Category: Prayers

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

Following Shrove Tuesday yesterday, today is Ash Wednesday, the official first day of Lent during the Christian year and the prelude to Easter.  Lent represents the 40 days that Jesus Christ spent in the wilderness, fasting and contemplating his mission on earth. Known as the ‘Day of Ashes’ because of the practice of having ash rubbed &  drawn on the forehead in the shape of a cross (representing Christ’s crucifixion), by a priest at the  dedicated Ash Wednesday church service. The priest and participants from the church congregation intone the phrase either the words:-

“Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or  the dictum “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 

Anglican,Catholic and most Protestant and Christians hold Ash Wednesday services around the world. Following the service, participants observe some sort of fasting,abstinence and spiritual contemplation for 40 Days, ending on Maundy Thursday in 2018.

The practice of using  ash comes from the 11th Century and is taken from the Biblical Book of Daniel, where ashes are regarded as a sign of Penance & fasting. The ashes are normally made by the burning of palm crosses. These palm crosses were  handed out to  church congregations during the previous year’s Palm Sunday service (commemorating Christ’s entry into Jerusalem to crowds waving palm leaves in celebration) and given back to the priest shortly before Ash Wednesday. The priest will then burn the crosses and mix the ash normally with Holy Oil to sanctify and make a ‘paste’ with which to rub on the participant’s forehead.

Traditional Native American Prayer

I found this prayer/poem in a book called Poetry Please!

Apparently, it is a traditional Native American funeral reading of the Ishi people from the Pacific Northwest.

I love it, it is so short and poignant and yet it says so much.  It makes a positive out of a negative outlook to death and bereavement.  It tells the people left behind to move on with their lives after the briefest of mourning.

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Traditional Native American Prayer

When I am dead
Cry for me a little
Think of me sometimes
But not too much.
Think of me now and again
As I was in life
At some moments it’s pleasant to recall
But not for long.
Leave me in peace
And I shall leave you in peace
And while you live
Let your thoughts be with the living.

“Slow me down, Lord!”

The more we progress, the busier we get.

Sometimes we overlook what is naturally beautiful, what should really be important to us.

We have forgotten the little things that can make us happy and healthier. We would rather sit down in front of the computer or television to be entertained, when there is a vast world out there waiting to be explored.

Go out and smell the roses. Admire what God had created. Feel the wind as it gently embraces and cools you down. Inhale; exhale!

Slow down and notice.

“Slow me down, Lord!”

Below is some sort of prayer, which is a good reminder why we should slow down and take stock.

“Slow me down, Lord!
Ease the pounding of my heart
By the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace
With a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me,
Amidst the confusion of my day,
The calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves
With the soothing music of the singing streams
That live in my memory.
Help me to know
The magical restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art
Of taking minute vacations of slowing down
to look at a flower;
to chat with an old friend or make a new one;
to pat a stray dog;
to watch a spider build a web;
to smile at a child;
or to read a few lines from a good book.
Remind me each day
That the race is not always to the swift;
That there is more to life than increasing its speed.
Let me look upward
Into the branches of the towering oak
And know that it grew great and strong
Because it grew slowly and well.
Slow me down, Lord,
And inspire me to send my roots deep
Into the soil of life’s enduring values
That I may grow toward the stars
Of my greater destiny.”

– ORIN L CRAIN

Calm is the basis of right perception and understanding.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Everyday Prayers

PAGODAS are, like mosques, true houses of prayer;
’Tis prayer that church bells waft upon the air;
Kaaba and temple, rosary and cross,
All are but divers tongues of world-wide prayer.
– Omar Khayyām.

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When a man is at his wits’ end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get in touch with Reality.
~Oswald Chambers

Everyday Prayers

Below are some example of prayers.  You do not have to be in need to pray.  In fact it would be lovely to pray to God to give Him thanks and praise.  A prayer is a dialogue with God.

 

 

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prayer 3

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Through every minute of this day,

Be with me, Lord!

Through every day of this week,

Be with me, Lord!

– John Oxenham

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O god, help us not to despise or oppose what we do not understand.

– William Penn

Florence Nightingale – Nursing Pioneer

12 May 2015 – Celebrating International Nurses’ Day!

Florence Nightingale

Her conception of God was certainly not orthodox.  She felt towards Him as she might have towards a glorified sanitary engineer; and in some of her speculations she seems hardly to distinguish between the Deity and the Drains.
– Lytton Strachey

 

Florence

Florence Nightingale –
Lady of the lamp

Florence Nightingale – known as the Lady of the Lamp –  was the pioneer of proper nursing.  She worked selflessly and tirelessly as a young nurse during the Crimean War.  She campaigned for clean up in filthy army field hospital thereby dramatically slashing death of wounded soldiers from typhoid and cholera between 1854 – 1856.

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Florence had a favourite prayer which comes from the end of Plato’s Phaedrus.

“Give me beauty in the inward soul, and may the outward and inward man be at one.”

Navajo Prayer

Virgil Nez's painting of a grandma praying and giving an offering to the Yei'bi'chi (prayer warriors).

Virgil Nez’s painting of a grandma praying and giving an offering to the Yei’bi’chi (prayer warriors).

May I walk happily.

May it be beautiful before me.

May it be beautiful behind me.

May it be beautiful below me.

May it be beautiful above me.

May it be beautiful all around me.

In beauty it is finished.

– Navajo Prayer