Praying 10 minutes today: WEDNESDAY 7/4

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:   

Love is patient...
- 1 Corinthians 13

Love is many things, Lord,
   and perhaps above all - it is patient...

Patiently, love waits
   while the beloved delays and demurs, tarries
      and tries the patience of the lover...

With quiet patience, love endures
   defeat and disappointment, allowing no discouragement
      to snatch the beloved from its embrace...

With no complaint, love suffers
   for the sake of the beloved and no hardship,
      no pain proves to be to much for love to bear...

You are a patient lover, Lord:
   you wait for me, you never give up on me;
   you endure my foolishness even when I turn away from you;
   you suffer for my sake and freely bear my burdens...

I've done nothing to deserve your patient love
   but even when I waste it, when I turn from it,
      when I deny and reject it, even then,
   you wait for my heart to change,
   you endure my slow progress,
   and you suffer my self-pity
all because your love for me is patient
   and you will not let me go...

With just such patience you love me, Lord,
   the patience with which you ask me
      to love neighbor and stranger, sister and brother...

Keep my from the quick and hasty judgment, Lord;
   let me judge as I would have others judge me:
      patiently...  and with justice and mercy...

Curb my sharp tongue and give me patience in my speech:
   let no harsh words fly from my mouth to wound
      the innocence of others...

Give me patience in understanding those who are not like me
   and help me see in the differences
      what complements and completes me
         and them
            and us...

Give me the patience I need to move among others
   with gentleness, reverence and respect,
      careful not to step on others' hearts, letting others go before me,
         before my own needs are served...

Give me patience, Lord, with those I live and work with,
   the ones I take for granted or ignore,
      the ones I so easily forget
         in my rush to get what I want,
            when I want it...

Give me patience with strangers I meet in the course of my day:
   help me to love them, Lord,
      as patiently as you love me...

Give me patience with myself, Lord,
   when I'm quick to judge, to doubt, abuse and hate myself.
Remind me of the mercy you offer me,
   your trust in the person you made me to be,
      your gentle touch upon my wounds and pain,
         and of the love you never fail to give me...

Forgive and heal me, Lord, when my lack of patience leads me to
   anger and judgment, harsh words or silence, jealousy or self-pity.
When my impatience spirals into doubt and fear,
   calm my anxious heart with the patient grace of your heart
      and hold me in your mercy
         until your patience soaks my soul
            and cleanses me in peace...

Even in the quiet here, Lord, in the stillness of my prayer,
   I know my impatience can trouble the gift of peace
      you patiently offer each time I come to sit with you...

So, right now, Lord, in your patience, with your love,
   calm me and in the stillness help me know
      how you wait, how you endure, how you suffer
         on account of love for me
and make me grateful for such love...
To ponder and pray over...
How has the Lord been patient with me?
Have I seen, have I been grateful for his patience?
How is the Lord's patience active in my heart today?
How am I lacking in patience with others?  with myself?
How, today, might I be more patient with others?  with myself?
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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