Praying 10 minutes today: WEDNESDAY 3/20

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:   

Late have I loved you, Lord...

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

(Lent ends at sundown on Holy Thursday, just about a week away,
     so Lent's almost over!)
Can't say I've done a great job this Lent, Lord.
I had good intentions and high hopes back on Ash Wednesday
   but maybe I promised you (and myself) too much...
Maybe I should have been more honest about where I was
   before making pledges about getting to where I wanted to be...

Maybe I was trying to impress you (or myself)
   with promises too big to keep...
I look back and realize that if I'd been more modest in my ambition
   I might be looking at a better Lenten record today... 

I look back and realize that if I'd depended more on you and less on me,
   I might have been more faithful to my Lenten goals...

But there's no grace in stewing in my failures and I know you, Lord:
   you're the God of second chances...

I can just feel bad about the time I lost
   or I can look ahead with new resolve
and make the best of the time that's left...

Better that this last week of Lent be fruitful, Lord,
   than I add it to the barren weeks behind me...

So, send your Spirit to help me, Lord, to pick me up
   and dust me off and let me get a fresh start
      with the week that lies ahead...

Send your Spirit to move me to prayer, Lord,
   even if only for a few minutes each day:
      keep me modest in my promise and faithful in my follow-through...

Send your Spirit to remind me in the morning or at night
   or in the afternoon to pause, slow down, to stop and rest with you
      for a few minutes, for a chat, 
   for some time to share my heart with you,
      to share my sorrows and my joys, my hopes and disappointments...  

Send your Spirit, Lord, to help me fast,
   to empty my body, my belly, my pockets,
 my imagination and my mind 
      of what I don't need, of what I have too much,
         of what's not good or healthy or helpful for me,
            of possessions that, in fact, own me
      and of good things, too, whose sacrifice might sharpen
         my hunger, thirst and taste for greater gifts... 

Send your Spirit, Lord, to move me to mercy:
   mercy in my words, mercy in my thoughts,
   mercy in my deeds, mercy in my stubborn heart,
   mercy in my attitudes, mercy in my gratitude,
   mercy in my grudges, mercy in my resentments,
   mercy in my giving to the poor 
      in this season of your mercy,
   this season of your boundless, bountiful mercy for all
      and for me, a sinner, who needs your mercy daily...

I have a week of Lent left, Lord, and I offer it to you
   and pray you make of it a time of grace and growth
as I prepare to celebrate your suffering, death and rising
   in the peace of Easter joy...

In the quiet of my prayer today, Lord,
   open my heart to the week of Lent remaining
and help me make a modest pledge to pray, to sacrifice
   and to serve the poor in your name...

In the stillness of my prayer, Lord,
   help me put away what I don't need
      and find again the path to what I really need
         and will find, only, in your love...      

There's a week of Lent left, Lord,
   with your grace, help me make the best of it...       
To ponder and pray over...
How have I done this Lent 
   with what I pledged on Ashe Wednesday?
Have I given up on Lent?  Am I willing, with God's help,
   to make the best of the week ahead?
Am I open to all the second chances God gives
   not just in Lent but the whole year through?
What modest pledge might I make today for the week ahead:
   a pledge of prayer... 
      a pledge of fasting... 
         a pledge of caring for the poor...?
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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