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Inspirations from Kerstin Hack

Kategorie: Prayer (Seite 1 von 3)

How I pray – my pattern for prayer

A dear friend recently told me, that she finds ist hard to sit and pray. And asked me: „How do you pray?“

I told her that I usually do not sit when I pray. I generally do not like to sit – I built myself a standing desk and a walking desk (a treadmill with a laptop stand) because sitting for a long time is not good for your body. The body is not made for sitting long term – not even in prayer.

Prayer postures

Most religious traditions honor that. So body posture for prayer includes

  • lying (I like that)
  • kneeling
  • standing – often with hands lifted up
  • dancing
  • walking

I like talking to God when I walk – it comes very natural to me.

Labyrinths as Prayer tools

As I do not have the time to go to a park every morning two artistic friends, Elizabeth and Scott, created a labyrinth on the roof of my ship for me. Especially in the middle ages Labyrinths were popular as a framework to hold your steps and your mind while you prayed. Some of them – for example the one in the Chartres Cathedral are really big – and it takes about one hour to reach the center.  I have a pinterest collection of Labyrinths.

My labyrinth is a bit smaller – but what I love about it is that it holds me and my steps, leads me to the center – marked by a heart and then from there back „to the world“. I can do a quick run through the labyrinth in a few minutes or take my time and very slowly walk and pray.

What I love about it is that et every turn the scenery changes. I see water on one side, factories on the other,. In some positions the sun shines in my face, in others she warms my back (providing she is there -after all i live in Germany). This change of scenery often inspires my prayers. So one time as I was praying about a woman who intensely requested something from me I did not want to give, I saw a buoy – it reminded me of my right and obligation to set healthy boundaries.

So – how do I pray

As mentioned I love to chat. But at times I do enjoy a more structured approach. This is how I pray then.

  • Connection:  Our father in Heaven

All prayer is a means for connection. So I remind myself that I am a daughter of a good heavenly father. IF the sun is out I give myself some moments or minutes to simply feel the sunshine on my face as a touch of his love. I also take time to think about his attributes and reflect and comment on them and express how they affect and touch me.

  • Thankfulness: Hallowed be your name

I take time to express my thankfulness. When my brain is still tired in the morning often the same things come to mind: Security (no war), Health, provision. To be a bit more diverse  it helps me to think about thankfulness in different categories: What am I thankful for in my Job, in my friendships, in my last experiences?

  • Learning to forgive Forgiveness:  Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us.

Forgiveness has so many shades and aspects that I wrote a whole training manual about it: Learning to forgive. n(also available as ebook) In my mornings I often ask the Lord to show me if there is someone I need to forgive. Sometimes it is someone else, but very often that someone is myself. To make forgiveness more tangible I imagine myself standing in front of the person  looking that person (or myself) in the eye and say: „I forgive you!“ As usually there is some accusation and anger involved (who is without sin) I also imagine asking for forgiveness from them and father God. And  also receiving His forgiveness as a gift. I love it that the word give is included in the word forgiveness.

  • Long-Term  Perspective: Your kingdom come!

This part can include prayers for the world, political and social situation, but very often I focus on how I would like to be available for God to be used to bring his kingdom. I think and communicate about the person he would like me to become in the long run to advance his blessing on the earth.  Here I also find it helpful not to take the whole package, but think about different aspects each day: My character. my relationships, my business.  I try to catch a glimpse of the picture of what he wants me to become in these areas and pray into it.

  • Short-term  Perspective: Your kingdom come…today!

Here I break the big picture into what it means for today. I run through the schedule of my day and think of the best, most god-honoring and life-filled way to go through this particular day. In my mind I imagine myself working with focus, envision myself meeting people in real life or on the phone with attention etc.

  • Asking for help and reminding myself of his strength:  Give us this day our daily bread … lead us not into temptation… deliver us… yours is the kingdom and the Glory…

Feeling and expressing my need for help and company. He is so good. And he is with my.

As you have probably noted much of my prayer practice follows the Lord prayer.

I personally like to put in then thankfulness right at the beginning and the forgiveness earlier in the prayer – then the „ugly stuff“ is dealt with. But following it in the way Jesus taught it of course is the original.

Miracles Take a Little Longer

2014-02-05 16.23.55„Miracles take a little longer!” This is so easy to say when you aren’t waiting for one… yet it is wonderful when something occurs about which we can wonder…

One side of shipbuilding: Hard work

Building a ship is a lot of work. I putter around on the ship on any given 3 afternoons and on Saturdays. It also takes work to earn money. I do what I can to bring the required finances together. I rent out my guestroom, recycle bottles, sell used items and books, coach, hold seminars, and much more in order to earn money. Hard work is one side of the coin.

The other side of shipbuilding: Miracles that occur

A friend of mine who identifies as an atheist mentioned recently that as he noticed how often things that I prayed for happened, he began to wonder: „Until now, I have always just believed in coincidence, but in your case, it’s pushing the limits!“

A few miracles from the last couple of days:

– The money that I have earned, borrowed, and received as a gift has sufficed so far. Sometimes, like with the high wharf rent, it was really tight, but it has always been enough. I am so thankful for all of the big and small donations that have made this possible.

– I’ve been praying for several months that God would send me a ventilation engineer who can help me with the ventilation plans. A man from Ghana who studied ventilation in Spain and just came to Berlin looking for a job has contacted me and is now going to make the calculations and plans for me…

– On my list of things that I still need for the ship is „espresso machine for seminar operation.“ At the birthday party of my father, I told one of his friends about the ship without revealing any details about the needs. Suddenly, he asked, „Do you need an espresso machine?“ And he gave me a fancy, barely-used unit.

– Friends were telling a young woman about my ship. She has visited the sea for many years, loves ships, and currently has more free time than she’d prefer, and now, she’s getting involved with the ship…

Someone – was it Luther? – once said: “Pray as though you cannot work. And work as though you cannot pray.“ Absolutely!

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/wunder-dauern-etwas-laenger/#sthash.IcpAcJd1.dpuf

Growing in Trust: Sad Answers to Prayer

Did I trust today? Yes! Trusting God – during and despite disappointment in humans During the first phase of renovation, I worked together with a shipbuilder who took responsibility for the work. He worked on many areas properly and well, but unfortunately not on all. In some areas, this is not so tragic: when new lacquer is laid over old lacquer on the ceiling and both come off together when someone hits their head against it, it’s annoying. However, when in the underwater areas of the ship rusty spots aren’t cleaned or insulated, it’s not just annoying, it’s life-threatening. Every rust spot is a source of danger if not treated. So my prayer in the last few months was that God would make me aware of all of the places that need to be reworked. I discovered a spot with black core rust in the seminar room in the keel of the ship and another further above. 2014-01-18 17.06.30Yesterday, someone helped me lay insulation. He didn’t get it stuck well in the corner, and I pulled the insulation up to show him how to do it properly. Suddenly, I didn’t just have the insulation in my hand but also a palm-sized piece of lacquer and rust. I almost cried. It is so frustrating when I can’t trust the work that someone else did (The black areas on the picture to the left are rust spots. The big black areas to the right are black insulation). Hier ist der - gerade erst 5 Monate alte - Lack schon wieder abgeblättert. Here it is – only 5 months old – lacquer already flaking. This morning as I was talking with God about it, it became clear to me: God is answering my prayer. I had asked Him to show me the areas that aren’t sound. The area yesterday was really a random find… normally rust hides well under white lacquer. Yes, I am sad that there are bad spots on the ship despite the performed and paid work, but I am thankful that we’ve already discovered some of the most critical spots. God has obviously answered my prayer. 2014-01-13 16.02.37 I am also thankful for the people who help me. Last week, my cousin derusted and oil-sealed about 15 square meters that according to my estimation and the opinions of multiple shipbuilders whom I asked hadn’t been worked on at all. Now, friends from Portugal are painting it again with primer, and then we can put on the insulation. The whole thing cost me three extra weeks of time and was very frustrating, but better safe than sorry. In short: I am sad that the situation is the way it is and thankful that God answered my prayers and thankful for the support of other people! I ask my God to comfort me about my experienced harm… and am excited to see what He comes up with! – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/im-vertrauen-wachsen-traurige-gebetserhoerung/#sthash.CcHN4Gs4.dpuf

Growing in Trust: The Foundations for Trust

Stapel Bild0006Did I trust today? Yes! Above all, I trusted that I have enough time for taking breaks – despite or perhaps because I am currently in the middle of a writing marathon. A first milestone has been reached: the manuscript for the inspirational booklet about Coco Chanel is finished. I enjoyed being preoccupied with this fascinating woman. The next weeks will bring the following: an article about God’s promises, the quadro Lean and Fit, a lecture: Nonviolent Communication, another lecture: Spirituality and Psychology. Then two more inspirational booklets: Friendship and Grief. Although I enjoy writing and do so quickly, this is still a lot of work. Oh yea, I’m building a ship on the side which means all kinds of organizational work. The Foundations for Trust I recently asked myself what the foundations for my trust in God are. The basics for me are these four things:

  • – God is good and trustworthy in His essence.
  • – God is powerful and can shape and change situations (even if He doesn’t always do so).
  • – God is relational. He want’s to be close to me.
  • – God is task-oriented. He wants to cause good things in this world.

Upon these cornerstones, I can anchor my trust:

  • Because God is good, I can trust that He is also good to me.
  • Because He is powerful, I can trust that He can also act for me.
  • Because He is close to me, I can feel secure.
  • Because He wants to affect things in the world, I can trust that He will help me in the tasks with which He has entrusted me.

This doesn’t mean that I expect everything in life to go smoothly. That would be a delusion. God is powerful, but He limits His power within the boundaries of the personal responsibility of people and the expectation of being invited to act (Christians call this invitation „prayer“). – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/glaube/im-vertrauen-wachsen-die-basis-fuer-vertrauen/#sthash.dyKesEZQ.dpuf

Trust 2014

IMG_0980Over the last few months, I often asked myself the question: was I alive today? I feel like this is not going to be my theme for the next few months. I am alive, and I am aware of life (sometimes more, sometimes less). I notice an inherent liveliness and am pleased. This year, it is important to me to grow in trust. I would like to trust God more, trust myself more, and trust other people more (as appropriate). For me, appropriate means: according to how well I know people in general and this person in particular. Some people, whom I know very well and have known for a long time, I trust very much. For others, trust is still growing. First, I have to discover in which areas I can and cannot trust them. What have I learned today about trust? It is lovely and calming when I can trust people. On New Year’s Eve, I prayed for the new year with a very good friend. For more than 15 years, I have known her as a woman who has a very intimate relationship with God and is sensitive to hearing Him speak. We asked God to tell us what is important to Him for the different areas of my life (publishing company, ship, health) and then discussed what we each heard internally. About health, she said that the keyword „salt bath“ came to mind. She couldn’t figure out what it meant, but I knew. I know that stress, both internal as well as „only“ physical (like through building a ship), overacidificates the muscles, and natural sea salt or rock salt brings balance and regeneration. For Christmas, I (not completely unselfishly) gave my neighbor and friend, Sonja, a two-for-the-price-of-one coupon book. There wasn’t a coupon for a salt bath in the book, but there was one for Saltero: a massage and a time of relaxation in a completely salt-coated grotto. After a while there, it was as if I were at the sea: my airways are clear again, I can breathe more freely and deeply, my back is wonderfully relaxed, hours later my skin in still pleasantly lightly salty, and I am wonderfully relaxed. It wasn’t exactly a salt bath, but it was pretty close. Without the impulse from my friend, I surely wouldn’t have gone, and now I am very glad. Trust was good to me. And: I would like to go there again… – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/vertrauen-2014/#sthash.EayO7Uve.dpuf

Discovering Life – Ants and Kings

IMG_0220Was I alive today?

Yes!

What new thing did I learn about life?

From a report via a television program on the topic the beauty of women: Lebanese women are considered the most beautiful women of the Near East because of their facial features and figures – my German-Lebanese friend told me about it. They spend tremendous amounts of time and energy on creating and maintaining their beauty and go, when they can afford it, to the salon around three times per week. In a society where the ratio of women to men is 3:1 (many young men work abroad), enormously high competition reigns. 90% of all women choose to have their children via cesarean section, because they see it as safer and less beauty-threatening than natural birth. Right now, the young women who are educated are finding themselves in conflict regarding whether they want to continue to „play the game,“ but they often don’t have a choice.

What new thing did I learn about myself?

Sometimes it bothers me when I compare myself to how things should be done – and I find it wonderful when God then says to me, „You are good enough.“ There are people who can plan things to the smallest detail – I am not one of them. I can only approach things in stages and layers.

Once in a while, people criticize me for the way I am approaching things with the ship, „Kerstin, you should first contract with engineering consultants to draw up a complete plan before you proceed.“ „You should contract with a ship-builder…“ etc.

My good friend, with whom I am currently enjoying a few restful days, prayed this morning and asked God what He would like to say to me. She felt like she should read Proverbs 6. Among other things, she read, „The ants are self-organized, have no king, yet still fill their barns!“

She felt like God wanted to say to me, „Kerstin, there are work teams that don’t have a king to tell them what to do. With your ship project, you have teams that more or less organize themselves. And that is OK! That’s also a possibility. And you will reach your goal and ‚fill your barn.'“

That really encouraged me. I don’t need to be anything other than myself… I am allowed to be how I am… and my God deals and works with me in my fashion. How incredibly comforting!

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erfolg/leben-entdecken-ameisen-und-koenige/#sthash.qe0ztKJQ.dpuf

Discovering Life – Diverse Advice

Was I alive today? And how… in playing with my nephew, telephoning with my niece and many others… What new thing did I learn about life? Advice comes from all kinds of sources. There Hmm? – See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/leben-entdecken-vielfaeltiger-rat/#sthash.9E3KciRL.dpuf

Discovering Life – God has Outdone Himself Again

2013-12-21 17.59.59Was I alive today?

Yes! I am thankful that my biggest wish is being fulfilled and also that the first layer of insulation is up in the engine room before Christmas. Now, the cold (if it comes) isn’t a huge threat anymore.

What new thing did I learn about life?

It is amazing and full of surprises.

What new thing did I learn about myself?

I have a lot of fantasy and imagination. I think I’m creative in my solutions. Yet, sometimes God does things that surpass my wildest fantasies, and that means something.

His last coup: I had prayed for several months for a real electrician who could support me in the whole electric installation (about which I am clueless). This was one of the things that gave me the most stomachaches. When I have a stomachache about something, I pray and ask God for help.

His answer: He sent me an electrical engineer who is also a trained boat builder with a passion for ships. A few months ago, he found his way through gospel music that deeply moved him to the God about whom they were singing. My project is composed of many things that relate to him: his abilities and passions and his new journey with God. He is now helping me with the planning and will support me as much as he can within the limits of his possibilities (he is self-employed)… It doesn’t get better than that.

Icing on the cake: The only time that was possible for him to see my ship for the first time (he lives further away) was Saturday morning. The only time that worked for the man who is going to build the solar system for the ship was Saturday morning. So they came at the same time and planned things out so that everything works together. Some of it was Greek to me, and I had some things translated for me into layman’s terms, but it sounded really good.

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/leben-entdecken-gott-hat-sich-mal-wieder-selbst-uebertroffen/#sthash.MVMauP5m.dpuf

Discovering Life – Shepherds and Sheep

IMG_0183 Was I alive today?

Yes!

What new thing did I learn about life?

What new thing did I learn about myself?

I often begin the day by reading Losungen – selected inspiring Bible texts… Yesterday“s was:

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me.” (John 10:14, New Living Translation)

This touched me deeply on two levels:

  • My Job = Trust: It was a reminder for me that trust is asked for. Sometimes things don“t go fast enough for me on the ship. I would prefer to be further. And it“s sometimes a real challenge for me to let go and to trust that God is already leading me. There is a saying, „Many people want to serve God, as an advisor!“ I often belong to this group. I have 1000 ideas about what He could do faster and better. It“s sometimes really dificult for me to let go and to trust that HE is the shepherd and daily gives me what I need for that day. I have decided to practice this more intensively and to declare to God my trust that He has everything in view. And He means well.
  • His Job: To be the Shepherd – and to care for me in the way that I need. “I know my own sheep” left an impression on me. It really touched me to be reminded that He really knows me. A few days ago, I did a really good personality test. The results were not really surprising: I am a visionary, am bored to death by housework, and live in the future, in what should be. And I“m hard on myself – more than others – when things don“t go fast enough.

As I read the verse, I thought and prayed, „Ok. I want to trust You. For today. But hey, it also says that You know me. And if You know me, then You also know that I need encouragement. I need to see that things are (quickly) moving forward. You know that there is nothing that brings my heart more joy than when things are moving in the right direction.

God must have heard my prayer… things are moving forward. I am rejoicing about:

  • Two friends who helped me yesterday to put up insulation so that we could come forward faster
  • 2o 25 Euro donations for the ship project by Betterplace and Paypal… again two more hours of work further
  • Four friends from Portugal who wrote that they would like to come for 7 or 8 days to help on the ship and really make some progress
  • A friend who wrote that he would like to sponsor the trip of one of the Portuguese because 3 of the 4 are unemployed and don“t have any money
  • 30 Euros worth of selling used books on Amazon… not huge, but every little bit helps
  • Over 400 Euros worth of selling books from our publishing house at a church bazaar. Of course the proceeds go first to employee wages and production costs, but anything left over goes into the ship
  • A woman who called and asked if she could help… she is currently doing a practicum in Berlin but has plenty of free time and energy and was looking for a meaningful activity to engage in… a friend told her about me…

My heart rejoices… because things are moving forward… and because I sense that my God sees me…

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/allgemein/leben-entdecken-hirten-und-schafe/#sthash.etNrLSsu.dpuf

Discovering Life – Differences and Brotherly Blessing

Was I alive today?Image029 Yes! What new thing did I learn about life? I was thinking again about what I have heard about the fundamental longings and fundamental fears of the four personality types according to the DISC assessment:

  • Dominance: Independence/To be forced
  • Inducement: Approval/To be short-changed
  • Steadiness: Security/To be left alone
  • Conscientiousness: Doing everything right/To be corrected

I find it interesting and insightful. What new thing did I learn about myself? Right now, the support and encouragement from others, both male and female, has been very helpful for me in regards to the ship project. I recently received two very encouraging emails from dear men I know. One wrote:

A ship is very heavy by itself, and it’s hard to believe that it can float and won’t sink. But the water carries it. Steady and through all the highs and lows, it shows enormous endurance and toughness. A ship must allow itself to fall into the water and to be carried. It can’t do anything about it. But you can also allow yourself to be carried by God and to continue step-by-step. I’m writing all of the exciting things along the way in a logbook for your ship, and you will experience the next few months like a journey with exciting adventures, times where it storms and fear rises, and times when the sun shines and you feel simply wonderful. You don’t know yet how long the journey will be. But every day is a discovery, even when nothing happens and you only have encounters on the ship or, LIKE NOW, you are on vacation on land and leave the ship alone. It’s waiting for you. Someday, instead of the negligible renovation trips, you will be having huge journeys of completion, seminars, and all kinds of beautiful things. But that will still be awhile. You are not alone, because you have some friends who are very close to you and are supporting your project. And the ship is on-site and floats and belongs to you (or the bank), but it’s also that way with most houses that people own. I really admire you. Your competence is growing tremendously in my eyes. The landlubber woman who is building a ship. This comes just after the man who dances with wolves.

I wrote to another man who is like a father to me, even though we are only in contact every few months, telling him that I had dreamt last night of an encounter with him. And I asked him to pray for me. He wrote back:

Your dream doesn’t surprise me. Over the last few weeks, the Spirit has encouraged me to pray for you again and again. You see: the „father’s blessing“ has been given to you even before you sent the letter. It’s good that you’ve brought this ship project to Down-to-Earth. Even Noah had to build his boat without any special knowledge and relying on the guidance of the Spirit. It’s also good for you and for the future home of many. We’ll stick around!

Be protected, you chosen of God! In loving connection,
This touched me almost to tears… it’s good to know that a father is praying for me with blessing – even before I ask him to.

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/erlebnisse/leben-entdecken-bruederlicher-segen/#sthash.sOHd2DxH.dpuf

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