Early Morning Prayer

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Gracious, loving God,

On this cold, wintry day

I thank you for the warmth of your love

that covers me like a blanket,

keeping me safe and secure.

As the snow lays on the ground.

I am comforted by your words through the prophet Isaiah,

that though my “sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow.”

Thank you for your grace and forgiveness.

Help me to fall asleep again, and in the darkness breathe

deeply and close my eyes.

Watch over me and all I love until I awaken to the dawning

of a new day.

Prayer written by Carla A. Romarate-Knipel, copyright 2022

A New Year’s Day Prayer

by Carla A. Romarate-Knipel, copyright 2022

It’s the first day of the new year, O God.

I thank you for the past year – with all its

…blessings, hardships, and challenges.

I thank you that you were with me

the whole time.

Even in the darker days, your Light

shone

… to illuminate my path,

… to warm my heart,

and lead me forward.

Now here I am,

at the beginning of a

new year.

May I go through this day and this year,

with confidence

in your everlasting, unconditional

love.

May I look up to You, who look upon me with

favor,

not because I am perfect, but because you are

perfect

and by my faith in Jesus, you have made me your

child.

Send me forth then into this new year, into your

world,

with hope and strength

to be your living, breathing blessing

to everyone I meet on this path,

journeying together…

to the future that you have prepared

for all your beloved children,

with faith, hope and love.

In the name of Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega,

the Author of my beginnings and endings.

Amen.

Photo by Simon Berger on Pexels.com

Morning Prayer

Good morning, dear God!

The sun has greeted you already while my eyes were closed, my body still asleep.

In Ilonggo, I say, “Maayong Aga!” It sounds more soft, more tender when I say it out loud to you,

our Loving Creator – the source of life, language and love.

Thank you! “Salamat gid!”

Again, gratitude in Ilonggo glides out of my lips like honey dripping with sweetness.

I say “Salamat, thank you, gracias, merci,” for a new day, so full of possibilities…

you and me, together –

walking through it, hand in hand, with love.

May I not let go of your hand, nor lose sight of you, and take off towards another direction.

Please help me to trust you every step of the way, even with all that’s going on in my life and in this world that are driving me to be in doubt and mired in despair.

Remind me of this “Salamat” moment, the peace and joy and quiet with you before I rose from sleep to meet the fevered demands of the day.

May this memory be a gift that I carry in my heart to give me strength, come what may.

So be it.

Salamat gid!

In the name of Yeshua, the Messiah.

Amen.

Miracle Monday

It’s Monday. I had plans. But my rearview mirror decided it was time to make the plunge.

I found it hanging on my car’s ceiling, unwilling to stick back on the windshield.

So I leave it be, and ask a friend to give me a ride.

My friend gladly said “Yes,” oh what joy!

But alas, her car gets a flat tire!

The culprit: a tiny screw lodged on the rubber wheel, so tiny but oh so powerful.

“Why oh why does this happen,” I silently lament, “on a Monday?”

Yet heaven smiles and bestows me a blessing: another ride, this time it’s all smooth sailing.

So, finally home,

I take a break and sit down to eat salmon, potatoes and a green salad.

Hungry and hot, I eat in haste and then I stop.

It’s Monday.

a time to pause –

breathe deeply and pray,

be thankful that all things are working out.

Miracles still abound,

and my unfinished salad is waiting to be savored, each bite

a blessing.

Summer musings: A year after the pandemic…

Last year in August, I was baking banana bread and writing haikus and picking sunflowers at a nearby farm. I remember feeling more relaxed even with all that was going on because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The time spent at home in spring 2020 helped me to take a step back, slow down and relish the moment. Yes, I confess I did some binge watching of Netflix movies and had moments of panic. But more often than not, I felt an inner peace and calm especially in my times of inward reflection and prayer. I noticed little things that I hadn’t paid attention to before: the rising and falling of my chest while I was meditating, the distant sound of an owl “whooo-ing,” and the swaying of the bamboo when a strong breeze swept through our neighbor’s backyard.

A year after, the pandemic hasn’t ended, but my more relaxed state of mind and heart seems to be waning. I have lapsed into my pre-pandemic mode of being that is addicted to hurry, obsessed with productivity and unwilling to slow down. For the first time in over ten years I have decided not to take the last two Sundays of August off. This decision, in retrospect, was a mistake.

So here I am writing and reflecting on what of this summertime I can still salvage. Perhaps, I can still make a day trip to the mountains or near a lake and get away from it all: the 24-hour news cycle, social media and all the online cacophony of opinions, claims, disinformation and the raging battle over masks and vaccines. It may not be too late to celebrate this season, even with its heat waves, tornadoes and forest fires. I still have time to listen to the crickets, watch the fireflies glow at dusk and take a much needed afternoon nap.

Perhaps, I can still make a day trip to the mountains or near a lake and get away from it all… (free photo from pexel.com)