Pondering for Thursday, March 23, 2023

Daily Office Readings for Thursday of the 4th Week in Lent: Year 1

Morning, Psalm 69:1-23 and 31-38; Evening, Psalm 73;   
Jeremiah 22:13 to 23Romans 8:12 to 27John 6:41 to 51

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.  And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8: 26 and 27)

I think chapter 8 of Romans is special. In our reading for today Paul, with God’s guidance, relates to us how we should let go and let God.  Our Book of Common Prayer is full of beautiful prayers. I have committed many to memory. But nothing compares to the prayers stirring up in us by the Holy Spirit when we need them. I have prayed extemporaneously at sick beds and dying beds in my priesthood. I let go of the Book of Common Prayer and use the words given to me by God’s Holy Spirit. I must admit, I am always amazed.

God gives us the words and answers we need when we need them. As Paul says, “with sighs too deep for words.”  But Paul also says that God “searches the heart and knows what is the mind of the Spirit.” I think the mind of the Holy Spirit of God is like an expensive cologne, the fragrance is different in each of us according to our individual chemistry, but always good for the community in which we live.

Sometimes we just need to sit in silence and reflect and ponder about God and how God is acting in our everyday lives. Remember Blaise Pascal’s words, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”  Prayer, real prayer, is not something we produce. We are prayed through by God. The good news is that we get to hear what God is saying in our own voice. We just need to trust in God, and let go and let God. 

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine and Russia.

As we listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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