Difference, growth and change
These beautiful trees are near where I live. They’ve changed a bit over the years, and not just by growth. Some were damaged when a car failed to take the corner and smacked into them, but the group has been lovingly restored by the couple who planted them. It’s a credit to them.
It’s a bit of a parable, really: we’re all different to begin with, even more diverse than those trees, and then further marked by accident or harsh circumstances, needing loving healing by our divine Gardener who planted us (Is 61:3). But, more than mere trees, we can pray in all stages of the process: for our (and each other’s) needs and hurts and progress; growth, or recovery; and always towards the beauty which glorifies God.
The WEEKLY prayers for March 2019 are:
Week 1 Creator God, you have made such beauty in the world, and given us the ability able to appreciate it. Please help us to be beautiful in your sight. Amen.
Week 2 Gardener God, with a co-ordinated and harmonious plan for all creation, including us, please help us to be as we should, and fit within your plan. Amen.
Week 3 Forester God, loving trees as all else, please plant us and lead our roots to your water, that we may bear fruit for you, in season, whatever happens. Amen.
Week 4 Arboriculturalist God, knowing completely the needs, hopes, and long-term potential of all your plantings, please may we flourish to your glory. Amen.
Week 5 Cultivator and Manager God, able to restore all your damaged creation, please mend all our dents and distortions, that we may be a credit to you. Amen.
Your own prayers
Don’t cling to me
That’s what the risen Jesus said to the exultant Mary when they met on Easter morning (Jn 20:17, in some versions; others prefer ‘hold on to’, or even ‘touch’). He goes on to say, by way of explanation, ‘for I have not yet ascended to the Father’. There was more to come: don’t cling to the past, however good it was. Open up and look to the bigger future.
Whatever benefits ivy offers, it clings tenaciously and stifles the growth of the host, and we’re warned that sin acts similarly. However attractive it seems, it must be thrown off as we follow the Lord in his bigger plans for us (Heb 12:1). Prayer is how we sever it from its roots, when our heart is for the Lord, not self.
The WEEKLY prayers for April 2019 are:
Week 1 Lord, if I am holding on to you in some wrong way – to past ideals I should outgrow, perhaps – please give me a better understanding of your plans. Amen.
Week 2 Lord, with you there is always room for growth and more fruit. Please make me ready always for your next step, whatever it may turn out to be. Amen.
Week 3 Lord, please focus my heart more closely on you, that I may throw off all that does not please you, and that slows me down in my walk with you. Amen.
Week 4 Lord, please help me not to stifle others, but rather to encourage, freeing them for further growth and development with you, as you may choose. Amen.
Your own prayers