Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Praying 10 minutes today: ASH WEDNESDAY


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:   
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and give me a new and steadfast spirit.
- Psalm 51







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

Lent has begun, Lord:
   a whole season for me to turn my heart to your heart;
   to turn away from the artificial to seek what's real and true;
   to turn away from myself to serve those in need;
   to turn away from comfort and to challenge my hungers;
   to turn away from anything that turns me away from your love...

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and give me a new and steadfast spirit... 
 
Some things need changing in my life, Lord,
    and I wish these changes would happen over night
but change comes slowly,
    perhaps because I'm so slow to change...


Now I have these 40 days to change, 
   a season of spring training to get my life of faith in shape, 
      to strengthen what's grown weak,
         to build up what I need 
            to be the person you created me to be...

I offer you my need to change, Lord:
    my need to be changed, my need to be open
       to the changes you want to make in me
          and how I live...

I offer you my need to be fine-tuned, Lord,
    lest the strings of my life sound flat (or worse - sharp)

       in the hearts and ears of those who hear me... 

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and give me a new and steadfast spirit... 

I offer you my need to be changed from the inside out,
       from the core of who I am:

my need for my heart to be adjusted to loving and being loved;
    for my mind to be synced with your word and your wisdom...

Lord, so many things in my life need changing this Lent:

   I pray you'll heal and mend 
      whatever’s torn, wounded and broken...

I offer you my need to be stretched, Lord:
    to be the person you made me to be
and to be satisfied with nothing less
    than becoming the person you call me to be...


Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and give me a new and steadfast spirit... 

Open my eyes, Lord,
    to see your hands at work in my life
       helping me to change, every day this Lent...

Open my ears to hear your voice walking me through
    the changes I need to make...

Open my mouth in prayer, Lord, 

   to ask for your help
      with the changes I most need to make

   and to praise and thank you as I grow...

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and give me a new and steadfast spirit... 

Open my arms and hands
    to work to make changes that will lift others up…

Open my heart, Lord, to your Spirit 

   shaping, shifting, changing me from within...

Open my life, Lord,
    and bring to harvest all you've planted,
       everything you nurture within me...
 

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and give me a new and steadfast spirit... 

Change me, Lord:
empty and humble my heart
for the sake of all whose paths cross mine:
      help me readily and generously serve those in need,
      help me encourage and cheer those who are down,
      help me console and comfort those who grieve,
      help me stand with those who are alone,
      and help me rejoice with those whose hearts are glad,

         even when my own heart is heavy with burdens...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord, 

   help me see the changes I most need to make...

Help me know and accept the changes 
   your Spirit is working within my mind and heart...

Show me the changes I can make
   and give me grace and courage to work on them...

Show me the things I can't change on my own
   and in your grace, shape and mold me
      according to your will and word...

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and give me a new and steadfast spirit...     

Lent has begun, Lord:
   a whole season for me to turn my heart to your heart;
   to turn away from the artificial to seek what's real and true;
   to turn away from myself to serve those in need;
   to turn away from comfort and to challenge my hungers;
   to turn away from anything that turns me away from your love...

In the quiet of my prayer each day in Lent,
   open my heart and come in, Lord, 
      make yourself to home and make me at home with you...

In the stillness of my prayer today, Lord,
    help me take in the opportunity this season brings;
create in me a clean heart, O God,
   and give me a new and steadfast spirit...
 
To ponder and pray over...
What changes do I pray for in my heart, in my life, this Lent?
Looking from God's perspective,
   what changes might the Lord want to make in my life?
What patterns and habits need to be changed in my life?
What changes do I find most difficult to make?
Will I invite the Lord in to change me 
   according to his design? his wisdom?  his love?
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. 


 
 
   
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