Thursday prayer 5-21-20

Published May 22, 2020 by Pastor Vicki in Daily Prayer

A Prayer a Day: Good morning,God. It’s cool, gray, rainy, and not a good morning for praying on the porch. So, here in the house, a perfectly comfortable house, my first thought this morning is; I’m tired of being stuck in the house.This kind of thinking is not helpful at all. Whenever we feel sorry for ourselves, we are planning a pity party, that no one really wants to attend. Regularly people tell me, they feel depressed; being the pragmatic person I am, I share that a person cannot hold two opposing ideas, in their mind at the same time. This is always the advice I give myself too, when I feel blue. I can’t be depressed and grateful, at the same time, and neither can you: one emotion will win out. When I meet with people, who have been struggling with depression, for a while I tell them, there is a very effective way to help themselves. We can drive out any negative emotion with gratitude. When you are having negative feelings, take out a blank piece of paper and number the lines. Put a heading on the top,”Blessings from God.” Then start your list: 1.) Not stuck in the house, but blessed with a home. 2.) Not sad you can’t go to a restaurant, but grateful you have food. 3.) Not unhappy you can’t see friends and family, but grateful you have friends and family to miss, and a phone to call them. I’m sure you have the idea. Sometimes, a person will have to fill the whole page before the feeling of depression eases. Filling the whole page involves listing gratitude for eyes that see, ears that hear, legs that move. After a while, sitting with your list of blessings, you start to feel happy and joyful. In spite of all the challenges, and things about life, that distresses us, God, we know you are good, and you give us joy, if we are open to receive it. In Job 8:21, we read, “He (God) will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” Job knew a thing or two about death, sickness, financial loss, loss of reputation, and status, and yet, he claimed that you, God, supply joy. Laughter is powerful. I love a good story that makes people laugh. Often it is the ridiculousness of life events, that are the funniest. We love to laugh because it releases stress, lifts our spirits, and connects us to others. I know that you, Lord, want us to draw others to you, as Jesus did. All kinds of people flocked to Jesus, young and old, rich and poor, sick and healthy, outcasts and insiders. Jesus must have been a winsome, joyful person to draw so many to him. Jesus has given us the mandate of building your kingdom, Lord. I believe that you, Holy God, want us filled with your joy, so we can share it. Help us, discipline our thinking, so that we may share your joy with the down-trodden. Come Holy Spirit and make us joyful: amen.