Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Praying 10 minutes on New Year's Day


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:   
The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon
   you, and be gracious to you!
The Lord look upon you kindly and
    give you peace!     -Numbers 6




 

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

Bless us and keep us, Lord, all of us,
   but a special blessing we pray on the poor and the homeless
      who struggle in the shadows of our bounty and excesses:
   open our hearts in this new year 
      to give more generously than ever before,
      to give until we know, too, what it is to go without,
      to give until our giving makes a difference for the poor
         and in our own lives as well...

Bless us and keep us, Lord, all of us,
   but a special blessing we pray upon nations at war:
      move the hearts and minds of those who govern and rule
         until the thirst for power is quenched by a thirst for peace;
   keep in your care the poor who so often stand in harm's way,
      the innocent victims, the ones who suffer the savagery of battles
         in which they take no part;
   bring back all those who protect and defend us
      and restore them to their families, their homeland and peace...

Bless us and keep us, Lord, all of us,
   but a special blessing we pray for the sick and the dying,
      for the chronically and incurably ill:
   through the care of others and the gift of medicine ease their pain;
   let their faith be their strength and your presence their hope;
   with compassion and mercy bless the sick 
      and their families and friends who suffer with them;
   bring your healing to their spirits if not to their bodies
      and your peace to all who stand by their side...

Bless us and keep us, Lord, all of us,
   but a special blessing we pray upon the Church:
      keep us faithful to your Word and your wisdom;
      keep us faithful to the gospel's truth and mission;
      keep us faithful in forgiving one another 
         as you have forgiven us...

Send your Spirit to enlighten and enliven the Church,
   to lead us and guide us where you'd have us go,
      to urge us to do what you call us to do, 
         to keep and to change as your will would have it...

Draw us closer to Jesus and open our hearts
   to his presence, his voice, his word and his way...
Make us truly contrite for the ways we have failed
   and give us the grace to confess all our sins...
Let your merciful pardon be a sign to the world
   that you live in our midst and your love is for all... 

Let your face shine upon us, Lord,
   when we walk in the dark, in the shadow of death;
Let your face shine upon us, Lord,
   when we lose our way and look for your light;
Let your face shine upon us, Lord
   when our worries and fears cloud our hope and our trust;
Let your face shine upon us, Lord,
   when we shut out the light and hide in our pain;
Let your face shine upon us, Lord,
   when so many problems darken our path to your heart;
Let your face shine upon us, Lord,
   when a river of grief  overflows in our tears;  
Let your face shine upon us, Lord, as sunrise each day, 
   ever faithful, abiding and guiding our way;
Let your face shine upon us, Lord,    
   and be gracious to us...
Look kindly upon us and give us your peace:    
   let your kindness be ours, Lord, to bind up our wounds;    
   let your kindness be ours, Lord, to share all around;    
   let your kindness be ours, Lord, in good times and bad;    
   let your kindness be ours, Lord, and give us your peace...    

The Lord bless you and keep you!  
The Lord let his face shine upon you, 
   and be gracious to you!  
The Lord look upon you kindly and     
   give you peace!

In the stillness of my prayer as this New Year begins,    
  open my heart to your blessings, Lord,       
      with the grace to be faithful to prayer every day...  

In the quiet of my time with you today,      
   let me rest at peace with the year just ended       
      and look with hope to the year ahead...  

Whatever comes my way this year, help me remember, Lord,    
   that in your love        
      I can bear all things, believe all things and endure all things           
         with your grace and in your peace...

In this New Year before me, Lord,    
   help me find some time each day to be still, in your presence,
      and to know that you are my God,    
         that you are near, that you are here, by my side...        
 
To ponder and pray over...  
What are my hopes and dreams at the beginning of this new year?
What blessings from God do I pray for this day?  
Who are the others for whom I pray God's blessing today?  
How will I need and seek the wisdom of the Spirit in 2013?   
Where in my life do I pray for God to look upon me with kindness?    
   to give me peace?  
What is my resolution for time for prayer in the year ahead?
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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