Praying 10 minutes today: WEDNESDAY 6/20

Find a quiet time and place to pray... take a few deep breaths...
be still... and know that God is near...

A word to reflect on:   
There are seven things the Lord hates:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood;
a heart that plots wicked schemes,
feet that run swiftly to evil,
the false witness who utters lies,
and those who sow discord...   - Proverbs 6

There's no getting around it, Lord:
   you don't love everything I do.
In fact, you hate some things I say and do...

You hate when I look down on others,
   when my haughty heart judges those around me
      with a glance, a word, a gesture, a sigh
         or with something as silent as an unspoken thought...

You hate when I lie to others
   to make things easier for myself, to avoid responsibility,
      to pin the blame on someone else,
         to get others in trouble and get myself out of work.
You hate when I lie to you (and you always know when I'm lying)
   and you hate when I lie to myself...

You hate the shedding of innocent blood
   and you hate my wounding anyone, near or far,
      with my words, my deeds, my attitude, my pride...

You hate when my heart plots against others
   who plot against me;
those who lie about me and scheme against me;
   those whom I envy and regard with jealousy...

You hate, Lord, when my cowardly steps, my selfish steps,
   my greedy steps, my lustful steps run swiftly
      to what's false, what's harmful, what's unhealthy,
         what hurts and does not heal,
            what keeps me from growing in your truth and love...

You hate the false witness I give:
   in gossip, rumor and innuendo; 
   when I'm silent instead of speaking out;
   when I stretch the truth to put others down
      and pump myself up;
   when I distort the facts to favor my own benefit... 

You hate when I sow discord instead of seeds of peace;
   when my resentment refuses reconciliation; 
   when I won't accept the apology of someone who's offended me;
   when I won't step in to build things up - and let them fall apart;
   when I hold a grudge and won't let go 

      to heal and mend what's broken...

These are things you hate, Lord, 
   and the same are things I say and do much too often
      and too often without regret:
         but still you don't hate me... 

Whatever hateful things I do or words I speak, 
   you never despise me:
instead you call me, again and again, 
   to turn my heart around, change my ways 
         and make a new beginning...

In the silence of my prayer, Lord, 
   I know you're near, I hear your word
      and your judgment on my words and deeds...

And in the stillness, 
   I hear your word of loving, never-ending mercy...
 I pray your grace will change my heart
      that I might say the words and do the things 
         I know you love...

To ponder and pray over...
Is it hard to acknowledge that I do things God hates?
Which of the seven things are my biggest problems?
What will I ask of the Lord today?
From this prayer time, what word or phrase will I keep with me
   to carry through the rest of my day?
(After you spend some time with these questions,
   pray the reflection above one more time...)

Here are some tips for praying 10 minutes a day.  If you find these daily prayer reminders helpful, please let me know - and share them with others.  You'll find an archive of these daily posts here.

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