Drawing closer to god through prayer

and The Word of God

Articles by Ann Fitzgerald regarding the power of prayer,

the daily reading of the Bible (The Word of God)

along with seasonal church related observances

Standing on the outside looking in

Sometimes life is like that. The haunting sense of loneliness can touch our lives in the middle of a crowd or in the silence of the wood. I recently had a day like that, surrounded by life in my urban neighborhood I felt lonely so with journal in hand I sought refuge in a familiar setting. 


Living on the outside looking in.

     Refuge in a coffee shop

           In the middle of a crowd,

In the middle of noise and nothingness

   Seeking a place, seeking…


In the middle of the crowd, Lord

          Help me hear your voice,

In the middle of the silence, Lord

           Help me hear your voice

  In the middle of life, Lord

          Help me live in you, Lord.


 “One with many friends may be harmed, but there is a friend who stays closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 CSB)


“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.” (John 15:4 CSB)


September 13, 2018

Prayers of the Saints Thomas a Kempis 1380 -1471

Grant me, O Lord, to know what is worth knowing,

To love what is worth loving,

To praise what delights you most,

To value what is precious in your sight,

To hate what is offensive to you.

Do not let me judge by what I see,

Nor pass sentence according to what I hear,

But to judge rightly according to what I hear,

But to judge rightly between things that differ,

And above all to search out and to do what pleases you,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. 


September 2, 2018


"In the Garden"  is a favorite hymn of mine and was inspired by the gospel of John, chapter 20. It reminds me that the human story began in a garden, that Jesus prayed in the garden and that God continues to call to us to walk in the garden with him. I have focused this summer’s writings on walking using the small book, “Every Step a Prayer; Walking as Spiritual practice” by Thomas R Hawkins and I hope that you discovered some new insights along the way. I can see now that every step is sacred and the journey we are on is holy when God guides our steps.  


I come to the garden alone

While the dew is still on the roses

And the voice I hear, falling on my ear

The Son of God discloses


And He walks with me

And He talks with me

And He tells me I am His own

And the joy we share as we tarry there

None other has ever known

He speaks and the sound of His voice

Is so sweet the birds hush their singing

And the melody that He gave to me

Within my heart is ringing


I'd stay in the garden with Him

'Tho the night around me be falling

But He bids me go; through the voice of woe

His voice to me is calling


August 26, 2018


Listen to the song



Walking as Pilgrimage

Leaving home seeking…

Returning home humbled…

  …always celebrated on our return…

        When God’s heart is our home


Jesus tells the story in Luke 15:11-32 we identify as the “Parable of the Prodigal Son.” One son stayed home and the other took his Father’s gift and walked away.


What was he seeking? His fortune? he already had that. A different identity? a 2nd son lacked the prestige of the 1st. Fun? perhaps. We only know that he took his inheritance and set off on a pilgrimage hoping to find something new. Thomas Hawkins (Every Step a Prayer: Walking as Spiritual Practice) speaks about a pilgrim as “one who seeks to go beyond their normal routines by disrupting everyday patterns, hoping to encounter something new that fills them with awe or wonder.”


The son returned home and was met with great celebration. Thoreau has written that “to go for a walk is to become a pilgrim, a wayfarer who leaves the safety of home in search of holy ground. Yet whatever long, winding roads wayfarers travel, their steps usually lead them back to their own doorsteps” (ibid). And in that arrival we are always changed.


I don’t suppose every walk I take to be a pilgrimage, but when I am intentional of my steps and aware of God in my journey I will always find myself returning home to my Father’s loving embrace....August 16,  2016

Always greet the world with innocence

 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves”. Matthew 10:16 NIV


When you open your eyes let them be eyes that see true colors, unfiltered by this world’s light and let your words be original words not rehearsed lines from last years script. Watch expectantly with your new born eyes for sights that you have not seen and listen for the newness of sounds just spoken. The sky might have been just as blue yesterday as today and blue the day before as well. What does that matter but that the sky you see today has been born anew for you.


You are an original, a one of a kind and never to be copied creation of God who loves you and delights in the wildness of your innocence. He sees hope for the nations when we live freed from the world’s expectation and lifeless good form to become living witnesses to His grace and transformation.


Greeting the world and living daily in authenticity to the person God created is difficult and can be met with skepticism and disapproval from people we meet on a daily basis. Walking a different path from the world’s perception of goodness, embracing those that the world tells us to avoid and being vulnerable in every meeting is not an easy choice but it is the way that Jesus walked and it is the way we must follow if the world is to know of God’s great love....August 5, 2018

The Walk

“By the blessing of the upright, a city is raised up; but the words of the wicked tear it down.” Proverbs 11:11 CEV


There was a time that San Jose had more trees than people. There was a time that streets were safer and people friendlier. But today I walk past garbage in the streets and am saddened by the homelessness of this community. I fear walking at night. I hate to admit the extent of my grumbling as I look for better places to walk.


But God does not look for nicer places to walk and is intimately aware of every person along the way. Because God lives in the heart of every Christian, each path we walk holds potential for God to transform another life. Through history many well-known transformations have taken place on the road ‘as they walked.’ Jesus touched the eyes of the blind, the skin of the leper, a soldier’s daughter as he walked along the road. The disciples met the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus, Saul’s transformation to Paul, and Philip’s meeting the Ethiopian eunuch all took place ‘as they travelled.’ There are countless more examples throughout the centuries of people meeting Jesus ‘on the road’.


The paths we tread are the places of spiritual transformations. When we learn this and become aware of God’s presence in every place along the path, when we open our hands and humbly allow God’s work to be done through us then San Jose will surely be blessed.


Ezekiel followed his heart back to a place of ruin to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and God renamed the city “The LORD is here” (Ezekiel 48:35 NIV). Can you imagine San Jose with the name of “The LORD is here?” Can you imagine the power of God’s people when they walk and when they pray?

Pray that God’s presence is made known in any place and any time that you commune with God. Walk On.... July 2018


Think on these things . . .

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things”. (NIV).


We have just returned from 16 days in Colorado. Much of that time we were in or near the Rocky Mountains that I love so dearly. It was easy to meditate and to write about the beauty of God’s creation while sitting in the cradle of Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park. This cannot take away from the magnificence of the giant sequoias or the rhythmic return of the waves along the beach. These are the things that make the psalmist write psalms. God has created all things beautiful for our pleasure. The following poem is written by a favorite poet of mine. She writes about loving this world as her life work. I think this would be a very good career choice.


Messenger 

by Mary Oliver


My work is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—

equal seekers of sweetness.

Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.

Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me

keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be

astonished.

The phoebe, the delphinium.

The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.

Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart

and these body-clothes,

a mouth with which to give shouts of joy

to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,

telling them all, over and over, how it is

that we live forever.