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 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
December 17, 2020
Small graces, those things or times in our lives that seem small and yet hold eternal significance in our spiritual growth and transformation into His likeness. I hope this advent season has been a time of reflection and anticipation for God’s working in our lives.races,
In this blackness,
In this midnight of my soul,
God, I must know that you are there,
Loving me still,
Redeeming the lost,
And gathering broken remnants of my smile.
pressing hard on starless night,
Winged prayers, in due haste, take flight
these ragged dreams,
with gentle passion lay
neath sacred chords
of angel’s whispered celebration.
Sky fills with dancing.
Tear-stained laughter plays with light
darkness relents to Royal Birth.
Mystery of Light,
soft light, and gentle,
God’s voice in a baby’s cry
. . .It was a cold night, starless and the hope of dawn was bleak. I found myself bracing against time as I might press against a prairie storm. Head down, clutching my coat close to my body and leaning at a 45-degree angle I cursed the storm that held me back from all that I imagined life might have been. I am not sure which steps were made out of a determination to beat the darkness and which steps were made in a fainting hope that I would see the light of dawn again. A sudden blast of icy snow stung my cheeks mocking my efforts to stay alive. But there was an ember, ever so dim and nearly cold that whispered of a hope that this darkness would relent to the dawn.
Is this the song of advent? Icy storms and cruel nights? Wondering if we will see the light again? Is this the preparation we make for Christmas? Indeed, it is. For how can we know the Light if we do not recognize the darkness. Israel knew this darkness and sought the dimmer lights of other gods. It is a frightening thing to stand in the dark and to wait for the light when dimmer lights of this world taunt us. Advent teaches us to wait. Christmas celebrates the Light.
“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:4-5 (NLT)
....a vast sea of nothingness in a world torn. The world rocks in pain, countries tremble as families fail, mothers crying for their children, children seeking.
God's creation now broken and our hearts must be broken too as we pray, as we stand in the gap and intercede for all the peoples of the world, for all those that cry still in the darkness.
Praise be to God who is the LIGHT, who sent the LIGHT, who walked amongst us,
the Whole amongst the broken, the Light amidst the darkness,
the Immortal interfacing with the mortal
holding gently the broken hearts of the people He so loves.
But I know, and I'm here to say, that God holds the pieces
and strings them together,
strings them together on a scarlet thread,
a string of pearls, a string of priceless pearls.
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. 5 For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity-the man Christ Jesus. 6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. 1 Timothy 2:19 new living translation
November 8, 2020
The ultimate purpose of prayer is for an ever-growing intimacy between God and his people. God created fellowship when he created man and woman to walk together in the beauty of the garden for an eternity in His presence but Man broke this relationship when he chose to walk away from fellowship with God into a world of brokenness and longing. Throughout scripture God has continued seeking his people and calling them to walk with him and to draw close to him in prayer.
Prayer walking is unceasing fellowship with Christ in this world for the purpose of interceding on the world’s behalf for redemption and to further the kingdom of God in this place. This type of prayer lets us pray using the sights and sound to engage body, mind and heart in our prayers for people anywhere we can travel. It is ‘praying on-site with God’s sight’.
This week Pastor Pat will pass out small prayer guides using the 23rd psalm to pray for people as we walk through our communities. I pray that this booklet will be empower each of us to greater intimacy with God and powerful intercession in this place.
November 1, 2020
One day a long time ago when I was a little girl, I wanted to have tea with my friends. I gathered my dolls and my teacups and finding a place in the shade of a big tree I spread a white tablecloth with pink edging. A yellow vase with carefully chosen flowers growing by the walkway gave the table elegance. I placed each doll in her own chair except for the Nancy doll who leaned against the table because she could not bend. Finally, I set out cookies and tiny cups of apple juice in front of each place and than sat back to admire my work.
I brushed a small spider off my doll’s hair and cleared away twigs that fell from the tree. I sat there all afternoon diligently guarding my work. My friends called me to play but I could not hear them. I would not look away from my task. My mother’s call to dinner caught my attention and I looked up. The setting sun had cast long shadows, a chilly breeze knocked over the tea but my friends were gone and I was alone. I had forgotten to ask them to join me.
I was so busy setting up and guarding the perfect table that I had no time with my friends. I had lost sight of my mission.
The commitment to church holds the same risk. We can become so diligent in the actions of worship that the purpose of church eludes us. The beginning of any Christian work must have the common purpose to know God and to grow into His likeness serving others to grow God’s kingdom here on earth. If we lose focus of God’s purpose for our church, we might find ourselves guarding a perfectly set tea table without guests.
Ann Fitzgerald 5/25/20
How do I know I can trust you? Why should I trust you this time? I thought you loved me but you followed another. I waited for you and you never came. These are familiar words in a world where broken promises are common
But there is One who will never break his promises. In this world where our relationships are clouded by betrayals and disillusionment there is a God whose every promise is sure. Hallelujah, He has risen indeed!
I have been reading about God’s promises this week. I am often a slow learner when it comes to God’s word and his instruction. Thankfully the Holy Spirit is steadfast and continues to teach me even when I am stubborn in my thoughts. Today I was captured by these words with the thought that God will not forget me nor abandon me.
I have made you; you are my servant; Israel, I will not forget you. I
have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the
morning mist. Isaiah 44:21, 22 NIV
Hallelujah, He has risen indeed!! I hope you will take the time to read and
meditate on such a wonderful promise as is found in Isaiah 44:21-23.
Further thoughts to read and explore on this same theme of promises:
1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the
fellowship of His Son, Jesus, Christ.
Hebrews 10:35 , Do not therefore abandon that confidence of yours; It brings great reward.
I encourage you to use the Daily Texts for daily scripture readings and prayers.
Ann Fitzgerald ... 4-25-20
Brothers and Sisters,
Easter morning was quiet on the outside, but jubilant in my heart this year.
The words "living hope" from 1 Peter 1:3 stood out to me in my reading from this morning's daily text. Living hope gives a sharp contrast to the current silence in our cities. Doubt, fear, loneliness are a few emotions that can plague us as we remain in our homes and away from the familiar security of favorite places, stabilizing schedules and people we love. But right in the middle of this pandemonium comes Easter! Hallelujah.
I pray that each of us will stand firm in our faith through daily reading of scripture and time spent in prayer. Let us rejoice in the living hope that was given to us when we were given new life in the resurrection of our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hallelujah
I miss each of you and look forward to the day we will meet again.
1 Peter 3:3-5
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
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
God calls to us in the midst of this world’s demand on our time, energies and thoughts. In the midst of this world’s demands God waits for us to come to him for rest. It is not an easy thing to set aside the pressing things of life but here are a few things that help me to slow down my tendency toward feverish activity both of mind and of body.
- Be still. I slow down my breath allowing it to sync with the beat of my heart as I soften muscles in my neck and back. I start out with a simple prayer asking God to help me be still in presence and to see his reflection in his creation. Take small steps. Practicing this step is a good beginning.
- Play music. Music has great power in the human mind. I look for soft music that will open my mind and heart to the presence of God. Take small steps. Choosing some music is a good beginning.
- Trust the Holy Spirit to understand the words you speak with your mouth or in your heart. St. Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us “with sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8:26)
The following scriptures offer a devotional reading to take small steps into meditation and a deeper walk with God. Reading the full chapter offers a deeper understanding of each verse. Take small steps. choose a verse at a time allowing God’s word to sink deeply into your mind and soul.
You are precious in God’s sight; Set time alone with God daily to renew your heart and soul.
John 3:16, Ephesians 1:4-5, Isaiah 49:16, Isaiah 43:1,2,
God knows your journey; Pray for courage to let God be your teacher and your guide.
Matt 11:28-30, Proverbs 4:20-27, Ephesians 2:10, 1st
God longs to transform your heart; Pray for grace to be diligent in devotion
Psalm 119:19-16, Ezekiel 36:26, Ezekiel 11:17-21, Jerimiah:33
God will give you rest; Ask God to show you
a place for quietness in heart, soul and mind Exodus
33:14, Mark 6:30, Psalm 4:8
Ann Fitzgerald January 19, 2020