Prayer Prompts and Breath Prayers Based on Mark 10 and 11

summer in the scriptures- Mark (6)
Prayer Prompts based on Mark 10

Use one or more of the following prompts as you pray. Just finish the sentence again and again or use it as a springboard for your prayers. Share your prayer in the comments. What prayer prompt would you write? Share that as well.

Jesus, I confess my hard-heartedness concerning…

Jesus, soften my heart towards…

Jesus, forgive me for making it hard for ____________ to get to you

Jesus, help me receive and bless…

Jesus, help me leave ___________ so I can follow you fully.

Jesus, please save _______. All things are possible for you.

Jesus, I confess my misplaced priorities…

Jesus, lead me into humble service and sacrifice.

Jesus, hear my cry…

Jesus, let me see…

Breath Prayers Based on Mark 11:20-25
The withered fig tree
Read Mark 11:20-25. Silently pray the phrase after IN on your breath in. Then silently pray the phrase after OUT on your breath out. Take your time. Breathe deeply. Choose one, a few, or all of them as is most helpful to you. ⁠

I’m new to breath prayers. Maybe you are, too. This practice helps me when things become overwhelming, when I wake up in the middle of the night, or when I’m having trouble hearing God.⁠ How do breath prayers help you?

IN: Jesus,
OUT: Keep me faithful and fruitful

IN: Have faith in God
OUT: breath out in silence

IN: Jesus,
OUT: heal the doubt in my heart

IN: I believe
OUT: Help my unbelief

IN: Jesus, I forgive
OUT: speak a name or situation on the breath out

IN: Heavenly Father
OUT: Forgive me

Share a breath prayer you’ve written


For the next few months, I’m reading a chapter from the Gospels each day. This is part of the Summer in the Scriptures reading plan sponsored by the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. Click Here for the reading plan.

You’re most welcome to read along and to join the Facebook discussion group, Summer in the Scriptures. You don’t need to be a Methodist or attend a Methodist church. All are welcome and all means all.

As part of the Facebook group, I’ve been supplying prayers based on the day’s reading. Feel free to post your prayers and observations based on the readings here or there as well.

May the grace of the Gospels, the challenge, and the call, inspire us to great faith and great good works in Jesus’ name. – Lisa <

Prayer Prompts and Breath Prayers based on Mark 10-11
© 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Sermon Recording: Camels, Needles and Who Shall be Saved (Mark 10:17-27; 1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Needle Gate, Camel Pose, Needle and Thread

Needle Gate, Camel Pose, Needle, and Thread

Message: Camels, Needles and Who Shall Be Saved
Scriptures: Mark 10:17-27; 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Offered 4/19/15 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

I’m indebted to my friend Martha Mackey for sharing with me how the camel pose in yoga opened this passage of Scripture for her.
camel pose 1-4

Mark 10:17-27 NRSV
17 As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments:’You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'” 20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”

1 Timothy 6:17-19
17 As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, 19 thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.

Dear God, I am so afraid to open my clenched fists! Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to? Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands? Please help me to gradually open my hands and to discover that I am not what I own, but what you want to give me. And what you want to give me is love, unconditional, everlasting love. Amen. – Henri Nouwen

A reflection on this passage by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled Who Can Be Saved?

Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition
I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by you or laid aside for you,
Exalted for you or brought low for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
You are mine, and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Mark Day 10: Rich Young Ruler

If you know the name of this work and/or the artist, please let me know so I can give the person credit.

Gospel of Mark Reading Plan
Day 10 Reading: Mark 10

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
– Mark 10:23 (NIV)

Dear God,
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists! Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to? Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands? Please help me to gradually open my hands and to discover that I am not what I own, but what you want to give me. And what you want to give me is love, unconditional, everlasting love. Amen. – Henri Nouwen

Mark 10:17-31 A godly man approaches Jesus, asking him what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus, moved by the man’s humility and sincerity, looks deeply into his heart. Only one thing stands between him and a saving faith, the man’s dedication to his wealth. Jesus instructs him how to free himself of this idol: 1) sell everything, 2) give it away to the poor, and 3) follow him. The man leaves for home with a heavy heart. He chooses his wealth over God. Jesus reminds the disciples how difficult it will be for the wealthy to know their need of God and to trust God more than their money and possessions.

The timing of this story seems especially profound, given the state of the economy and the start of annual retail circus leading up to Christmas. Will those who are no longer financially secure now seek God differently? Will we express our love to family and friends differently this year? Could the stripping away of false financial security be used of God to save us?

It’s not addition that makes one holy, but subtraction: stripping the illusions, letting go of the pretense, exposing the false self, breaking open the heart and the understanding, not taking my private self too seriously. Conversion is more about unlearning than learning. – Richard Rohr

Saving faith places God first, before all other things. What am I placing first in my life?
My family? My work? My comfort? My agenda? My…

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

There are three conversions necessary:
the conversion of the heart, mind, and the purse.
-Martin Luther

Jesus, you love us enough to tell us the truth. We cannot serve two masters. Only one will have our ultimate trust and loyalty. We are far more affluent than we care to admit, especially when we consider global economies. We place our trust in checking accounts, investments, and insurance far more easily than we place our trust in you. The wealth of this world will come and go. You alone are steadfast. We work hard to be prepared, to be secure, yet you alone can save us in the end. Forgive us our shortsightedness and our idolatry. Help us to place our trust and loyalty completely in you. Amen.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes provides two terrific blog posts on this passage. Click Here for The One Thing (Mark 10:22) and click here for Who Can Be Saved (Mark 10:17-27).

For a wonderful blog post by Liz Curtis Higgs on this same scripture, click here

For a devotion containing comments on the problems surrounding the Gospel of Health and Wealth, click here

For more quotes on money and its use, click here or click here

For more information on the Gospel of Mark Reading Plan, click here

For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Welcoming Children and Approaching Life Like a Child

Free Bird by Debbie Gonville Miller

Free Bird by Debbie Gonville Miller

Matthew 18:4 (NRSV)
Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Oh, for the attitude of a five-year-old! That simple uncluttered passion for living that can’t wait for tomorrow. A philosophy of life the reads, ‘Play hard, laugh hard, and leave the worries to your father.’ A bottomless well of optimism flooded by a perpetual spring of faith. Is it any wonder Jesus said we must have the heart of a child before we can enter the kingdom of heaven?
Max Lucado

I heard recently that a typical small child smiles three hundred times a day and typical old men smile three times a day in our culture. What has happened between six and sixty? Whatever it is, it tells me that religion is not doing its job very well.
– Richard Rohr

Whoever wants to be first
must be last of all and servant of all.
                   —Mark 9.35

Humility Prayer by Steve Garnaas-Holmes
God, grant me the courage
to go without armor
or the privilege of being right.
Give me the humility
to renounce my imagined rank,
and take the lowest place.
Give me the heart to love without power
and serve without status,
to be last and not first,
a child in a world of big people.

God, grant me
the faith to trust my belovedness,
the wisdom to rely on your Spirit’s power,
the humility to serve,
and the courage to love.

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. – G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Chew quietly your sweet sugarcane God-Love, and stay playfully childish.
Your face will turn rosy with illumination like the redbud flowers.

Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Mark 9:36-37 (NRSV)
Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

Click here and Click here to read two different reflections entitled As a Little Child, by Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Kindness to children, love for children, goodness to children —
these are the only investments that never fail.- Henry David Thoreau

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It is beyond dispute that a child, even before it begins to write the alphabet and gathers worldly knowledge, should know what the soul is, what truth is, what love is and what forces are hidden in the soul. It should be the essence of true education that every child learns this and in the struggle of life be able more readily to overcome hatred by love, falsehood by truth and violence by taking suffering on itself. -Gandhi

Mark 10:15
Whoever does not receive the reign of God as a little child will never enter it.

As A Child by Steve Garnaas Holmes
Not as: cute, innocent, pure.
More like: vulnerable, at risk,
powerless, weak and unsure,
easily overlooked,
worth little to the Empire
(will you be this?)
last to be counted,
first to be hurt.

As a child, awkward, still learning,
always a beginner,
necessarily open,
dependent, reaching upward,
needing to be led,
willing to be carried in arms.

As a child, uncomprehending
of what it has taken
to save you.

As a child, beloved
without your having
made yourself so,
fiercely beloved.

For more information on the art, scripture translations and the use of this post in other settings, please leave a comment