Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience,
for to wait is often harder than to work. – Peter Marshall
Selection from Worship in the Light of the Cross by John Indermar
The women in Luke [23:55-56] actively engage in the immediate aftermath of crucifixion. They follow to see where the body has been taken. They prepare spices and ointments for anointing the corpse. But instead of pressing ahead in a rush to get things done ASAP, they stop. They keep the sabbath. In Luke’s terms, they rest. Luke’s word Heschazo carries dual meanings of “to keep quiet” and “to cease from labor.” The women keep Saturday’s vigil in stillness and quietness.
Reflection on Waiting by Henri J. M. Nouwen
To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God molds us according to God’s love and not according to our fear. The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control.
Prayer for Holy Saturday by Lisa Degrenia
Lord of the Sabbath, Lord of Hosts,
There are so many things we do not understand
Help us to trust you
even when the situation is desperate and out of control
Help us to follow you
even when the way unclear
Help us to wait and rest
even when every bit of us screams to act
Build in us a faith that perseveres
Even when we can’t see you
Or feel you near
Your power and goodness are never diminished
Morning is coming
What would it be like to turn toward Jesus right now and place everything into His healing hands? All you are planning and working for. All you are feeling and longing for. All that weighs heavy upon you – for yourself, those you know, and our weary world.
God is near. God is good. God is strong to save. Let us pray…
Jesus, my Light, my Savior
Breaker of Chains
Bringer of Grace and Hope
I’ve been carrying this by myself
I hear your call to repentance
The turning will save me
I’ve been trying to make it right in my own strength
I hear your Good News
The trusting will save me
I place every need into your healing hands name your needs
I place every hope into your divine care name your hopes
I’m listening pause in silence
Thank you for receiving it all
In you, I find rest and wholeness
In you, I find life
Now and New and Forever
Blessed be your Name
Yes that we are enough just as we are
Where we are
Yes to your calling
and the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon us to fulfill it
Yes to bearing and birthing
Your Word and your Promises and your Kingdom
in this time and place
Yes to all things being possible with you
Like our sister Mary we say
Here I am, the Lord’s humble servant
As you have said, let it be done to me
Like our sister Mary we sing and celebrate you
Our God, Our Liberator
For though we are your humble servants
You have noticed us
This affirmation is offered for all, but especially for those who lead God’s people during the holy-days of Christmas. It can be an weary and stressful time. It’s easy to miss the wonder and grace of God’s intimate presence with so much responsibility. The stakes feel sky high. Breathe, trust, receive brothers and sisters. The promises are for you as well.
When you think of the word “enough” what comes to mind?
a. Enough = Too Much. Something that’s bothering you that must stop.
Pat – “I’ve had enough of this moving”
Jo – “It’s what I tell my three dogs when they bark nonstop.”
Song: No More Tears/Enough is Enough (Barbara Streisand, Donna Summer)
b. Enough = Too Little. Enough always tied to the word never.
Fanci – “Enough is a word that … has a connotation of power, because [the one] who has enough holds power over [the one] who does not.”
Scarcity. What you need is unattainable.
Song: Never Enough from The Greatest Showman All the shine of a thousand spotlights
All the stars we steal from the night sky
Will never be enough, never be enough
Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world but it’ll
Never be enough, never be enough
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t want things, long for things, work for things. It means I shall not “be in want.”
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. The Lord is my shepherd, there is enough.
c. Enough = Peace, Satisfied, Contentment. I have enough. There is enough.
Where do you find yourself with the word “enough.”
As I read the psalm, listen to all the things God provides
Psalm 23 (NRSV) 1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters; 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; Your rod and your staff— they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.
Notice all the things God provides
Verses 2-3, rest for body and soul
Verse 3, guidance and wisdom beyond knowledge
Verse 4, companionship. God’s abiding. We are never alone, never forsaken.
Verse 4, God protects
Verse 5, daily needs, every good gift
Verse 5, healing, blessing, and calling
Verse 6, goodness and mercy, now and forever
I Have Enough = Contentment
Trust there is enough- It’s a key that opens everything. This is a very different narrative than the narrative of our consumeristic culture.
Richard Rohr Quote Once you move your identity to that level of deep inner contentment, you will realize you are drawing upon a Life that is much larger than your own and from a deeper abundance. Once you learn this, why would you ever again settle for scarcity in your life? “I’m not enough! This is not enough! I do not have enough!” I am afraid this is the way culture trains you to think. It is a kind of learned helplessness. The Gospel message is just the opposite— inherent power.
I can trust I have enough (contentment) because I trust that God is enough (commitment). Everything the world tells you will be enough, that will make it so you are enough and have enough, will fall short of God and will fall short of your need.
The Lord is my Shepherd- I have made that commitment. You are the Shepherd and I am the sheep. I’m part of Your flock. Read Psalm 23 again, counting and emphasizing the references to God.
When we read Psalm 23 in this way, we hear the Psalmist’s praise of God and commitment to God. God, I trust you. I have enough because you are enough.
This leads down to our core identity. I am enough. I am enough that the Lord is my Shepherd. I can’t earn it. I can’t buy it. I am enough because God delights in me and says I am enough. Our identity and value and access to grace itself all a gift. This dispels the scarcity that there isn’t enough and I’m not enough.
Read Psalm 23 again, counting the personal references, all the things that are true about you. God is enough and I am enough. Both these truths are equally proclaimed in this incredible Psalm.
This Thanksgiving, remember this. I have enough = I am Content God is enough = I can make a Commitment to God because I trust God I am enough = God says so and it’s now my Core Identity
When we remember this we are re-membered. All the brokenness comes together.
Ann Voskamp on Facebook All the brokenness in the world begins with the act of forgetting — forgetting that God is enough, forgetting that what He gives is good enough, forgetting that there is always more than enough to give thanks for.
Though we forget, though we’re prone to chronic soul amnesia, You never forget us, You never abandon us, You never give up on us.
You have written us, our very names, on the palm of Your hands, written even me right into You — though we forget, You re-member us, You put us and the broken bits and members of us back together again. We are re-membered in You — You who engrave Your love letter to us right into Your skin…. right into Your beating heart.
In the name of the only One who ever loved us to death and back to life again… In Jesus’ name… Amen.
A few short weeks ago I discovered Kaisa Stenberg-Lee on Instagram. I was immediately struck by her tender spirit and creative, hands-on prayer practices. I’m thrilled to welcome her to the blog today and for you to get to know her and her work through this guest post.
Kaisa is a gifted spiritual director and workshop leader, born in Finland, educated in the Netherlands and Wales, and now serving in Denver, Colorado. Kaisa also enjoys “walking in nature, drinking tea, reading, trying new Korean cooking recipes, biking, embroidering, watercolor painting or whatever other craft my hands have landed on at the time.”
This post was originally written for and published here. Be sure to check out her other writings and prayer resources on her beautiful website, Kutsu Companions. May you have a powerful experience with God through this simple practice. – Lisa <><
Palms Down, Palms Up ― A Prayer of Letting Go
This simple prayer is supported by bodily movements that express the inner postures of the heart. I have modified Richard Foster’s “Palms Down, Palms Up” prayer, and added some elements to it. In essence, this prayer helps us to bring our worries to Jesus and express our longings to him.
The Prayer follows four movements:
1. Hands on the stomach for grounding and tuning into our inner center. 2. Hands on the lap, palms facing down as a symbol of releasing and letting go of concerns and worries.
3. Hands on the lap, palms up to signal readiness and desire to receive from God.
4. Hands on the heart to express gratitude.
“Palms Down, Palms Up” Guided Prayer
1. Settle down and sit comfortably on a chair or cushion. Close your eyes. Gently place your hands on your stomach. Take a few deep breaths. Notice how your body moves to the rhythm of your breath. Deepen your breath so that you can feel it fill your chest, stomach and rib cage with air.
Now start paying attention to the whole of your body, your feelings, and thoughts. Do you notice any tension, pain, numbness or tightness in your body? Does anything worry you or make you afraid? What else do you feel? Where can you feel those emotions in your body?
2. Lower your hands to your lap, palms facing down. Let this turning of the hands be a symbol of your wish to turn any worries or concerns that you might have to God. Give the worries to God and say to him in your own words quietly: “I let go of this … frustration/ anger/ fear/ worry/ guilt, or whatever it is that you want to let go off,” and give it to God. Don’t rush this. Keep turning those things over to God as long as they keep coming to your mind. God is near. He is reaching out to take over the carrying of your burdens.
Can you let go of your fears and worries? Can you trust him to carry them for you?
3. Once you have handed over your burdens to God, and your mind has come to a still, turn your palms up as a sign that you are now ready to receive from God.
Relax, and imagine placing your hands, palms up, into God’s caring hands. Feel how you are being held by God. You don’t need to go anywhere or do anything. You are safe. You can fully relax and trust that you will be taken care of, and that you will be provided for. Enjoy the feeling of God holding your hands in his hands, and loving you.
Imagine God gently whispering to you, “(Your name…), what do you want?” Tell him in the quiet of your heart what you desire. What do you want him to do for you?
Wait for His response. You might feel like he has something to say to you too, or that he simply wants you to know that he cares for you and that you are safe with him.
4. Finally, lift your hands to your heart and thank God for being with you and loving you.