Friday, July 20, 2012

Praying 10 minutes today: FRIDAY 7/20


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:   
Bless the Lord, my soul,
all my being, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, my soul;
and do not forget all his gifts...
- Psalm 103




(Before moving on to the reflection below,
   spend some quiet time with the scripture verse above...)

Me, Lord? 
Would I forget all your gifts to me? 
No way!

I mean, how could I? 
You've been so generous...

Well, I guess, maybe sometimes it's true:
   I do forget.
I loose track of what you've given me,
   how you've been there for me,
      what you've done for me...

See, that was back then, Lord,
   and this is now...

I so easily focus on 
   what I need from you now;
   how I need you in my life at this moment;
   and what I want you to do for me, today... 

Sometimes, Lord,  my memory of past blessings 
   doesn't even reach back to yesterday...

What you gave me last month,
   how you blessed me last year
      and the gifts I've received and carried for decades:
all of these fall into a great black hole,
   forgotten and eclipsed by my needs today...

I don't mean to be ungrateful, Lord,
   but often that's where I end up,
forgetful of your forgiving love,
   your enduring patience and endless mercy,
      you abiding presence at my side
and your gifts, large and small, hand delivered to my heart:
   some gifts opened, enjoyed but then discarded;
   others used, abused or wasted;
   and some left tied, wrapped up, unopened
      when my petulant heart in self-pity
         refused to receive what you offered... 

Bless the Lord, my soul,
   all my being, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, my soul;
   and do not forget all his gifts... 

Once more then, Lord, 
   I ask for your forgiving love, 
      your patience and your mercy.
 I pray you drop these gifts on my heart's doorstep
   that I not miss them,
      not fail to receive them gratefully;
   that I might open them with joy 
      and find in them the peace of your presence 
         that comes with your hand's every gift...

And, refreshed by such grace, Lord,
   open my memory and my mind to look back
      and find again the gifts I've forgotten
         from years, months, weeks and days ago...

Help me recognize the gifts I failed to see
   when they arrived in wrappings I didn't expect;
help me find and accept any gift I ignored or rejected
   because  it wasn't just the one I'd prayed for;
help me be grateful for gifts whose time has passed,
   gifts my angry heart refused to open and accept, 
and give me joy in knowing that you were there for me 
   with gifts unknown, unnumbered and undeserved;
help me know, in my heart of hearts,
   that you know better than I, Lord, what I really need
      and what will truly bring me peace...

In this quiet time, Lord, in your mercy, 
   pardon and forgive me for having forgotten, lost and wasted
      so much of what you've given me
and especially any gifts you gave
   for me to share with others...

Open the eyes of my heart and soul,
   the doors of my mind and memory,
      to find all the gifts I've received from your hand.
Teach my heart to rejoice in your generous love...

In the stillness here with you, Lord,
   give me the gift of a grateful heart
      and grant me an attitude of gratitude...

Give me your Spirit's help to recognize your gifts
   regardless of their wrapping or how they came my way;
open my heart to gifts I didn't ask or pray for,
   the gifts you knew I needed, though maybe not the gifts I wanted...

Help me trust that you know best what I need most today
   and that you will give me everything I need to be at peace
      with you, with my neighbor and with myself...
 
To ponder and pray over...
Am I remembering gifts from God that I missed?  gifts I wasted?  
   gifts I discarded?  gifts I refused?
It's never too late to thank God for such gifts...
Do I need to develop and attitude of gratitude?
For what gifts, today, am I grateful to God?
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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