On Sorrow and Loss

Karen Harthan

Psalm 46 gives us the opportunity to mediate on God’s kingdom, the command to “be still” comes from a Hebrew word meaning to let go, to be weak, to let go, to release… we surrender in order to know that God is in control, to objectively know the saving power of God in our lives.

 Prayer is not about a set of rules — it’s all about building our relationship with God. It’s about conversation, both expressing yourself and listening.   We can know God by having an intimate relationship with Him. That does not come from knowing about Him, but rather getting to personallyknow Him by what He says, recognizing the things He does in our lives, and by way of His Holy Spirit who comes to guide and comfort us.

 Multi-tasking can be a virtue, but not when it comes to prayer. Sure, you can pray while you’re driving your car (sometimes it’s very necessary!), but don’t let that be the only time you pray. You can talk to a friend while you’re driving, but if they’re really a close friend, you will find time to spend with them when you can just talk and share the joys of having a close friend. It’s the same thing with God.

Synod resource or media centers have numerous books and videos to help you study prayer and build your relationship with God.  These resources are as varied and unique as each of us … perhaps you would like to study body-centered prayer  with a DVD guided study; “Praying With The Body – Bringing the Psalms to Life” from Paraclete Press or perhaps learn 18 simple movements similar to tai chi, in “Shibashi” from the ELCA.   Perhaps – “Meeting God in Prayer” from Luther Productions, “The Four Acts of Prayer” from Walt Wangerin or a study of  “The Lord’s Prayer – Entering into God’s Country” with Walter Wangerin will make your heart beat faster.  Or how about a study by Max Lucado, “Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?” or Jim Cymbala, “When God’s People Pray: Six Sessions on the Transforming Power of Prayer”.  What whets your appetite?   No matter the topic or format that suits you,  it can be found at your resource or media center.  Call, email, fax or stop in — just go find your favorites and connect with God!

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”  (1 Corinthians 12: 4 – 7)

“We call you… we wait … be near O God”  The benefits of prayer are experienced in our daily life as we strengthen our abilities to listen to the promptings of the Spirit and respond accordingly … as we are moved to … “the God in us serving the God in others”.