Praying 10 minutes today: TUESDAY 9/18

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:   
God, you know my folly;
   my faults are not hidden from you...

- Psalm 69

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

If anyone knows what a fool I can be,
   it's you, Lord!

It's folly, indeed, to pretend I have no "real" sins,
   that my faults and failings are only minor
      and not worth mentioning
regardless of the harm they do to others, to myself
   and my relationship with you... 

There's nothing "harmless" in my failing to care
   for my family, colleagues, friends and neighbors...

There's nothing "harmless" in my failing to find the time,
   to make some time to spend with you 
      quietly, in prayer...

And what a fool am I, Lord, when I pretend that you don't
   see everything I do,
   hear every word I speak
   know every thought I have,
   measure every motive of my heart...

My faults are never hidden from your sight:
   you know the mistakes I'll make long before I make them
      and you remember what I've done
         even after I've forgotten...

And yet, you hold me in your merciful heart...

You know how foolish are my sins, Lord:
   if I were smart, if I were wise
      I'd see the folly of the tales I spin to tell myself
         that my way's better than yours,
         my opinion wiser than your word,
         my choice keener than your will...

God, you know my folly;
   my faults are not hidden from your sight...
How foolishly I pine for what's not mine,
   for things I don't need, for what I shouldn't have,
      for more stuff than I could ever use...

How foolishly I stew in my self-pity:
   "Why this?  Why me?  Why now?"
Without end I tend my wounds and keep them open,
   not making, giving time to mend my broken parts,
      to heal what hurts and drains me of your peace...

How foolishly I pay attention to the bright and shiny bauble
   and fail to close my eyes and see in the darkness
      the spark of your Spirit, the flame of your grace,
         the beauty of the light that leads to you...

How foolishly I judge without facts, condemn out of fear,
   pass sentence on others without knowing their stories,
      their burdens, their gritty truth...

How foolishly I feed and comfort myself in unhealthy ways
   and fast from what would nourish and nurture me
      to grow to be the person you created me to be...

How foolishly I play with fire, with temptation,
   without fear of getting burned, of harming others,
      of losing what I know is most important in my life...

God, you know my folly;
   my faults are not hidden from your sight...

Yes, you know my folly, Lord,
   and not a bit of that is hidden from your eyes:
      you see everything I do, yet you love me still...
      you hear my angry words, yet you wait upon my prayer...
      you know my every thought, yet you share your truth with me...
      you know my heart's intentions, yet you shower me with mercy...

In the stillness of this time with you, Lord,
   help me know my foolish ways, admit to all my folly
      and ask you for your pardon...

In the quiet of my prayer give me the strength
   to reveal to you the faults and failings that are mine,
      already known to you, my foolish sins...

In this time alone with you, Lord, forgive me of my folly
   and help me to confess the harm I've done
      and to make amends to those whom I have hurt...

God, you know my folly;
   my faults are not hidden from your sight...
To ponder and pray over...
What folly of mine does God know well?
What would I like to think I can hide from God?
Do I sometimes minimize my faults and failings?
What foolishness in my life do I need to confront?
   to confess?  to change?  to outgrow?
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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