9/21/12

Praying 10 minutes today: SATURDAY 9/22


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:   
Happy those who do not follow
   the counsel of the wicked...
      whose joy is the law of the Lord...
They are like a tree
   planted near streams of water,
      that yields its fruit in season;
         its leaves never wither...
- Psalm 1


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

No doubt about it, Lord:
   sometimes I accept and follow what I know to be bad advice.
It might not be the counsel of the wicked
   but it's certainly not the wisdom of your word...

Truth is, sometimes I seek
   only the advice I'm sure will make things
      easier, comfortable, pleasurable and beneficial - for me,
         even at the expense of others...

Sometimes I wait until I finally get advice I know
   will match and support my motives, my agenda, my plans...

Yup! I see the dishonesty in this:
   pretending to seek counsel when all I'm really looking for
      is affirmation of my own schemes and desires...

And, oh the shortcuts and excuses such advice offers
   to help me get around, hide from and escape
      what I suspect, even what I know would be
         better, wiser, keener, smarter counsel...

And you know, Lord, the psalm is right!
Such counsel, in the end, brings only some temporary pleasure
   but does not make me happy, does not bring me joy...

I think I need to be replanted, Lord, like the tree in the scripture,
   the one that grows by streams of water...

Happy those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked...
      whose joy is the law of the Lord...
They are like a tree
   planted near streams of water...

I need to be planted by streams that flow with truth,
   nourishing my mind and heart with clear, clean water,
      the cool, refreshing waters of your wisdom...

Plant me by streams where I can drink deeply of your word,
   where I can soak up what nurtures my being,
      where I can bathe in a stream filled with your grace...

Give me a thirst for streams to quench my parched heart
   and moisten my dry soul.
Make me thirsty, Lord, for your law and your commands:
   give me the joy that comes of living by your word...

Plant me by a river rolling by with the power of your love,
   leading me, drawing me to an ocean teeming with the best
      of all that life might offer me...

I will know what counsel is mine   by the fruit of my words and deeds,
      by the joy I will find in what's right and just,
         what's true and good, what's pure and worthy...

Planted by the streams of your grace,
   my leaves will not wither for my roots will reach
      to tap the wisdom flowing through my mind and heart...

Happy those who do not follow
   the counsel of the wicked...
      whose joy is the law of the Lord...
They are like a tree
   planted near streams of water,
      that yields its fruit in season;
         its leaves never wither...

Forgive me for seeking and following the counsel
   of my own purpose and interest
and open me, heart and soul, to the joy to be found
   in following your word and your command...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord, speak your word,
   speak the wisdom that nurtures peace
      and offer me the peace that leads to joy...

In the stillness, Lord,
   help me hear the stream of your presence
      flowing in me, around me and through me.
Open my soul to drink in what you offer
   and slake my thirst for what my heart truly desires...

To ponder and pray over...
Where do I go, how do I seek, advice and counsel in my life?
In what circumstances do I sometimes seek and follow 
   only the advice I want to hear?
For what might I ask and pray for the Lord's counsel - today?
Am I planted by the streams of God's grace?  Do I need to be replanted?
To what do the roots of my life need to reach
   if my words and deeds are to be healthy fruit for others?
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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