Praying 10 minutes today: FRIDAY 7/6

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:   
I will boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
   in order that the power of Christ
      may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses,
   insults, hardships, persecutions
      and constraints, for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.
- 2 Corinthians 12

You know me better than anyone else, Lord:
   you know me better than I know myself.
So you know there's a lot in my life I'm not content with,
   not even for your sake...

I can't claim St. Paul's burden of insults and persecutions
   - but of weaknesses and hardships I have plenty;
      and constraints, too, that hem me in,
         sometimes it seems, on every side...

You know me well, Lord, so you know that
   rather than boast of my weaknesses - I hate them.
And sometimes, on account of them - I hate myself.
And when I hate myself
   I deny and despise the work of your hands.
And when I fail to see your image within me,
   I loose sight of the grace and strength you offer me...

I'm not content with hardship:
    I complain about it and wonder why such problems are mine
       and when you'll fix them - or if you ever will...

Too often I blame you for my problems, Lord,
   when I know the blame is mine
and so often I expect you to make everything right
   when my own efforts have been sketchy and halfhearted...

In spite of that,
   I do understand St. Paul's word, that
      when I am weak, then I am strong...

I know that it's in my weakness,
   and in my facing and accepting my powerlessness,
that I will come to know your power
      and welcome your grace to dwell with me
         and move to dwell within your strong embrace...

When I boast of my own strength, I fail, Lord.
When I count on my own power, I'm soon defeated.
When I think I can do it by myself, without your help,
   without the help of those around me,
then I find myself alone and constrained and confined
   by my weak will and my lack of resolve...

When I believe I can make progress without prayer,
   that I can change my ways without confessing my need for you,
      that peace will fill my heart without my letting go my doubts and fears,
then I am lost, walking in circles of confusion,
   on paths that lead me back again to where I first began:
      in my weaknesses and in my hardships and constraints...

I'm so often lost in my own weakness,
   constrained by my doubts,
though I know you're by my side, waiting on my letting go
   to free fall from my foolish pride
      into your hands, outstretched to catch and save me...

Help me name, help me face and even boast of my weaknesses, Lord:
   how else will I be emptied of all that holds me back
and gladly welcome in your power, your presence and your peace?

Help me accept my hardships and problems, Lord,
   that I might see them as they are,
      shrunk to their true proportions.

Send your Spirit to free me from what constrains me, Lord:
   to unlock the shackles of habit, to loosen the bonds of fear,
      to untie the ropes of self-doubt,
         to free me from all that keeps me from becoming
             the person you made me to be...

Let me rejoice in my powerlessness, Lord,
   for in it, I can open my life to you
      coming to meet me, to heal and make me whole,
         precisely where my weakness needs your strength...

In some way, today, Lord, in some small way that I can see:
   let me find in my weakness the promise of your powerful presence;  
let me see how in trusting you, my problems become less threatening;
   and set me free from what holds me down
      that I might rise and find my strength in you...
In the quiet of my prayer, right now, Lord,
   help me trust that you are by my side.
In the quiet of my prayer, right now, Lord,
   open my heart to the help you offer me.
In the quiet of my prayer, right now, Lord,
   let me boast of my weakness as the path, the portal
      to my strength in you...

In the stillness of my prayer, let me free fall
   into the peace you hold out for me -
and catch me, save me now, Lord,
   in your strong and outstretched arms...

To ponder and pray over...
What weaknesses, hardships and problems, what constraints
    keep me from the peace my heart desires?
What doubts and fears do I hold on to 
   that keep me from trusting God? from trusting others?
What constrains my freedom?  What do I need to let go of?
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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