Praying 10 minutes today: WEDNESDAY 10/31

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:   
Many say,
   "May we see better times!
   Lord, show us the light of your face!"
But you have given my heart
   more joy than they have when
      grain and wine abound.
In peace I shall lie down and sleep,
   for you alone, Lord, make me secure...
        - Psalm 4

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

Of course I pray for better times, Lord!
Even when times are good
   I pray for them not to end...

And I pray for the light of your face to shine
   in the shadows of difficult days,
   in the corners of fear in my heart,
   on worries that cloud my thoughts of tomorrow,
   on the darkness that shades the peace I long for...  

But most of all, Lord, I pray
   to know and remember the joy you've already given me,
   the joy I so easily and often forget
   the joy that abides and carries me through times
      when I've forgotten I have it...

Help me find and remember the joy of knowing
   that you are my God, the Lord of my life,
      that you've called me by name since before I was born:
         that you never forget or abandon me
            - even when I forget and abandon you...

Help me find and remember the joy of your love
   poured into my heart with water blessed, 
      anointing my brow with your Spirit's grace,
         feeding my soul with bread broken and wine poured,
            blessed and made You through gift of your death...

Help me find and remember the joy of your mercy:
   how you've forgiven me over and over, time and again,

      freely healing the wounds of my sins
         and bathing me clean in the grace of your pardon...

Help me find and remember the joy of the strength
   that comes from your hand, helps me survive,
      lifts me up when I'm fallen and muscles my weakness
         when I've nothing left to help me get by...

Help me find and remember the joy of the hope
   that opens my eyes to tomorrow 
and gives me more than a reason but rather a purpose, 
   a call, your command: your desire for me 
      that I live day by day, a day at a time in your love... 

Help me find and remember the joy of moments when
   smiles healed me, words consoled me, arms held me,
      simple gifts pleased me, hearts welcomed me, 
         open ears heard me and another's hand held mine...
Help me find and remember the peace of moments
   when prayers lifted me, grace sustained me, 
      silence soothed me, and your presence held me
         securely in your peace...

My heart is like an old trunk, Lord,   
   filled with treasures I've forgotten,
      with joys I need to find and hold again
   and wonder at their timeless beauty 
      and remember there's no end to all the peace,
         to all the joy, you have in store for me...

When I envy all the "grain and wine" that others have,
   lead me to the treasure chest of gifts that truly matter, Lord:
restore in me a trust that what you've given in the past
  you'll surely give again if I but open to your presence
    and surrender my tight grip on all that keeps me from your joy...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord, 
   help me open up the trunk of treasures in my heart
and sort through what I find, until remembering my past joy
   I find again the peace they gave me
      and the promise of the peace you'll give again...

In the stillness of my prayer, Lord, 
   help me let go my jealous envy, my worries and my fears 
and show me what's been hidden in my heart:
   the joy of knowing you, my Lord and God,
      the source of all the peace my restless heart desires...

To ponder and pray over...
Do I sometimes worry I'll never find joy again?
Do I need the Lord's help to rummage through my heart
   to find and remember the joys that have been mine?
Does envy of what others have keep me from remembering
   the gifts the Lord has given me?
Ask the Lord to help you find three joys
  in the treasure chest of your heart's memories
and ask the Lord to renew those joys within you...   
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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