Praying 10 minutes today: FRIDAY 11/2

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:   
Cast your cares upon the Lord
  who will give you support...
- Psalm 55

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

The thought of placing my cares in your hands,
   letting go of worries that won't let go of me...

That sounds so good, Lord!

So, why don't I do that?

Why don't I dump my cares in your lap
   and ask you manage them - at least for a while?

Why won't I let go of them?

I hold on to them as if they were my favorite possessions;
   I cling to them as if I wanted to keep them for ever!
And that's simply not true...

Something inside me, somewhere inside me
   wants to let go, wants to let you handle
      what I don't seem to handle very well at all...

Something inside me, somewhere inside me,
   wants to be free of all cares but at the same time
something inside me, somewhere inside me,
   holds fast to precisely what I want to lose...    

Cast your cares upon the Lord
  who will give you support...

I'm easily handcuffed by my fears, Lord,
   and here you are, handing me the key,
      inviting me to unlock what restrains me...

But one of my fears might be the fear of letting go,
   of discovering who I'd be without my fears,
the fear of finding and meeting  
   the person who lives behind my fears...

Maybe I have a fear of having no more fear...   

Open my eyes, Lord, and help me see the tragic joke
   in the words I just prayed...
Open my ears, Lord, and help me hear that 
   I'm not laughing, no, I'm crying, caught in my cares,
      a prisoner of fear, a "friend" who is no friend,
      a cellmate holding my own heart hostage,
         conning me into thinking that I have no way out...

But there is a way out, Lord.  
There is and I know it...

Not only have you given me the key to my fear's bracelets,
   but you're the keeper of my heart's prison
and long ago you opened wide my cell's door   
   and open it remains, waiting only for me to take a step
      or two steps, maybe three, until I pass beyond bars
         that have no power to confine me...

But I've fallen hard and fear is drawing me to pout
   "There's no way out!" 
and though the door is open and I see sunlight through the bars,
   I incarcerate myself 
and only now and then look up to glimpse that you are there,
   your arms wide open, waiting to receive me would I but
      take a step outside, or two or maybe three until I'm free
         of all my cares and can rest, released, in your embrace...

Cast your cares upon the Lord
  who will give you support...
I'm a prisoner of my fear, Lord, and a prisoner of the fear
   that without my fear I'd not know who I am, or where to go,
      or how to act, or what to do, or what to say or even
         how to be the one you love, support and care for...

So I pray, Lord, free my heart to cast my cares
   into your hands, into your lap, into your heart
      where you will mend and heal my brokenness
          and give me strength and courage just to take one step,
             or maybe two or three, until I've left the prison
                keeping me a prisoner of my self...      

Cast your cares upon the Lord
  who will give you support...

You told your friends, Lord,
   "Fear is useless, what is needed is trust..."

I know my fear is useless and I know what I need is trust
   and I know I need your help to hand my cares to you...
In the quiet of my prayer today, Lord,
   help me see the ways I cling to my fears
      and how they hold me tight...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord, 
   help me let go, even just a little, of fear's hold on me
      and my holding all my fears so close...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord,
   help me name a fear, or maybe two or three,
      and give me strength and courage to place them in your hands...

In the stillness of my prayer, Lord, 
   give me just a glimpse of who I am without my fear
and let me see the person you created me to be 
   and the goodness that's your gift to me
      when fear is stripped away and grace is all that's left...

Cast your cares upon the Lord
  who will give you support...

Free me of cares, Lord, and fill me with trust:
   help me take a step, or two or three today
      beyond the prison of my fears...

To ponder and pray over...
What fears imprison me?  Have I befriended my fear?
Am I afraid of letting go my fear?
Will I pray for the trust I need to cast a few of my cares,
   some of my fears, into the Lord's hands?
Will I take a step today, or maybe two or three? 
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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