Say Your Prayers: Week 1 | Day 3
Do the Five Marks of Mission feel overwhelming, rather like a big to-do list? Just “say your prayers,” Br. John Braught recommends, because the mission is God’s, not ours, and God will reveal to you how and who you are to serve – often in very small ways that arrive throughout the day.
Question: How, in small ways, could you carry out God’s Mission today?
Share your answer in the comments below or using #5marksoflove
Activity: Write a Letter to God
Transcript: When it comes to mission, the first thing I would tell someone is, “Say your prayers.” For a lot of people the word “mission” can be rather overwhelming, and as we talk about the five Marks of Mission – abbreviated as tell, teach, tend, transform, and treasure – it can all become like some giant to-do list, as in one might respond, “I can’t do this. I’m not qualified or I don’t have enough time.” To which we would reply, “You’re right. See every other servant God has called for these and similar objections.” The point is it’s God’s mission, not ours, and God will show us how we are to serve, and who we are to serve. So say your prayers. Each day pray for opportunities to serve. Ask, “God, show me how I can be helpful this day and keep alert.” I usually add, “And please make it crystal clear, otherwise I’m liable to miss it. I’m sometimes not that quick.”
There is a saying in the Eastern tradition that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. But the reverse is true as well. When the teacher is ready, the student will appear. So pray for ways to serve, pray for opportunities to serve, and stay alert. Our mission will not often be grand. It’s the little things, the small ways that we serve, a smile, a handshake, a hug, being kind to someone in customer service, especially when things aren’t going our way. Each and every day we’re acting as ambassadors of Christ, and we should imagine that we’re wearing that kind of nametag on our chest, so that people come away from interacting with us feeling better, hopeful, like there is kindness, and goodness, and love in the world. That’s our real vocation. That’s what we are called to be and to do. But in order to know what to do, and to have the power to carry that out, we’ll need God’s help, so say your prayers.
How, in small ways, could you carry out God’s mission today?
– Br. John Braught
Question: How, in small ways, could you carry out God’s Mission today?
Slowly writing out our words of love for another person can be a meditative practice that connects us in a deep way. This week, spend some time hand-writing a letter to God. What would you say? How might you express your love for God in words?
Watch Video Guidance | Download Activity as PDF | Sample Completed Activity
Getting across the premise that it is God’s work, is not easy; we think we have to do it. We are just part of the process. The saying<"Give it to the Lord in prayer" is one way to remember how to start our desire to share with others and to pray for God's guidance. I do this course with people 80- and over and I just wish there was a weekly talk to sum up for them. I like this one and I shall use it again this week.
Please, could you think in terms of people who do not use the computer. Most of my group live in a residential home without one.
SLOW DOWN to carry out God’s mission. We live in such a fast paced world we often pass by some Godly treasures or opportunities. Many years ago during a lunch break at work I made a quick stop at large chain food store. I was irritated because I was short on time and it must’ve been Senior Day discount. They moved so slowly, stopped to chat with one another, took forever to get out the right change, etc. While waiting in line an elderly man in front of me saw my stack barely balancing in my hands and kindly asked if I would like to put my things down in an area of his carriage. He didn’t like seeing me struggle. I smiled at him in awe and thought to myself in that great generation was the term “gentleman” best defined. I never forgot that small act of kindness and it made a lasting impression. I will try to do the same.
How, in small ways, could you carry out God’s mission today? I guess by letting go my negative thinking. I love what you said, say your prayers. I guess for myself I would add and listen. Sometimes I am so far in my head and closed off to others I twist or obscure what God might me saying to me.
I am a fine-art photographer, and I’ve been in business for over a decade. These days, everyone wants to open a photography studio! My first counsel to those who seek the secret of my success is: you are never ‘off-duty’. Being self-employed, you must always look for the opportunity to share what you do with others – not in a pushy way, but organically, naturally.
I tell them that as artists, if we believe in what we do, we must not be reticent to speak. It’s amazing how often the opportunity will present itself, if we’re paying attention.
How much more is this true in our lives as Christians! If we believe in who we are, in Whose we are, we must not be reticent to speak. It’s amazing how often opportunities to share God’s love arise, if we’re paying attention: from the quick courtesy to the deep conversation; from a helping hand to a heartfelt hug.
And I love the idea of wearing a name tag. I’m known to sometimes be impatient, and it doesn’t always result in loving words and actions. I think I’ll be more prone to patience if I ‘put on’ the name tag every day. 🙂
Gentleness beside the fierce passionate and emotions of my activism beside my deep joy and laughter with my grandson as he climbs to the top of the playground apparatus and with immense pride looks at the sky and proclaims, “Grandma! Can you believe how high up I am!!?”
Remember to be patient with others, especially at the end of a long work/commute day.
Ask my friend how he his, not just how his mother’s chemo is going.
Say hello and be cheerful with a stranger.
Say thank you.
Being swept up in caregiving, commuting and work, it dawned on me that I’ve not been meditating on the psalms and passages as I had been. What began as a way to refocus and lower my blood pressure, became a ritual that I looked forward to and propelled me into praying in my little, unpracticed way. But they say small is beautiful.
Being present …really present when anyone is speaking. Being present in prayer ….mindful that God is actually listening to what I am saying and what I am not saying. Today I will be careful to be present and honest.
I do try in small ways very often to be a person who is there for others. I have a deeply compassionate nature and try to use that as a positive force in my daily life. Volunteering, teaching, serving in a multitude of ways in my church, etc. I hope it all adds up to something that is worthy of Gods approval. I struggle with the notion of feeling worthy and it’s something I’m constantly working on.
I actually pray very little in conventional manner, but I find myself in small little “conversations” with God multiple times each day. Sometimes it’s like “so what am I supposed to do now?”, or “God give me strength”, but more often than not, it’s actually me listening to God’s still small voice softly whispering to me exactly what I need to hear. Sorta like my best friend … deep within.
This is hard for me. I work in customer service and over the years have gotten hardened, tired of hearing the same problems over and over, tired of dealing with people who aren’t always nice to me. I need to practice this type of praying more. It’s not that the opportunities don’t present themselves to me, and usually they are crystal clear. It’s that my mindset isn’t ready to do them justice. So I guess I better pray for the God-like mindset.
I think you work in one of the most difficult fields, and of course it’s difficult to keep open when people are venting at you for things that aren’t your fault at all. Some of us, but not enough, realize this! I will remember your comment and try to pray for patience and peace for you and those in similar professions. Thank you.
On Tuesdays I tutor a student who lives in a homeless shelter. Today a new student joined us. As we talked about his experiences, I was able to commend the kindness he showed to a disabled student who had been bullied. I did a little tending today.
Smile, even when you really don’t feel like it. Sometimes if you smile enough your spirits begin to brighten
Open the eyes of my heart, to see those opportunities, to show Christ in me.
Yesterday at the gas station a young girl asked me for money, said she’d run out of gas. I have heard both pros and cons for giving money to people, but I try not to judge and I always try to see and provide some dignity to them as well. She said to me, “I apologize.” I said, “Don’t apologize.”
I do not always say a prayer everyday, but the internet has allow me to read various scriptures through out the day. Today I was spiritually guided to fulfill a promise to the youth of the church. I donated in order for youth to take a college tour this spring Today a small mission of giving was completed.
I offered a ride to church for our Shrove Tuesday dinner to someone who lives alone and cannot drive. She
would have no other way of getting there.
By offering a smile, an encouraging word, a human interaction with someone else today, especially someone who’s often overlooked, and then making this a habit every day.
I learned the value of the small things 30+ years ago when one of my chronic illnesses hit me hard. I realized how much little friendly, kind gestures by others when I was out eased the really difficult days. Health problems through the years have kept me from doing as much as I’d like to of the big stuff, but I strive to be kind, friendly, and generous in my dealings with other people, remembering how much of a difference people doing the same made in my life. Politicians can be a real challenge though…..
I spent time this morning explaining what Pancake Day is to my Dental Hygienist who seemed amazed to discover it had something to do with faith in God!
It’s Mardi Gras! We’ll fill our house with guests and feed them.
I will try to choose my words mindfully.
I can show gratitude to people for their kindness and thoughtfulness towards me. The people I deal with day to day are so friendly and worthy of hearing my thanks. Help me to be grateful Father. Gwedhen
Praying for peace in people’s lives while making Onion Soup to provide sustenance of body and soul to those who are in meetings and preparing for Shrove Tuesday Pancake Suppers.
I am praying for God’s love to displace the hurt, the bitterness, and the hopelessness I am sensing in a special family member. I am praying for restoration of his relationship with God. He is so hurt he threw away his Bible. He has no anchor for his life anymore. He has given up singing hymns and playing music praising God. Life’s hardships has pushed joy away and he is becoming jaded. Please join me in prayer, praying for Joe, and others just like him. There is power in prayer and love. Thank you.
I am going on a Eucharistic visit today, with one of our oldest, but fully alive parishioners, who is 97. In addition to the Eucharist, I always take the time to chat, and talk with her, and dont watch the clock. Being in busy, bustling New York is a daily challenge, and I am trying to be mindful, of all those little encounters, in stores, with people on the subway, to be fully present mentally, and spiritually, offering a kind word of thanks, really makes a difference.
As a naturally shy person, I have a tendancy to avert my eyes and pick up the pace when I am meeting another person on a sidewalk or in a hallway. It takes an extra effort to try and make eye contact, smile and offer a simple greeting, like, “Good Morning”. Today, I’ll begin amending my life in that direction.
Jim, eye contact is the first step. That breaks the ice. And it tells the other something about you. And then be open to what you may find within those eyes.
Thanks, Brother John,
I have been very slack with my daily prayers….I should change them up as I seem to be saying the same thing over and over. I find myself rushing through the Lord’s Prayer as a matter of rote without listening to what I am asking Him for and promising to do. I have, however, found that when facing any situation I get calmness, breathing room and a better resolution by saying the simple serenity prayer:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference…..living one day at a time, Thy will not mine be done”.
Sometimes I say this several times a day depending on what I am confronted with. It really helps me deliver in my own small way on God’s mission.
God help me not waste the day you have given me to practice listening and seeing.
In making all my daily activities an offering and a prayer to God. The challenge is feeling his presence in he midst of all the busyness and to dos. This begins with intentional prayer, which then leads to praying without ceasing throughout the day.
Sometimes the daily hum of a refrigerator and heating system and television and telephones and outside and inside dogs and husbands who need and children who breathe loudly and friends who rant and voices from an insinuating past and sometimes even the good word rises to a shout where together they becomes a concert where something and someone wanting to be heard waits in line for me to Stop. wait ….what are you really saying? or, perhaps, God is speaking and I am way too busy listening thank you. Today, I will try to turn down the volume…be here, present and willing.
I will remember that each person I come across provides an opportunity for me to be a blessing to them and them to be a blessing to me.
I try to make a conscious effort every day to really SEE the person in front of me. I try to look them in the eye so they know they are recognized and well regarded.
As the day progresses, it is my hope that I will see and hear the mission that God will set before me today. As my Rector encouraged us to do this past Sunday, I will be kind to all I meet and pray for the guidance and insight to accomplish God’s mission in me.
Say “good morning” with confidence, joy, and a smile–even though I have not had coffee yet!
“Its the little things”..very true. I still struggle with accepting that I can still be carrying out Christ’s work in this world in contexts and spaces wherein it doesn’t seem obvious to me that this is what I’m doing..such as when I’m at work. “Church” happens outside of the walls of where we worship..Monday-Saturday…I try and remember to ask every day for guidance in being God’s light, and having His eyes and ears to see and hear with as I move through my day. I think this helps me be more aware of God’s presence in situations, and how I can carry out one of the five marks of mission…where I might have missed these opportunities otherwise.
I love the image of wearing a name tag! Thank you.
I am trying to make a conscious effort at present simply to look for the good – in myself, in the other person, in the situations I am confronting, some of which are far from promising at present. God seems to sparkle in such places.