Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

Monday Prayer for Vision

Prayers

Prayers (Photo credit: Xerones)

Be thou my vision,
O Lord of my heart,
Be all else but naught to me,
Save that thou art;
Be thou my best thought
In the day and the night,
Both waking and steeping,
Thy presence my light.

Amen

Old Irish Text versified by Eleanor Hull

A Monday Prayer for God to Use Me

praying hands

praying hands (Photo credit: Katie Tegtmeyer)

Lay me on an anvil, O God.
Beat me and hammer me into a crowbar.
Let me pry loose old walls.
Let me lift and loosen old foundations.

Lay me on an anvil, O God.
Beat me and hammer me into a steel spike.
Drive me into the girders that hold a skyscraper together.
Take red-hot rivets and fasten me into the central girders.
Let me be the great nail holding a skyscraper through blue nights into white stars.

Amen
Prayers of Steel by Carl Sandburg

A Monday Prayer for Work

praying woman

praying woman (Photo credit: Guppydas)

Teach me work that honors Thy work,
the true economies of goods and words,
to make my arts compatible
with the songs of the local birds.

Teach me the patience beyond work
and, beyond patience, the blest
Sabbath of Thy unresting love
which lights all things and gives rest.

Amen

Wendell Berry

A Prayer for Understanding

 

Praying Hands

Praying Hands (Photo credit: C Jill Reed)

Creator of all things,
true source of light and wisdom,
origin of all being,
graciously let a ray of your light penetrate
the darkness of my understanding.
Take from me the double darkness
in which I have been born,
an obscurity of sin and ignorance.
Give me a keen understanding,
a retentive memory, and
the ability to grasp things
correctly and fundamentally.
Grant me the talent
of being exact in my explanations
and the ability to express myself
with thoroughness and charm.
Point out the beginning,
direct the progress,
and help in the completion.
I ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.
Thomas Aquinas – A Student’s Prayer

 

 

A Prayer for Our Work This Week

 

English: Oil painting, "Praying Hands&quo...

English: Oil painting, “Praying Hands” by Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My Lord God,

I have no idea where I am going.  I do not see the road ahead of me.  I cannot know for certain where it will end.  Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.  But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.

Thomas Merton

 

Writing: Adding or Subtracting?

We are a society of builders and often we focus on adding.  When writing, I can focus on my word count and my daily production and lose the focus of the work. It’s nice to have a high word count and to see the page numbers grow, but it’s often in the rewriting and editing that the real work is done. In stripping away what is not real and authentic we find the essence of our work.

Can we focus on subtraction instead of addition?

In my spiritual life I can focus on building, adding.  I have a bookcase filled with books about faith and prayer.  Is another book going to help me grow my faith? Do I need one more retreat? Another service opportunity? More study?  Or is there something about subtraction?  Stripping away what is not real and authentic we find the essence of our faith.

What can I subtract today?

God is not found in the soul by adding anything but by subtracting.

Meister Eckhart

Prayer and the Creative Process

Madeleine L'Engle

Madeleine L’Engle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In prayer and in the creative process, the mind and the heart, the intellect and the intuition, the conscious and the subconscious stop fighting each other as they so often do and collaborate. As two people do who know each other, who love each other. And if the love of two people is a gift, a totally unmerited gift, so is the union of mind and heart. When we try to control our lives totally with the self we think we know, self-awareness is inhibited.

–Madeleine L’Engle, Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life

Writing With Inspiration

Reading Eugene Peterson

Writing With Faith

Memling Diptych of Maarten Nieuwenhove panel d...

Memling Diptych of Maarten Nieuwenhove panel detail 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I start a book, I may have an audience in mind.  Often I think about where I will submit the manuscript and who will read my words. I never know if what I dream about will happen.   If I put too much faith in myself and my ability to publish the book, I can lose my way.  I have to trust God for what He will do with my efforts.

I’m often surprised at where the work goes. Sometimes the trashcan!  Some writing is just for me and my own growth.  That can be painful.  But the work that’s ended up in the file cabinet or the trash can has grown me and taught me.  Part of the process of my spiritual growth is obedience to God in putting the words on paper, then surrendering where it will be used by Him.

When we started our latest book, my sister said to me, “I think someone, somewhere is praying for this book.  They’re looking for this book and praying that it comes to them.”  I love that idea. I don’t know where our words will end up but I have faith that God is working through us and in us as we write.  I have faith that our desire to please God pleases Him more than the results of our work.

I love this prayer by Thomas Merton and pray it often:

My Lord God,

            I have no idea where I am going.  I do not see the road ahead of me.  I cannot know for certain where it will end.  Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.  But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. 

Amen

It is comforting  that I don’t have to have all the answers.

Today we will write with faith,  The Writing Sisters

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