Praying 10 minutes today: SATURDAY 7/7

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 thank the Lord with all my heart:
   great are the works of the Lord,
      to be pondered by all who love them...
- Psalm 111

The scriptures praise you, Lord,
   for all the seasons and every element of nature -
but I complain about the snow in January,
         I pray for warmth in February and I curse the heat in July...

In my heart of hearts I long for a universe
   tailored to my whims and wants
and so I often miss the power and beauty, the drama and glory
   of the world you made, the works of your hand:
      all meant to be studied and pondered in grateful prayer...

I pray for the warmth of your love
   but fail to find it in the sun of summer days
      when you bake me in its rays...

I pray to be showered by your grace
   but shy away from clouds that bring a summer's rain:
      I run for cover lest I be drenched in all you pour upon me...

Draw me out into the sun, Lord,
   as into the light of your face, too bright to see.
Be the heat upon my eyelids, cheeks and flesh:
   my whole body warmed as your heart burns for me...

When the rain comes, draw me out 
   to inhale the sweetness only you and summer showers bring.
Soak me in your grace until I shiver in knowing
   how generous is your care for me...

Whether under the sun or in the rain, 
   let me see the work of your hand, Lord, in everyone around me:
      in all whose paths cross mine today;
      in family and neighbors, in strangers and the best of friends,
      in parishioners and pastor, in colleagues and clients,
      in passers-by and folks I see every day...

In their words and their silence, in their stories and their tears,
   help me hear how you live and move in their lives.
And in their smiles and laughter
   help me hear the delight you take in all of us, in every one of us, 
      in my neighbor and in me...

In all I hear today, Lord, 
   let me hear the sound of your Spirit 
      moving, blowing and breezing 
         through my heart, my home, my workplace and my neighborhood.
Then I will praise you and give thanks for the work of your hands,
   for all that echoes in my heart... 

Let the weather, rain or shine,
   and the people, friends and strangers,  
      and the silence and all sounds
         leave their mark upon my soul, Lord,
to take with me wherever I may go
   to keep and treasure for later this day or tomorrow,
to ponder once again, again and again, 
   how great are all your works
   and graced is every gift 
      that comes from the work of your hand...

Even today, Lord, in my prayer:
   stir within my heart the memories of how you've touched me
      in every season, through so many people, and in all the sounds
         that still whisper of your presence by my side...

In my prayer, now, Lord:
   refresh the images and memories of times past
      (happier, perhaps, than today)
   when you've shown yourself to me
   and when you've touched my heart and flesh
      with your powerful and silent presence...
In my prayer today, Lord:
   let me ponder how great are your works
      and, with all my heart, give you thanks and praise...

In the stillness, make me grateful for your presence
   and open me to the ways you'll be with me all through this day
      and through the night ahead...

To ponder and pray over... 
In my own life, 
   what great works of the Lord have I seen and met and heard?
How does the weather speak to me of the presence of God? 
In the lives of those around me, how does God reach out to me?
How does God reach out to others through my life?
How shall I thank God, today, for all his great works?
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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