"Holy One, grant me the grace to pray and meditate on behalf of my congregation. I pray for Gwen, Helena, Iain, Irene, Joy, Joyce, Bud, Win, Linda, Brian, Lynn, Rick, Rita, Wendy, Terry, Bob, Dawn, David, Chloe, Mimi, Wayne, Syd, Karen, Grace, Joan, Ross, Sandra, Jim, Ann, Goomti, Bobby, Jo-Ann, Betty, Beth, Beth, Marie, Bart, Megan, Jess, Margaret, Niki, Marj, Brian, Harvey, and so many, many more. May we learn patience, tolerance, empathy, compassion and gentleness. May we abstain from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, greed, self-centeredness, and arrogance. May we know and follow Jesus more closely: seeking justice, loving kindness and walking humbly."
4 Rejoice* in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.* 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1) "...Rejoice in the Lord always;" "...rejoice;" "...let your gentleness be known;" "...The Lord is near;" "...do not worry about anything;" "...let your requests be made known to God;" "...guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus;"
2) I can find a dozen phrases in here that would be wonderful breathprayers: "Rejoice... again I will say, rejoice;" "Let your gentleness be known;" "Rejoice... the Lord is near;" "Rejoice... do not worry;" "prayer... and supplication;" "The peace of God... guard your hearts;" "Be made known... in Christ Jesus." It is always like that when Paul waxes poetic. Words to simply sit in and soak up. "Again... I say, rejoice." I remember when I was coming out of the closet and grieving deeply, fearful of how my family was going to respond. I printed out the word "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice!" and posted them all over my kitchen in the "dungeon" of the VST building on Iona Drive. I needed the constant reminder that what felt like doom, was actually the opening of a door. I just watched a video that's going about Facebook in which Will Smith talks about skydiving and says, the best things in life are on the other side of sheer terror. I know that. I know it in my bones.
3) What is the invitation in all this? to embrace the fear. to trust that fear is a proclamation that something new is happening. to remember that fear and excited anticipation are sometimes hard to tell apart. to rejoice in what is and stop fretting over what isn't.
"Holy One, guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus."
Breathprayer: "Rejoice... let your gentleness be known."