Praying 10 minutes today: TUESDAY 10/30

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:   
You heavens     
   and all you waters above the heavens, 
      bless the Lord;
Sun and moon, stars of heaven,  
       bless the Lord; 
Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;   
All you winds, bless the Lord;
Fire and heat, bless the Lord;  
Cold and chill, bless the Lord;
Dew and rain, bless the Lord; 
                                         Frost and chill and snow, bless the Lord;
                                         Nights and days, bless the Lord; 
                                         Light and darkness, bless the Lord;  
                                         Lightning and clouds, bless the Lord;
                                         Let the earth bless the Lord; 
                                           praise and exalt him above all forever!  Daniel 3

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

O God, you're the Creator of the elements,
   Lord of wind and rain and of pressure systems, high and low
      and yes, you are the Lord of hurricanes...

So much of your creation Lord is, at the same time,
   life giving and death dealing:
      the gift of water refreshes, cools, cleanses, maintains
        and supports and sustains all that lives
      and at the same time, in torrents, it pours and floods 
          and overruns protective banks and levees, 
            drowning and sweeping away all that's in its path...

The gift of wind is air and breath and life for all creation
   and yet, has power for toppling trees, removing roofs,
      and huffing and puffing our homes into splinters...

Water and wind... life giving, death dealing...
   all from your hand...

We've learned to purify the waters and harness the wind
   and even to know when both will combine
      in that terror from the tropics, a hurricane...

We watch as storm cells develop and we plot their growth,
   predicting the power and path, the potential for harm
      in a force we name as a sibling or a friend:
         Katrina, Charlie, Sandy...

With the knowledge you've given us you tip your hand, Lord,
   and give us clues, hints and time to be prepared
      for what comes storming up the eastern seaboard...

Would that we had such warning for all the smaller storms
   that threaten the shores of our hearts
      when worry and fear make landfall 
         and visit our peace with havoc...

Too often, Lord, the squalls in my life come up without notice
   with little or no time to ready myself for what follows
so I pray today for help to be always prepared
   for how the elements may deluge my hopes and my plans,
      how the winds might gust and upset the balance I strive
         to keep even and steady and peaceful...

Open my eyes, Lord, to help me see when a storm is brewing,
   when I've not kept watch on just the things
      that stir unease within me...

Deepen my faith, Lord, 
   so I'm not so surprised when rain hammers my roof;
help me come to understand that storms, even big ones,
   are part of everybody's life...

Shore up my trust in you and in my friends, Lord,
   so I never face a storm alone and never think I've been abandoned,
      forgotten, by your love or the care of those 
         you've given to my heart...

Strengthen my hope, Lord,
   and remind me first of all the storms you've seen me through thus far
      and help me see them as your pledge
         of how you'll be always at my side...

Sharpen my insight, Lord,
   when storm cells gather and combine in my own life
and give me wisdom to seek your help and grace 
   sooner, not later, 
that I might be prepared to stand with you
    against the winds that beat and buffet heart and soul...

In the quite of my prayer today, Lord, 
   as everyone surveys the damage done by Sandy,
give me, for a moment, safe harbor from all storms
   and especially from my own,
      the ones that others may not know I weather...

In the stillness of my prayer, help me remember
   how your life giving Spirit never fails to steer my heart
      from harm's way and storm tracks threatening my calm...

In the quiet after the storm,
   even as I look around at fallen trees and branches
      and scattered leaves carpeting the streets,
refresh me with your peace and remind me
    that you were with me before the storm,
    that you were with me through the storm,
    and at storm's end, you are with me still...

To ponder and pray over...
Are there storms that rage within me, even on sunny days?
In my own storms, do I trust that the Lord is in my boat,
   or do I fear that he's abandoned me?
Do I need deeper trust and faith?  stronger hope?  wisdom?
   to help me anticipate and weather the storms that come my way?
Is prayer my safe harbor where I can go
   for respite and the Lord's good company?   
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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