Confirm me, Lord, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and give me grace to be strong inwardly in soul and to cast out from it all unprofitable business of the world and of the flesh, that it may not be led by unstable desires of earthly things. And grant that I may behold all things in this world as they are – transitory and of short abiding, and I myself also to pass away together with them, for nothing under the sun can long abide, but all in vanity and affliction of the spirit.
Therefore, O Lord, give me true heavenly wisdom, that I may learn to seek you and to find you, and above all things to love you, and to understand and know all other things as they are, after the direction of your wisdom, and not otherwise. And give me grace, also, to withdraw myself from those who flatter me, and patiently tolerate those who grieve me so that the way I have begun will bring me to a good and blessed ending. read more…
Posts Tagged ‘prayer’
Love to pray. Feel often during the day the need for prayer, and take the trouble to pray. Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself. Ask and seek, and your heart will grow big enough to receive him and keep him as your own.
- From A Gift for God by Mother Teresa
I’ve come to the end of my 11th year as a full-time faculty member at Bethel College (Indiana). It’s been a great year, but I am looking forward to the summer to catch up on some much-needed reading, a few writing projects, working in the yard, and a few short family trips.
One of the college courses I teach is an introduction to Christian theology. For the course I make students spend two hours in silence and solitude somewhere and they can spend that time any number of ways. The initial reaction to the assignment when students first read it are dread, a bit of anger perhaps, and definitely a lot of fear. What would one DO being still and quiet for two hours? The students, like many of us, have packed in their lives with all sorts of activities and work, have mashed the accelerator to the floor, and gunned the engine to take each of lives curves as fast as possible.
In my morning reading time, I again came to this prayer from A Cry For Mercy by Henri Nouwen, which has long been a favorite prayer of mine:
O Lord, who else or what else can I desire but you? You are my Lord, Lord of my heart, mind, and soul. You know me through and through. In and through you everything that is finds its origin and goal. You embrace all that exists and care for it with divine love and compassion. Why, then, do I keep expecting happiness and satisfaction outside of you? Why do I keep relating to you as one of my many relationships, instead of my only relationship, in which all others are grounded? Why do I keep looking for popularity, respect from others, success, a claim, in sensual pleasures? Why, Lord, is it so hard for me to make you the only one? Why do I keep hesitating to surrender myself totally to you?
I suppose it’s tradition to assess life at each turn of the annual calendar. I don’t usually make resolutions of significance at New Year’s Eve – well at least any more than my weekly “this week I’m going to get better at….” promises. I’ve done well at the common ones: More exercise (thank you CrossFit!) and eating healthier. However, I have felt challenged to solidify some foundational activities in my life for this new year.
Inspired by the movie, “EAT PRAY LOVE”, I asked myself what three actions I wish to develop more in 2012 and I came up with Pray. Listen. Read.
This past Friday night I returned to our family group after missing our every-other-Friday gatherings since September. Our family group consists of five families who have met regularly together since 2000. It originally started as a ‘small group’ from our church. Now, as 3 of the families have moved to other churches, we still get together for Bible Study, prayer, sharing, and even a summer weekend retreat. Our kids are now teenagers, even though none of us adults have aged (of course) and we have survived the ups and downs of parenting, a divorce, death of loved ones, and we have seen healing in our midst. It’s a special group.
My fall schedule had unfortunately coincided with my speaking engagements and the YS conferences. So, it was great to be back this past week. We spent most of the evening praying for each of the kids in our group by name. It was a special evening that ended with a time of communion.
This prayer comes from The Book of Worship as printed in A Guide to Prayer, a great daily devotional book that I’ve used for years. It’s an appropriate prayer for those to whom work or ministry has become drudgery, which can often happen. May we work today with cheerfulness and gladness as we serve God with that gifts, talents, and abilities that He has given us.