Praying 10 minutes today: FRIDAY 3/8

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:   
To you I raise my eyes...
Like the eyes of a servant
on the hand of the master,
so are my eyes 
on the Lord our God...
- Psalm 123

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

Sitting here with you in the quiet, Lord,
   I know you're by my side, that you're near,
but sometimes, it's not easy to raise my eyes to you,
      to look you into your face...

Sometimes it's something I've done or failed to do
   that keeps me from looking you in the eye. 
I easily forget that you look upon me, always, 
   with eyes of mercy - especially in times
      when I need your forgiveness and pardon.
Sometimes I lower my eyes to avoid your gaze
   just when I'm most in need of your merciful glance...

There are times, too, when I don't look up
   because I feel so small before you:
      insignificant and of no account,
         unworthy of your notice.
And it's just then when I need to remember your word:
   that you keep me as the apple of your eye!

How I see myself, Lord, and how you see myself
   are so often so different.
Are you and I looking at the same person?
You see me as your own, your child, your beloved,
   while I look at myself as, well,
      so much less than that...

Of course, you see my faults and failings, too,
   but first you see in me the work of your hand,
      you see what you love.
You look upon me 
   and see someone in whom you delight
      while all I see are my sins and imperfections...

I focus on my failures,
   on the times my eye has left your hand,
      you, the Master of my heart and soul...
Cataracts of self-doubt cloud my vision
   and I fail to see what you see in me so clearly:
      the image of the One in whose image I was made...

Sometimes, Lord, I'm unable to lift my head.
   to raise my eyes to your face.
because I've sunk so deep in my own pain and sadness,
   my chin bent low on my chest.
I fail to look up because I fear what I might see
   or fear there may be no one there to see...

But apart from your gaze, Lord - I am nothing...

That you hold me in your eyes is life to me!

Apart from the warmth of your glance 
   I would perish in the lonely cold...

Whatever keeps my head bent low, Lord,
   place your gentle hand beneath my chin
      and lift my head from off my chest...  

Open my eyes
      that I might see and know the warmth
         of your eyes seeking mine...

Lord, let your face shine upon me!

Raise me up, Lord, from whatever keeps me down:
I want to raise my eyes to you
   to keep my vision trained on you and on your hand, 
      leading and guiding me
         to serve you, the Master of my heart and soul... 

Even now, Lord, as I sit with you in prayer,
   lift my eyes to your eyes, my heart to your heart
and let your face shine upon me
   as when I lift my face to the summer sun
      and its light warms my cheek...

Even now, Lord, in the quiet of this time and place, 
   let me see the gift of your mercy smiling on me
and help me know, help me believe that you see in me
   your own, your child, your beloved...

Let me see in myself what you see, Lord,
   and keep me as the apple of your eye...

To ponder and pray over...
What keeps me from raising my eyes to the face of God?
Do I believe that God sees his beloved in me?
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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