Praying 10 minutes today: FRIDAY 1/11

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:   
Have mercy on me, O God,
   in you I seek shelter.
In the shadow of your wings
   I seek shelter till harm pass by...
- Psalm 57

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

I'm not the one standing in harm's way, Lord,
   but so many others do
and they stand there in my place,  
   for my welfare and security... 

They stand in firehouses and police stations and on the streets,
   keeping vigil and keeping safe from harm the people of my town.

Awake or asleep, we live in the shelter of their watchful care:
   keep them in yours and let no harm befall these men and women,
      standing guard all night and day...

Others stand in uniform upon our shores, away at sea or in the air
   and far too many are in danger's path abroad, around the clock,
      waging war and keeping hard-won peace... 
Shelter them, Lord, and keep them safe till harm has passed,
   till they return to us and to their homes...   

And in those war-torn lands, there live the poor
   who take up no arms, who do no battle 
but who, by place of birth, live in harm's way 
   and innocently suffer others' greed and lust for power.
Shelter the poor in your embrace, Lord,
   and hold them close in your strong and loving arms... 
Still others preach the Word where it's not welcome, Lord:
   where your gospel has been banned, where our faith is held a crime.
This same gospel's ours, Lord:  
   we proclaim and preach it, we pray and praise you freely
      and seldom pay a price for our beliefs.
Shelter those whose faith so bravely gives your Word a voice
   and strengthens their resolve to spend their lives for love of you...
And forgive us, pardon us, have mercy on us, Lord, 
   for all the times we fail to speak the truth 
      and live the wisdom that's ours to share;
   for all the times we take for granted our freedom to believe
      and to live the gift of faith that's ours...

Protect us, Lord, from being weak in faith, shallow in our prayer, 
   smug in our complacency and timid in our witness:
in the shadow of your wings, in the shelter of your grace
   help us grow strong in our faith and how we live it... 

Have mercy on me, O God,
   in you I seek shelter.
In the shadow of your wings
   I seek shelter till harm pass by...

I don't stand in harm's way, Lord, nor live on danger's path,
   but still I seek and pray for shelter in your arms,
      in the shadow of your wings...

Trials and troubles come my way and my heart is often heavy
   with worries and concerns (some real and some imagined)
      that cloud my days darken even deeper moonless nights...

I know the clouds will clear, 
   the moon come full, the stars will shine again
but till then, Lord, 
   but till then when fear and worry pass me by,
give me shelter in the shadow of your wings
   and be my strength, my way, my hope...  

In the shelter of your arms, Lord, hear my prayer
   for those whose lives are on the line,
   for those who stand in danger's face,
   for those who go where I don't dare to go...

Hear my prayer, Lord, 
   for those who pledge to lay down life and limb 
      so I might freely call upon your name, speak what I believe,
         and sleep in peace and safety through the night...

Let us shelter one another, Lord, in prayer and deed,
   even as you shelter us beneath the shadow of your wings,
      outstretched in love upon your Cross...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord, let me find my shelter
   in your presence, in the peace of just your being here,
      in the stillness that you share with me...

In the shadow of your Cross let me find hope,
   in your arms outstretched in mercy,      
and shelter me, Lord, till all harm pass me by...

Have mercy on me, O God,
   in you I seek shelter.
In the shadow of your wings
   I seek shelter till harm pass by...

To ponder and pray over...
Who are they who quietly stand watch in care for me
   around the world, in my community, among my family and friends?
How does the Lord stand guard for me? shelter me? protect me?
If he has kept me safe thus far, have I anything to fear of tomorrow?
What in my life today needs the Lord's shelter?
How might God's strong arm be my help today?
In the shadow of his wings, will I share with him my fears?
   will I trust in him till all harm pass me by?
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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