Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lenten Thoughts 3

Why Would Jesus Say That?

Let it be done for you according to your faith. Matthew 8:13

Jesus sends away the centurion, who trusted Jesus’ ability to heal his servant, with the words “Let it be done for you according to your faith” In this case, the centurion’s trust was rewarded with a happy outcome. But it doesn’t always happen that way, does it?

No amount of faith will protect you against your own death or the death of loved ones. No amount of faith protects anyone fro the effects of war, violence, natural disaster, or accident. So, when I pray for or with those who are ill, I reflect our hopes and desires but try not to pray as if we can make things turn out the way we want.

Still, prayer matters. But how? We need to find new ways of speaking of God, prayer, and faith. We need to tell real stories of how healing and grace touch our lives, of how divine presence has touched us through hour prayers or the prayers of others.

Faith is not false certainty or the expectation of special guarantees. I believe that faith is an openness of the heart. Like flowers opening to the sun, we can let divine mystery, compassion, and wisdom infuse us, enliven us, transform us. In a difficult time I remember mystery and compassion reaching me through music, nature, and human kindness. I let go of my agenda, of my desire to control things, and cast myself on a divine mercy I sought, even without understanding.

No matter what your circumstances, you can find inner healing as you live more fully in the light—in the Spirit of abundant life, love and joy. Trust to the deeper healing, rather than seeking quick fixes.

Who knows how Holy Mystery and Wholly Love might work in us and through us to heal and renew broken bodies, broken hearts, and broken places? You cannot control or manipulate outcomes. At the same time, you cannot set limits on what is possible, or on the flow of healing energy that gives breath to your prayer.

The above comes from the United Church of Canada Lenten study... by Jane Doull

Please send your comments, your own experiences and ideas about prayer.

Take a few moments daily to quietly remember those whose needs and difficulties you know. Rather than praying for a specific outcome, trust these persons or situations to the compassion and wisdom of God. Let yourself sit or stand quietly, opening yourself to that compassion and wisdom.

Send your answers or other thoughts to me by email or the comment area below where they will be available to everyone. There are no wrong answers.

Peace, Rev. Arty Miller