Praying 10 minutes today: TUESDAY 11/13

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:
Rejoice in the Lord always!
   I say it again, rejoice!
- Philippians 4

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

I want to rejoice, Lord:
   I’d so much rather rejoice than weep;
   I’d rather be glad in you than sad in my own troubles

And sure, I'd like to rejoice always
   but my soul's desire for joy
      doesn’t always match what my heart can muster…

But when I look more carefully at the scripture I see
   I’m called to rejoice in you, to find my joy in you,
      especially when I find it hard
         to find some joy within myself...

The joy you offer, Lord, the joy you promise,
   lies in you, outside my personal trials; 
the joy you pledge will come when I let go 
   the troubles I cling to, when I take a step beyond them 
      and reach for the peace that rests in you...

When times are tough, Lord,
   help me find my joy in you who walk
      every tough step along my way, by my side...

Visit my heart with the joy that’s yours to give, Lord:
   the joy that only you can give,
      the joy that won't be quelled by fear,
          the joy whose source runs deeper than my deepest grief,
              the joy that springs from depths my heart has not explored…

Find for me a joy, Lord, greater than any loss I've ever known,
   deeper than my wounds and all my worries,
      a muscular joy to strengthen me in weakness…

Grant me a joy that survives my moods, my feelings,
   my roller coaster of emotions, my anger and self-pity,
      my thin skin, pride and stubborn ego…

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord,
   help me see the ways I sometimes ward off joy
      and prefer instead the misery I’ve befriended:
turn my heart around and up-side-down
   until it opens to the simple joys of every day,
      the joy that pours like rain drops from your hand...

When my heart is dry and my soul cloudy,
   plant within me seeds of joy
      to blossom in the times when all my joy
         depends on you alone...

When I've lost the hope of ever finding joy again
   let your Spirit fan to flame its embers,
warming my heart to trust anew 
   that when weeping lasts the night, 
      with the morning joy returns...

Send your Spirit, Lord,  
   to anoint my soul with joy...

Open my eyes, Lord, to all the blessings

   I've received from you;
all the reasons to remember
   to find my joy in you regardless of what this day brings…

Remind me of all joys past, Lord:
   help me hold their memories in my prayer;
give me a grateful heart of praise
   for all the joy you've given me 

      and all the peace you promise…

I pray for joy that lasts, Lord:
   a joy that suffers through, endures and remains with me,
      surviving whole, stronger, deeper, true, intact...

In this quiet time with you, Lord,
   refresh my desire, my thirst for joy;
help me find the joy in simply being still,
   in being here with you, 
      the joy of knowing you’re my God…

Help me rejoice in you always, Lord,
   and I pray again: help me find my joy in you…
To ponder and pray over...
Where in my life today do I thirst for the joy the Lord offers?
Has some misery become such a friend
   that I sometimes miss joy even when it knocks upon my door?
For what joyful memories might I thank the Lord today?
Will my eyes and heart be open 
   for the joy that comes my way today?
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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