the graciousness we can muster.
Walter Brueggemann 

  8 Responses to “Prayer & Praise”

  1. this will be a week of daily prayer for Michael, for the surgery scheduled on Friday
    joining with the pray-ers here for God’s hand to never leave His son Michael thru this and for a quiet and healing time of recovery in the days following…

  2. Yes, let us all join together in fervent petition for our friend and brother.

  3. Joining in prayer for Michael.

  4. Get ready for a long post.

    Recently I found myself involved in an extended family situation via contact with a niece by marriage. A very broken family with a lot of hurt, etc.

    This cross country niece (almost 30 years old) began to pepper me with questions about whether or not I knew anything about potential sexual abuse in her history.

    I assured her I had not several times during the inquiry. She said she suspected someone had but didn’t know who. I encouraged her to seek a professional licensed counselor who could help her process the situation along with an emphasis towards family reconciliation.

    Next thing I know, I’m in the middle of a firestorm the next day. She made a very accusatory statement on Facebook saying she remembered her father had drugged her and raped her several times as a teen!

    All I responded to initially on the posting was that I was sorry to read that and was praying for her to have wisdom on how to handle the situation. Neither affirming or denying the accusations. I subsequently asked her to take down the post until further corroboration could be established. She refused.

    Sexual abuse charges must be taken seriously, I understand that. However, I felt like the way she was handling it was wrong after I got my bearings.

    Next thing I know I’m being viciously attacked by text and phone from the other siblings as being an instigator and for encouraging a “crazy person” to go public.

    Far from the truth…

    The situation is horrible. A proverbial mess.

    I subsequently did some reading on this subject. Specifically, the area of False Memory Syndrome.

    Here is a quote from their website:

    …”Streiker advises that friends of the family, and non-accused siblings, have important roles to play. Their task is to make consistent efforts to establish and maintain contact with the accusing child, to develop his or her trust, and to create opportunities for dialogue. Obviously, they too should avoid arguing with the estranged family member.

    Equally obviously, guilt-tripping (“Do you know what you’re doing to us? How can you do this to us?”) and insults (“How can you be so stupid?”) seldom lead to reconciliation.”

    I began dialogue with a close friend who is a licensed counselor and chaplain. During our emailing back and forth, I forwarded that pull quote from above.

    His response was so profound, I thought I would share it here. It is applicable on so many levels, in my opinion anyways.

    “That’s good stuff. I keep thinking of ‘family systems theory’. We ‘surveyed’ it at school and in chaplain training. The general idea goes like this. Families are systems. All actions are influenced by all members of the system. Often a system needs stress release and that will usually manifest in the form of a black sheep (a system member). In psychological terms, the black sheep is called the ‘Identified Patient’ (ID). The idea is that the black sheep is the one the rest unite against. The ID is the cause and source of most trouble (so says the other system members). But, in actuality, the black sheep has their ‘breakdowns’ because of bearing the stress of the entire system; they are the ‘symptom bearer’. And, it is often the ‘strongest system member’ who bears this stress (that is surprising but apparently true). Weaker members would fail carrying all this stress. The black sheep often, unknowingly, tolerates the stress to maintain system balance, i.e., help keep the system together.

    The bottom line is this. When all members of a system gang up on one member, we should know right away that there are system problems and the problem may not originate with the Identified Patient. For example. Little Johnny who is always in fights at school and failing may not be a true problem child. The massive breakdown in the family unit at home (broken marriages, live-ins, drugs, etc, etc) may be manifesting in the one person who is trying (but unknowingly) to keep the system together – little Johnny.

    The divisiveness and blame, as you noted below, will never cure anything either from a natural or spiritual perspective. Plus, the devil’s aim is to kill, steal and destroy (chaos and divide). It’s difficult to believe that the Identified Patient, the youngest child in this case, is the sole blame for opening the door to this.

    I don’t think we can know the exact vehicle that is leading to this, without some Spiritual Gifting or extensive professional counseling help but we can know that the whole system is part of it. Some family therapist will not even talk to you one time unless the entire family shows up; they only work with systems, not individuals. But, ###### may need to work with an individual counselor to clarify this accusation. As you said, this kind of accusation takes it to a whole new level.

    Stay safe. That system, in order to preserve itself, could turn on you in order to relieve this new stress and return itself back to an old order (where life is at peace with a manageable scapegoat … But, I have a feeling, the Lord may have stuck his big nose into this family’s dynamics and if so, it isn’t going away).”

  5. Scooter J, the dynamic of a family can be very hard to detangle, especially in these times… we need to add our families to the prayer list here, perhaps, because Satan does aim to “kill, steal and destroy” any and all good – amen

  6. remember in prayer

    Victor- chronic back pain

    Michael – gull bladder surgery on 25th, gull bladder stones and kidney stones.

    Captain Kevin – Hi Friends, I’m really struggling with pain, fatigue, and vertigo right now. I have to be back to work officially in 12 days, and have so much to do to get ready for the new school year, but it’s difficult to focus on those tasks. Maybe God could send me a secretary/massage therapist/physical therapist/chiropractor.

    JoelG – If you could pray for the guys at The Home in downtown Portland. That they know they are loved by our Lord beyond comprehension.

    Scooter Jones- son is not doing well

    Lurkie Loo -I have a dear friend who was just diagnosed on Valentine’s day with inoperable Stage 4 glioblastoma (brain cancer). She is 44.

    surfer51 (david) “stage four” prostate cancer.

    John 20:29 – cousin Jerry has prostate cancer

    Erunner- mom has blocked arteries

    Michael- upcoming surgery, tumor on his thyroid and spot on his lung, very ill,

    Lennea- sister salvation and cancer My sister has asked me to not contact her anymore as I brought her information about a pending lawsuit against her (from the school district she teaches in). I pray that she would draw near to the Lord and confess her own sins.

    filbertz – nephew’s 16-year-old son who evidently accidentally shot himself new year’s eve, still in pain over drew’s death.

    JD – young step nephew shot himself in the head the day after Christmas 2016.

    Erunner- wife RA

    Paige- 4 boys to be pleasing to God

    Captain kevin – new direction for he and his wife, work load, health

    Dan -new direction for he and wife, looking for a new church

    UnCCed- still hurting over treatment from her church

    Luisa- hurt by church

    the least of these-hurt by church

    Disillusioned-hurt by church

    Bart- hurt by church

  7. Scooter Jones, sorry you got pulled into this mess with your cousin. Will be praying for you and for her and family.

    I was never a problem child, always the good one….but was the stress holder……I broke but am getting fixed a little at a time…

  8. neighbor called to alert us to a wildfire… turned out this one is not in our canyon and i so thank God

    strangely, all three of my daughters are being hit with big time challenges regarding work and civic participation that will make their fall and winter very stretched and stressful… prayer cover for them would be so appreciated…

    glad that i won’t be concentrating on an evacuation alert for the next few days and my focua will be praying for Michael’s surgery and recovery

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