Praying 10 minutes today: FRIDAY 8/11

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:   
My wanderings you have watched;
   are my tears not stored in your vial?
     recorded in your book?
- Psalm 56

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

You watch over every step I take, Lord:
   you know where I go and you know when I stand still;
   you know when I turn around or turn away;
   you know when I take the wrong path;
       you keep watch of all my wanderings...

And you store my tears in a bottle...

I've sung that song, Lord, "If I could save time in a bottle..."
   but the psalm says you've saved my tears in a vial - and I believe it,
because I believe my tears are precious in your eyes:
   the tears that have rolled down my cheeks
      and the tears that wash my heart
         even if they never seep from my eyes...

You know the tears of my brokenness and pain,
   you know the tears of my grief and remorse,
      you know the tears of my physical pain
         and (thank you, Lord!) you know my tears of joy...

Tears, inside and out, tears of a lifetime, Lord:
   sometimes tears I fought and struggled not to cry
     and sometimes tears whose torrent would not stop,
        a river from my soul...

A vial, Lord?  The waves of human tears 
   would overflow the oceans of the earth 
      and flood the world as back in Noah's day...

Not a vial but a valley, Lord, you'd need
   to hold the tears a lifetime brings
and I trust that you are there to catch my tears, each one,
   and store them in the valleys of your heart...

I remember how you wept when Lazarus died, Lord,
   how the death of your friend spilled from your heart
      in tears of loss and grief...

How pure, Lord, your tears for him
   and for his sisters, Martha, Mary, 
and what great comfort did they take in knowing
   how, for love of their brother, your heart cried...

And in the book of your heart, Lord, 
   you've taken note of every tear of mine:
      you know from whence it came,
      you know it's salty taste,
      you know the source from which it flows,
      you know it's wandering trail upon my face,
      you know who wiped it from my cheek,
      you know the simple stain it left upon my heart...

Most of all, Lord, you know the prayer my tears lift up to you:
      when I don't know the words to say;
      when I can't say the words I hold;
      when I'm afraid to speak the prayer that's mine;
      when sobs and tears are prayer enough,
         the only prayer I know...

I thank you, Lord, that with such care
   you hear my tearful prayers;
I thank you, Lord, that you should keep
   a journal of my journey, a ledger of my tears...

In this quiet time, Lord, draw near:
   wipe the tears that wash my face
      and find in them my heart's unspoken prayers...

In the stillness, Lord, hear the prayers that pour
   from my heart, my eyes, my soul
and comfort me, Lord, console me and help me trust
   that you who hear my prayers will bring my heart to joy,
   that you who wipe away my tears will give my heart new hope...

To ponder and pray over...
When have my tears been my prayer?
   (tears upon my face, tears within my heart?)
As Jesus wept for Lazarus and his sisters,
   do I trust that he weeps for me in my pain and loss?
It's said that tears are a gift - have I known them as a gift in my life?
Are there tears in my prayer today?  
Are there prayers in my tears today?
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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