Articles/talks by Ann Fitzgerald regarding the power of prayer,
the daily reading of the Bible (The Word of God)
along with seasonal church related observances
Prayer corner 4-11-2021
PSALM 67 – The Message (MSG)
God be gracious and kind-hearted to us and bless us,
And make His face shine [with favor] on us
2 That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation and deliverance among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
For You will judge the people fairly
And guide the nations on earth. Selah.
5 Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
6 The earth has yielded its harvest [as evidence of His approval];
God, our God, blesses us.
7 God blesses us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him [with awe-inspired reverence and submissive wonder].
Psalm 67 is an anonymous prayer for God’s blessing on us so that we are able to show the world God’s ways of mercy and grace. It is a prayer of joy and praise because God is a fair and righteous judge who leads his people into a joyful place. It is a prayer of thanksgiving for the bounty of Gods goodness. We can see the similarity in the prayer Jesus taught us (the Lord’s Prayer Matthew 6:9-13) and psalm 67 in the desire to see God’s name be kept holy and that his kingdom comes.
Psalm 65:8 (amplified version AMP) Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.
Now, you can return back to the Psalm above (67) and pray it with the excitement and the joy that God has when he hears the prayers of your heart.
Prayer Corner, Palm Sunday March 26.2021
Dear Jesus, our King and gracious Savior, we rejoice as you ride into our presence on a donkey but confess that our hosannas can easily be swallowed up in doubt. Have mercy on us, give us grace to walk
through this week of your sacred passion with awareness that every tear, every beating, every drop of your blood that hit the ground was given so that we could have peace and freedom from the guilt of our own sin and have life in abundance. Thank you, precious Jesus. Amen
This week is the most intense, sorrowful and horrifying week in the Christian calendar as we hear the story of Jesus in his last days as he journeys toward Golgotha and crucifixion. It is a time of meditation and prayer as we recognize the amazing grace of God anticipating the joy of Easter.
There will be/were six Bible texts read in today’s service which can be used for daily prayer, a different text each day. Read each day, pray through God’s word and spend time writing out the heart’s meditations.
The Text as as follows:
March 21, 2021
This week was a difficult week. I tripped on a water spigot during a walk and fell flat on my face leaving me with a swollen nose, a small fracture that promises to heal in its own time and a heavy weight of discouragement. In times like this I wonder how God can hear my prayers. I think that If I could get my heart right or mouth the words of thanksgiving then surely, he would hear me, but I just can’t make it work. My shoulders droop a little further as the weight in my chest continues to sink. How can I write about prayers when I can see only pewter skies and the taste of dirt in my mouth?
Psalms 145-150 are psalms of praise. I read aloud Psalm 148 taking comfort in the lyrical music of a universe honoring their Creator. As I read aloud, breathing deeply, the praises of all creation cooled the feverish places in my heart.
The last verse of Psalm 148 proclaims. “He has made his people strong, honoring his faithful ones – the people of Israel who are close to him.” My face is still bruised, my nose still swollen and the skies still heavy with clouds but my heart is light and I rest assured that surely God is in His Heavens and all is right with the world.
Be comforted in the knowledge that it is God who makes his people strong and hears us in our weakness. We can always turn to the Psalms for prayers when words are scarce in our own mind.
Prayer Corner 3-14-21
Breath Prayer is a way to meditate and pray with scripture while slowly breathing in and out. It is the whispering of God’s word in repetition with the rhythm of our own breath, the awareness of abiding in Christ. These quiet reflective prayers help us overcome the mind’s tendency to wander.
To practice: Take 3 deep breaths as you ask God to calm your mind. Choose a bible prayer or verse. As you slowly draw in your breath repeat the 1st part of a bible prayer or verse, pause, then as you exhale whisper the 2nd half of the same verse. An example: using Psalm 46:10 as a Breath Prayer:
Slowly breathe in the 1st half: “Be still and” pause then slowly exhale the 2nd half: “know that I am God.”
Scripture for Breath Prayer from 1 Corinthians 13
Give me grace to love: to be patient & kind
Give me grace to love: without jealousy
Give me grace to love: without arrogance
Give me grace to forgive : grace to let go
Give me grace to love: to rejoice in truth
Give me grace to love: grace to believe
Give me grace to love: grace to hope
Give me grace to love: grace to endure.
And from Psalm 62:5
Breathe in: my soul finds rest
Breathe out: in God alone
Prayer Corner 3-7-21
Romans 8:26 (new living version)
In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us where we are weak. We do not know how to pray or what we should pray for, but the Holy Spirit prays to God for us with sounds that cannot be put into words.
The world is a big place, the complexity of the problems can be overwhelming and the voice of doubt whispers in the shadows. Sometimes my voice cracks when I try to pray aloud for somebody in need and sometimes my words are not refined. We are called to be God’s witnesses in this world and to speak His name into the darkness, even when we doubt our abilities.
Remember this in times when the need of the moment seems bigger than our small voice; I am going to say something to you, because I need to hear it so badly for myself Our words are just brown paper bag words, but when touched by the Holy Spirit they become the powerful message that people need to hear. God has set the stage, prepared the receivers and empowers the word givers .
Pray boldly – in the midst of this world’s clamor – pray boldly and without ceasing.
Prayer Corner 3-1-2021 Prayer technique: Curiosity
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, Romans 4:13-25, Mark 8:31-38
Some paper, a good pen, scripture and curiosity are great ways to have conversation with God. I gathered these words and thoughts from the assigned scriptures in today’s service. I asked God to help me discover connections between the verses, similarities of words or contrasting ideas to give me new insights that would grow my faith. I picked up my pen, followed my curiosity, and wrote out a prayer of praise and wonderment to God and a plea that I would have the faith to follow Him.
Almighty God, truly you are the master of the universe, ruler of every nation, and lover of my soul. I am not able to understand the mystery of your plans or make sense of the things that happen in this world today and back through all of history. You promised Abraham and Sarah a baby in their old age and gave them the grace to embrace the truth. Mary sang praises at the news of her virgin pregnancy but the Pharisees refused your truth, and beloved disciple, Peter, refused to accept your plan and was sharply reprimanded.
And Jesus, my Lord, I too am faced with choices to believe your words and follow you in humble obedience or to stand against you as this world demands. Give me the faith of Abraham, the joyful praise of Mary, and the undying devotion to your call in my life to go into my family, my neighborhood and around the world, to love, to serve and to tell the good news of your great love.
So... find a comfy place to sit, find your favorite pen, paper and a Bible – ask God to come and talk for awhile using your curiosity as a guide.
Prayer corner 2-21-2021
The solemn season of Lent is a time observed to honor our King, Jesus Christ, through the last weeks before his betrayal and torturous death on the cross. Lent is the preparation of the heart in recognition of our total dependence on God’s grace for everything in this life. It is the recognition of our sin that brought on the death of Christ in anticipation of the life given to us when He rose again on Easter morning.
...and during this time, we pray for revival in our churches, our communities and the world. The prayer book ‘Seek God for the City’ is an excellent resource and prayer guide for the 40 days of Lent and through the days leading to the ascension of Christ.
You can get your own copy by requesting it of Pastor Pat and he’ll find a way to get it to you.
I have copied a piece of the 1st prayer, p 3. This is a copy and not to be reprinted but I want to encourage you to get your own book to follow the prayers during our Lenten journey.
“We seek You now, mighty Shepherd God, so that you would seek and find Your lost ones as only You can. Many have distanced themselves far from You, enticed by glowing delusions of self-made goodness... O Shepherd, restore your lost ones soon, before more sinister evil befalls them. Feed the hungers of their hearts and heal them. Re-gather and revive Your people as your flock .” (copied from “Seek God for the City 2021”)
Prayer corner – Valentines day 2021
The world tries to convince me that chocolate says “I love you”, the world would have me believe that
being married determines my worth, the world shouts that I am unlovable. The world lies. But I have
learned that there is a love this world does not know. – The love of God
The following verses speak of Gods love and gives us a resource for praying scripture by filling in the
desires of our heart. Pray in whispers, shouts, song, or with pen and ink. God longs to be with you, longs
to hear your voice. Just come.
1st Corinthians 13 describes God’s love for us, and models to us our love for others. Love is patient, love is
kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the
truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where
there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is
knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness
comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I
reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see
only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is
For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. — Isaiah
54:10 English standard version.
“The Lord your God is in your midst — a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with his love; he will
rejoice over you with singing.” — Zephaniah 3:17
“I ask that you’ll have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all
believers. I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled
entirely with the fullness of God.” — Ephesians 3:18-19
“Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God
and knows God. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love.” — 1 John 4:7-8
Prayer Corner 1-31-2021
In the middle of my busyness I took a moment to pray and it made all the difference. In the middle of scattered notes and spilled ink I took a moment to pray and it made all the difference. In the middle of counting out my gold I took a moment to pray and it made all the difference.
What pursuit surrounds you? Take a moment to pray and it will make all the difference.
The following prayer was written by Anselm (1033-1109)
O Lord our God, grant us grace
To desire you with our whole heart,
That so desiring we may seek and find you,
And finding you, may love you,
And loving you, may hate those sins
From which you have redeemed us.
Psalm 42:1 (Christian Standard Bible)
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so I long for you, God.
I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God
Prayer corner 1-17-21 prayer resource
15 scriptures to pray for our nation from www.embracing.life, Our country is in the middle of a great battle, and we know that the best way for us to battle is on our knees. And the best source to turn to is not the news or social media, but the very Word of God.
This website is a great resource for praying scripture for our country in this time of inauguration of a new president. We are told in James 5:6 that “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” We may not have the power to meet the President or other authorities in our government, but we can pray for them, and God can do mighty things hrough our prayers. We may not be able to change other peoples’ hearts or minds with our words, but we have the power to pray for them and see God do miracles in their hearts through our prayers.
There is not enough space to copy all the prayers and I plan to visit this site daily to copy the scripture and pray the word written by author. I hope you will join.
1. Pray that you and other believers would seek God in humility and that God would bring healing to our nation. “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Go to website www.embracing.life for 14 more prayers that can be used as a daily prayer guide.
Yours, LORD, is the greatness
and the power and the glory
and the majesty and the
splendor, for everything in
heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, LORD, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over
all. 1 Chronicles 29:11 NIV
Prayer corner 1-23-2021 Learning to pray using a prayer journal –
God longs to be with us every moment, He longs to know us and desires us to know him. In 1 John 5:14 we
are assured, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” ....and so we spend our lives learning to pray as we draw close to the God who loves us.
The act of writing, pen on paper, word by word, gives time for the heart to say its truth. In the time it takes
to shape the letters our mind can begin to articulate deeper thoughts of the spirit. Praying by pen records
the pleas of the heart for tomorrow’s meditations and provides a place for recognition of God’s provision.
It is easy to start a prayer journal with few required tools. A bible, a tablet and a pen is all you need to begin
a prayer journal. There are no rules to writing prayers and I have discovered a variety of methods that work
with my many moods and prayer needs. The most important is to keep going and starting over whenever life
gets in the way.
Writing out our thanksgiving is a good place to start. The Psalms offer many thanksgiving prayers as starting
places to write our own prayers. Writing out prayers of thanksgiving for a few minutes a day will change our
lives. Here is an example of using psalm 86:12 as a beginning to write our own prayer.
Psalm 86:12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart and I will glorify your name forever.
...and from here we can go on with our own thanks to God.... Thank you, God, for generous provision, for a
new morning and opportunities to see you in every part of my life.
Dear God, thank you for......
THE LORD OF HEAVEN’S ARMIES IS HERE AMONG US
January 1 0, 2021
Speak peace, speak peace to the people, speak peace to your heart, know peace in the
middle of chaos know peace. The answers are not in the words of man, nor is
safety found in violence.
Psalm 62:1,2 wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be
Say to one another, Shout it from your roof, say it when the sky turns dark and the
moon turns red like blood. God will never turn his back on us, forever is his love.
Psalm 46:5,10-11 Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the
world. The L ORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is
Ideas for digesting God’s words and meditating on the truth found in Pray – simple
prayers, prayers that reveal the fear in our hearts. See Psalm 62:8 “pour out your heart
to him for God is our refuge.”
- Scribe scripture – Copy Psalm 46 or 62 word by word – paper and pen –
- Memorize – see Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
- Write out names and characters of God seen in these psalms, explore scripture for names of God in scripture
- Sing scripture – songs that you learned or make up your own tune using scripture
- Walk in nature – carry scripture on small cards to read aloud in a park, among the trees, at the ocean. Don’t forget to breathe
- Read aloud to another person – face to face, over the phone, by zoom
January 3, 2021
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Here are familiar words of a prayer that we repeat during worship every Sunday or perhaps, if you are diligent, maybe daily. The words are simple to learn and easily understood by even the youngest of children, more powerful than all the rulers of the ages, more loving than any mother that has held her child. These words hold the grace of God and the promise of the peace that passes understanding for all those who know Christ and abide in his love.
Here is a place to start in this time of new beginnings, with paper and pen as we open our heart to accept God, resting in the comfort of Scripture. Copy the Lord’s Prayer, one line at a time, word for word, allowing the power of the Word to fill your mind as the syllables take shape on the page. Perhaps this is the place to rest, to meditate, or perhaps continue to write our own prayers. This exercise, known as scripture scribing, is a simple and life-changing way to begin a daily prayer habit.
Let this new year begin with these words that Jesus taught his disciples so many years ago and continue to breathe life into our hearts forever.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever . Matthew 6:9-13
Ann Fitzgerald says "Jerusalem is behind me overlooking the gate that Jesus would have entered riding on the donkey."
Posted: Palm/Passion Sunday 4-5-20