A Prayer for Wednesday

Father, Give us a heart for earnest seeking.  Help us appreciate the value of unconditional love and the real risk associated with knowing that all our relationships are appropriately conditional.  Grant us the discernment to wisely understand that we can ruin relationships if we stubbornly resist change. Guide us as we navigate our own struggles with people who have betrayed us and for whom we have lost trust.  And in all these things pour your grace and mercy upon us for we are weak and without you we are hopeless.

Amen

A Prayer for Wednesday

Lord, Your people asked you how they had behaved contemptuously toward you and you told them!  With fear and trembling, we ask you to show us our own stubborn resistance to living life as you would have us.  But God, please be gentle with us for we are fragile at times. Thank you for your patience with us.

Amen

 

A Prayer for Friday

Father, you have given us a big vision for a job that so often seems so easy, natural and small as to feel as if we couldn’t possibly be getting it right.  When our love flows naturally from you to others, we hardly notice it happening. For those times when we love one another well in a way that includes both give and take - we give thanks.
 
For those times when either we perceive or come to know that we have experienced a love fail - we ask for mercy.  Forgive us our clumsy love-less ways!
 
Thank you for your guidance in these matters.  For today, we lay our weapons of defensiveness down and ask for your continued patience as we practice loving respect for  you, ourselves and others.
 
Amen
 

 

A prayer for Tuesday

Lord, today we pray.  We pray for those we love.  We confess that we have not always loved them well.  We pray for those who love us, acknowledging that we have not always made it easy on them to understand how to love us well.  We pray for our enemies, for we often prefer to despise them more than we desire to love them, which says way more about us than it does them.

 

 

In all these things, we come to your our source of all good things.  We ask for your forgiveness, and your guidance. We thank you for your patience with us even as we lament our own sloth in the work of transformation.

 

 

Get down here and help us! Please!  We are in bad shape!

 

Amen

 

A Prayer For Monday

Today, I pray for you and yours…

 

 

Lord, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

Who do we deceive?

Ourselves, Lord.

 

 

We deceive ourselves when…

We believe we are too far gone for you to reach down and scoop us up in your arms

We judge ourselves and find our own lacking reason from condemnation

We manage our own anxiety with veiled attempts to push it onto some other poor schmuck

We use our anger to fuel our action

We believe our emotions on face value and run headlong into reaction without pause

We distrust our feelings without thanking them for getting our attention

 

 

Woe are we in our confusion and chaos!

Bring us home Lord, home to you.

Grant us rest, as you promised.

Wisdom as you intended.

Save us and ours!

Amen

 

Prayer

14 And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14, NRSV

Prayer is one of the “obvious” spiritual disciplines, but can look many different ways.  We talked in earlier days about how prayer can be a more active experience, one in which we are talking to God (whether out loud or not), or a more passive experience (such as centering prayer’s focus on sitting in God’s presence).  

Rather than saying anything about “how to pray,” that’s a separate conversation, I want to offer a few practical thoughts on prayer.  I know most people struggle to pray at all.  I am one of these people.  If this is you- find the style of prayer that you can do.  In an ideal world we would all have wildly exciting and diverse prayer lives.  We don’t live in an ideal world.  Don’t think about time or frequency.  Focusing on those things is just shame attack waiting to happen.  Spend your energy discovering a form of prayer that you enjoy (or can at least tolerate) and do that when you can.  It’s easier to stick to it if you schedule it and make it a habit but, if that’s not happening, do it when you can.  Any amount is valuable, there is no minimum.  

There is no right or perfect way to pray.  Some people use acronyms or other tools as guides.  That’s fine if it helps you.  Centering prayer is no more correct than a more active form of prayer.  They are all strategies and approaches, they all have value, and they will speak to, or connect with, different people differently.  Find something you enjoy- but be willing to try uncomfortable things.  It took me years to be willing to experiment with centering prayer- now it is my go-to.  So, don’t be afraid to revisit something you’ve previously rejected.  We change.  

There are “talking” prayers and “silent” prayers.  There are also other options.  You can get the Book of Common prayer, for instance.  You can read these prayers, and take them as your own.  You can do the same with Psalms, or Lamentations, or even the Prophets.  Or you can simply pray the Lord’s Prayer.  Or the Serenity Prayer.  You can use pre-written prayers as guides so you do not have to form your own words.  This can be one of the simplest ways to get started.  

Prayer is our conscious contact with God but, don’t forget our communal mindset.  Prayer is also one of the ways in which we serve our community and our world.  It’s far bigger than us.  Community is always first!

A Prayer for Wednesday

I prefer to pray without using words.  It feels more true to me.  It’s my way of surrendering to God, trusting Jesus, listening for the whisper of the Holy Spirit’s guidance. 

 

But...there are days when only words will do.  I’ve found comfort and courage in prayer as I reframe and personalize the psalms.  Here is a common way I pray the first five verses of Psalm 103…Today, I pray this with you.

 

Praise the Lord, all our souls;

All our inmost beings, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, O our souls,

As we deliberately remember all your benefits

Mindful that you forgive all our sins

And you heal all our diseases, (although I find this confusing when the healing is not on this side of heaven),

Grateful that you redeem our lives from the pit

And you crown us with love and compassion (although sometimes you have to chase us down as we run from you),

You satisfy our desires with good things (even as we confuse good and bad)

All this so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s….

Oh to have the energy of youth and the wisdom of age, that is our prayer….

Spiritual Food (A Prayer)

Early in my own recovery efforts I found a book that helped me pray when I had no breath for it.  Root In God’s Love - Meditations on Biblical Texts for People in Recovery, by Dale and Juanita Ryan. 

 

One of my favorite prayers is found on page 19, I share it with you with prayers that your journey provides you with nourishment and healing…

 

Nourish me, Lord.

Mourish me with your love.

Calm the frantic feelings within me.

Grow a sense of security within me.

I want to be able to sit quietly.

Like a weaned child.

Nourished.

Secure in your love.

Amen

 

And the passage of scripture associated with this inspired prayer?

 

I have stilled and quieted my soul;

Like a weaned child with its mother,

Like a weaned child is

My soul within me.

Psalm 131:1-2

 

Go to www.nacr.org bookstore if you want to read more, which trust me, you do.

A prayer for your recovery journey

Do you have a favorite version of the Lord’s Prayer?  If not, Google it and find one.  Maybe use it today to guide your prayer time!  

 

 

Here’s one version I like:

 

Our Father in heaven,

Reveal who you are.

Set the world right;

Do what’s best—

   as above, so below.

Keep us alive with three square meals.

Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.

Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.

You’re in charge!

You can do anything you want!

You’re ablaze in beauty!

   

Yes. Yes. Yes.  This is from Eugene Peterson’s “The Message” translation.  Sometimes I use this instead of my NIV or CEB translations that I have used for years.  It just helps to shake things up sometimes!

 

A prayer for your recovery journey

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than

To be comforted –

To understand, than to be understood –

To love, than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.

It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

 

Amen

 

May you find a way to comfort, understand, love, set ego aside, and forgive today.  In so doing, may God grant you mercy.