Praying 10 minutes today: FRIDAY 10/5

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:   
Understand, you stupid people! 
You fools, when will you be wise?
- Psalm 94

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

Long before I speak, Lord, you read my heart,
 so you know my first thought on reading this verse
   was about others, not about myself...

I'm far too quick to judge others as stupid
   - especially in an election season!

Lacking wisdom myself,
   I hastily judge an other's words and deeds to be unwise,
      lacking in knowledge, thoughtfulness and truth...

How often I rashly presume to have the truth,
   to know the truth, to understand the truth
      and to speak the truth:
         and how stupid I am to presume so...

How easily I ignore or dismiss the wisdom of the ages,
   the sage advice of elders, the history of ideas
      penned by others much wiser, more thoughtful than I...

How stupid am I, Lord, not to turn to your Word,
   the truth of the scriptures, the wisdom of teachings
      handed down over centuries, taught and tested
         by minds older, keener and wiser than mine...

I'd be stupid should I think nothing's new 'neath the sun
   but my real lack of wisdom lies in any way thinking
      that the truth starts with me (and ends with me, too),
         that somehow "my own truth" is all that I need...

"My own truth..."

Do you laugh or cry when I say this, Lord?

When I play such a fool, do you bide your time
   'til some wisdom (yours!) move me
      to open my mind to discover the beauty, the depth,
         the height, the breadth of the truth that you are,
            that you speak, that you call me to know and to live?

Are you patient when I clearly don't understand?
   when I'm stupid enough to believe
      that I'm the arbiter of truth and wisdom?
         that the truth is somehow mine?

The truth is mine, Lord,
   only when I share in the truth that's yours:
      when I hunger for your truth and honestly seek it out;
      when, upon finding it, I wash and bathe in your truth
          as in a pool of pure, clear, refreshing waters...

I'm grateful, Lord, that in my stupidity
   and in my foolish lack of wisdom  - I am not alone.
We are indeed, so often, a people who don't understand,
   a people who are fools to fall for lies as old
      as a serpent's tale in a garden so long ago...

In my prayer then, Lord, teach me wisdom...

In the stillness of my prayer, humble me
   with the simplicity, the beauty, the breadth and depth
      of the truth of your presence and of the word you speak...

In my prayer, Lord,
   make me wise enough to realize
      when I've made myself my own god,
         when I start to think I write the truth,
            that "my own truth" alone is good enough...

In my time with you, Lord,
   be gentle as you knock some sense into my head,
      as you plant some wisdom in my heart,
         as your Spirit leads me to the waters of the truth
            that's yours to give, and mine to know and live...
To ponder and pray over...
Am I honest enough to acknowledge
   that sometimes I am, before God and others, stupid and unwise?
When am I like this?  How am I like this?  Why am I like this?
How do I need to humble myself (or be humbled)
   before the truth and wisdom that is God's?
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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