NIGHT PRAYER: Sunday 9/13

If you're open to suggestions, Lord,
(and I guess that's what prayer is really all about)
I have a modest proposal to make:
   this world of ours needs more smiles!

And I don't mean more smiley faces 
or assorted emojis!

I mean genuine ear-to-ear grins:
   - the kind that start deep in your heart
      but rise up quickly, seeking the surface 
      like a diver coming up for air;
   - the kind of smile that lights up a face
      and the faces of all who behold it
      'til the whole room is bright
      with a smiling glow
   - I mean smiles to calm a troubled heart
      smiles to comfort a worried soul,
      smiles to strengthen a weakened spirit
      smiles to promise that all shall be well,
         that all manner of things shall be well...

I mean smiles that help us believe, Lord,
   and smiles that keep us afloat in the storm;
smiles that make a hard day worth living,
   and smiles that speak more than words ever say;
smiles that give us a reason to trust
   and smiles that help us feel we're at home;
smiles that give us hope for tomorrow
   and smiles that help keep the past in the past...

I mean smiles that come from good news
   (we could use some!)
and smiles that come from deep faith
   (hey, I'm trying!)
and smiles that come from you
   (they're the best!)

Painting by R.S. Riddick

We've had it, Lord, with frowns and pouts,
grimacing scowls, eye rolls, smirks and sneers! 
It's smiles we need and plenty of them
   - and plenty of reasons to smile!

This world of ours needs more smiles, Lord:
   smiles that help us know we are loved,
   smiles that help us laugh at ourselves
   and smiles that help us believe in you...

So, that's my suggestion, my modest proposal, 
my simple prayer:
   more smiles all around, Lord,
   beginning with yours:
   that'll put a smile on everyone's face!

Smile on us, Lord, at the end of this day
and smile on us after we all fall asleep
that awake, we might keep watch with you
and asleep, smile in our dreams...


I Smile by Kirk Franklin

(I dedicate this song 
to recession, depression and unemployment. 
This song's for you.)

Today's a new day,
but there is no sunshine. 
Nothing but clouds, and it's dark in my heart 
and it feels like a cold night. 

Today's a new day, 
where are my blue skies, 
where is the love and the joy that you promised
you tell me it's alright.

I almost gave up, 
but a power that I can't explain, 
fell from heaven like a shower now. 
 (When I think how much better I'm gonna be when this is over) 

I smile, even though I hurt, see, I smile, 
I know God is working so I smile, 
Even though I've been here for a while
I smile, smile.. 
it's so hard to look up when you've been down.
Sure would hate to see you give up now
You look so much better when you smile, so smile.


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