Praying 10 minutes today: WEDNESDAY 4/23

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 is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the meadows
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me,
to revive my drooping spirit.

He guides me along the right path;
he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness
no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
with these you give me comfort.

You have prepared a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing.

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord's own house shall I dwell
for ever and ever.

-Psalm 23

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

(Since preparing for last weekend's 
     Good Shepherd Sunday, 
Psalm 23 has been in my head and my heart quite a bit...)
Lord, it's hard to imagine wanting for nothing...
Meadows, fresh and green?  That sounds great!
Restful waters to lift my spirits?  I'll dive right in!

Shepherd me to just such a place, Lord -
   not a vacation spot - 
but a place in my heart, in my soul,
   where solace abounds because you're there for me
      with gifts of peace that only you can give...

So many needs and problems nagging me,
   so many fears and concerns haunting me,
too many worries and distractions keeping me
   from just that place within 
      where I know you wait, inviting me 
         to come, to settle down and find my rest in you...

Sometimes you give me grace to see what I so often miss:
   my running too fast, my waste of time, my selfishness;
   my thinking I'll get by without your help, 
      that I can do it all alone...

Without your shepherd's lead I lose my way,
   without your shepherd's crook I go astray,
   without your shepherd's voice to call my name
      I wander in dark valleys in my fear...

But you are there by my side, my shepherd always;
   your crook pulls me back when I go off on my own;
      you never cease to call my name, to call me home,
         to call me to the meadow of your presence and your peace...

Guide me on my journey, Lord, on the right path:
   be true to your name and call me to be true to your word.
When I step away from your side, find me, bring me back
   and show me the way you'd have me walk...

Turn me around and let me see how close you are, Lord;
   with your rod and your staff give me comfort and hope;
      open my heart and my ears to your voice, to your word,
         and call me to the peace you offer me each day...

When I'm hungry for your bread and thirsty for your mercy:
   prepare a banquet to nourish my soul
      and feed me with your wisdom,
         filling me with goodness and grace...

When I'm weak and weary, anoint my head with oil
   and strengthen me with the Spirit of goodness and kindness
      to follow me all of my days
         until I dwell in your house for ever...

Help me see, Lord, how the meadow of peace
   is not so much a place to go
      as it is the way I walk with you each day...

Help me see, Lord, how a river of restful waters
   flows by my side each day
      when I follow the path you mark out for me...

Help me see, Lord, how I'll only want for nothing
   when nothing comes between you and me
      and the peace you give to lift my drooping spirit...

In the quiet of my prayer, good Shepherd, 
   let me rest in your presence and find the peace
      that waits for me each time I listen for your voice...

In the stillness of your meadow: calm my soul,
   forgive my heart; anoint me with your pardon
      and fill me with your Spirit...

In the quiet of my prayer, Lord, 
   let your light shine in my dark valley
      and with your shepherd's crook dispel my fears
         and comfort me...
To ponder and pray over...
How do I need the Good Shepherd to bring me to a peaceful place?
Am I open to the Shepherd's guidance or do I run and lose my way?
Am I in such a hurry that I run from the Shepherd's side
   and find myself all alone?
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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