Praying 10 minutes today: WEDNESDAY 7/11

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:   
How long will your hearts be closed,
will you love what is futile
and seek what is false?
- Psalm 4

Time to take an inventory of my desires, Lord,
   of what I love and what I seek...

My heart is filled with wants and needs, hopes and dreams:
   it bears the scars of hurt, some fresh and some healed long ago...

When my desires are true and good
   my heart's door opens to you and to any who stand in need
      of what my heart might offer...

When my desires are wholesome and pure
   my heart's windows open to your Spirit rushing in,
      a breeze refreshing, airing out the musty nooks and crannies...

When my desires are generous and selfless,
   my heart opens wide to all you offer me,
      to all you've given me to share with others...

But sometimes my heart closes in on itself, shutting down 
   and shutting out precisely what it most desires:
      peace with you, with others and with myself...

Sometimes my heart's ache 
   refuses to surrender to your hand's healing touch:
my wounds and scars, old or fresh, shy away from being hurt again 
   and I close the door that hope would open...

When false desires fill my heart with empty promises,
   when futile dreams and schemes take shape and overturn
      the plan you have for me, the path you'd have me walk,
then my heart's door swings shut and in the shadows
   I hide from the light you shine to show the way...

How long will my heart be closed, Lord?
How long will I prefer the darkness to the light?
How long will I pursue what I think best when I know
   your wisdom's there for me to follow,
      there to lead me to your peace?

My heart's closed door makes of my soul
   a very lonely hiding place:
      how long, Lord, will my heart be closed?
How long before I open up, let in the light
   and welcome you where you belong, Lord,
      where you want to make your home?

How long before I work with you to clear my heart
   of all that keeps me from your presence and your peace?

How long before I open up the windows, letting in the light and air,
  to ready a place for all the gifts and grace your Spirit brings?

How long before I set my heart on what your healing grants me?
How long until I seek the truth, what's just and fair and whole?
How long before I rest my open heart in yours
   and in your peace and healing? 

How long before I open wide my heart for you to fill
   with mercy pure to pardon me, with peace I feared would never come,
      with joy to lead me to tomorrow and the promise of your love?

How long will my heart be closed, Lord?
How long will I love what is futile and seek what is false? 

Open my heart, Lord, and use a crowbar if you must!
Swing wide the closed door 
   that keeps me from you and those around me. 
Lead me on the path that leads to you,
   to what is good and helpful for my soul, 
      to what is true to your word... 

In this quiet time, Lord, help me take inventory of my heart's desires.
In the stillness, help me take an honest look 
   at my wants and needs, my hopes and dreams...
With the power of your Spirit, Lord,
   open my heart wide and enter deep within me,
      to refresh a tired soul with new life and promise...

Let my love be a blessing in others' lives,
   their companion in faith along the way:
      let me walk the path of justice and truth... 

To ponder and pray over...
What pursuits of my heart are futile?  What are my pipe dreams?
Which of my wants and needs hold out little promise 
   for the peace I seek?
Of all my hopes and schemes, which are truly born of God 
   and lead me back 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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