Dear God, how is it that one day, I can awaken in a negative frame of mind, and on the next, awaken rejoicing? Nothing has changed and yet I have optimism. I am brimming with it.
Lord, let me take from this the proper lesson: That conditions around me are irrelevant. That my mood is not in my control. That all will change. That faith in you is ultimately what will sustain me.
Lord, let me learn to have equanimity in the face of the lows as well as the highs. If I focus on the simple task of being useful and responsible to those around me, then a simple joy will come my way. Not a twitching ecstasy – but peace.
The peace you promise and deliver is available to me at all times and under all conditions!
God, let me greet this day as the gift it is. Let me have enthusiasm for my labors. Let me have the proper intent: to seek and do your will.
Thank you, o my Lord.
Dear God, on an extended trip, away from family and from my accustomed routines, I get lonely and resentful. I pare down my activities to a minimum, enduring the time apart. Getting through.
This is how I approach everything that seems to be a trial, or is even disagreeable: I endure.
Lord, how can I better see trials, the large as well as the small, as gifts and opportunities from you? Why must my feeling of joy be dependent on the outside world and what is happening around me? How easy it is to have a joyful and grateful attitude when conditions are pleasant.
Let me find joy even amidst difficult or burdensome circumstances. You are there with me, Lord, in good times and in bad. Why should I not rejoice, then, even in the midst of crisis?
Indeed, in times of calamity I can often see your hand. My greatest difficulty in having a proper attitude comes amidst the minor vexations of life. The minor, irksome things often pose the greatest barrier to seeking you.
Lord, let me find a joyful, correct attitude today. I know this will come by pouring energies into serving others, for they are manifestations of you. All of us your children.
Let me not endure, but instead revel in the minor obligations you place upon me. Let me seek and do your will today, joyously.
Dear God, I fell asleep, and have awakened, reflecting on my shortcomings. I am a selfish being, deep in my core. One way this presents itself is that I too often take pleasure in being the center of attention. Nothing pleases me so, as to be noticed and praised.
Lord, this pleasure is fleeting, without substance. It eventually turns to ash in my mouth. The attention I seek is a spiritual defect: it works directly against the humility you would see in your children.
I am one among many. Indeed, there are seven billion on this globe and you love each equally. You love me no less than any other. But nor do you love me greater than my fellows.
Today, Lord, let me place myself to the side. Let me quietly labor in service to others. Let this be a discipline, let it subvert the pride and self-regard I too easily demonstrate.
Let me seek humility. Let it open the space for a right,-sized view of my place in the world, and my place in relation to you.
Lord, guide me today into a deeper faith. Let me look upward, to you, and not inward to self.
Let me act as one among many, all equally protected and loved by you.
Dear God, when I anticipate difficult situations, it is easy for me to hold fast to your guidance. I can seek your will under such slow-moving conditions. Indeed, it is seeking guidance during the difficult time of anticipation that gets me through it.
But what of the trial itself? When embroiled in crisis, when events are fast-moving – Lord, at such times, let me be able to summon my faith in you. For you are not simply a balm to soothe me when anxious. You literally provide answers and you direct events.
When events unfold, let me have a faith so deep that, right there at that point of trial, I have the presence of mind to ask, “What will you have me do right now, O Lord?”
God, you expect little of me, when I think about it rightly. Even when engaged in large endeavors, you require of me only that I seek you. Every day, if I persist in seeking you, I come just a little closer to you. This is not the dictate of a taskmaster, but the promise of a friend.
Let me be your friend.
Dear God, I have a difficult day ahead. I am afraid of what may happen, how everything will go. It is hard for me to find you, since so many thoughts crowd my mind.
Lord, let me truly rely on you today. I am only afraid because I believe myself to be the architect of my day. But the design is yours. My effort is properly exerted in seeking and doing your will. Let me not ask, “how can I succeed?” But instead, “what is your will for me?”
Grant me an understanding, in each situation, of what you would have me do. Let me relax when anxious, so that I might hear your voice.
So often you speak to me quietly, in a still, small voice. Let me listen. Sometimes your voice is that of another person. Let me listen for that, too.
Let me listen to learn your will for me. Let me not seek to understand your broader intent, just what you would have me do.
Grant me willingness to act according to your desire.
Dear God, what if I were to see you as my literal guide? Like a companion in the forest, advising me on the course to take, with my best interest in mind. You know the terrain – the pitfalls, the dangers, the glorious meadows, the broad vista points.
If I listen, you will direct me. At a fork in the path, you may advise one direction, for you know the dangers that lie in the other. Yet I stubbornly make my own decision and take the worse road. Even so, you do not abandon me.
You know this path I chose leads to some danger or a dead end – but you know of another fork I can take along the way that will lessen the burden. I make my choices, however poor they may be, and yet you stick with me. And when I obstinately run into some insurmountable obstacle, there you will carry me to safety.
Lord, when I examine my life, I find this truly has been my experience. Today, as I walk through it, let me try to listen to your guidance, yet also have faith that even my wrong choices can be repaired by your grace.
Let me understand how free this makes me. Let me understand how futile my worries really are. Let me understand how fundamentally you protect me.
Dear God, I have an awareness of my defects of character, yet I too seldom make an honest effort to overcome them. My pride, arrogance, and selfishness are all too often underlying even those actions which may seem wholly good.
As a selfish, flawed being, I cloak my self-seeking motives in robes of seeming purity.
Dear Lord, let me, at my core, in my honest, central self, become the person whom you would have me be. Let me be giving without seeking reciprocity. Let me have humility without seeking recognition. Let me be responsible without thought of reward.
Let me revel in seeking and doing your will today. Let me view all with whom I interact as having been personally delivered by you, each a special gift to help me improve my character. Thy will be done.
Dear God, on some dark mornings, I anticipate the day and would like nothing more than to have a suit of armor for protection. I turn to you seeking knowledge of what will happen, so I can steel myself. I know, however, that this is folly.
Indeed, I am happiest and most useful when I take the opposite approach. Let me be open and vulnerable. Let me not draw boundaries around myself, but instead see myself as connected to all circumstances in a web spun and woven by you. These are not entanglements, but blessings.
I wish to know the future but in your mercy you hide it from me. Let me see this for the gift it is.
In every previous event in my life, I have been taken care of. How dare I worry that you will abandon me, when a lifetime of evidence disproves this?
Let me run forward, not as an armored warrior to battle, but as a child toward joy. Toward you.
Dear God, I awaken with plans for the day already streaming through my mind. The more I arrange things, the more I crowd out any opportunity to honestly seek your will. Lord, how can I view the day as a blank canvas that you will fill, rather than as a checklist of my own design?
As I fell asleep last night, I thought with intention about the small, everyday things for which I was grateful. This consoled me after a day in which I faced challenges. Can I, this morning, muster the same gratitude? Can I anticipate that, at day’s end, these same elements will be present? If so, why not experience tonight’s gratitude continually, beginning now?
Lord, let me see your immense gifts in every moment. Let me not see them as rewards for effort, but as expressions of love for your children.
Take me by the hand. Hold me in your arms. Carry me. Let me have faith that you will do today what you did yesterday and the day before: sustain me with your love.
Dear God, how can I be more like a child before you? How can I be more trusting, blindly trusting, without thought of advancement or self-preservation? How can I be more grateful, without envy for the greater material goods held by others? How can I be more generous in spirit, enthusiastically sharing the good news that your love represents?
I fall very short of these goals. I plan out my actions as if I am a general organizing troops. I seek security and material progress instead of greater selflessness.
Dear Lord, let me abandon myself to you without reservation. Let me thank you wholeheartedly for everything that comes my way, the joys as well as the trials. Let me see your hand even in that which I fear.
You clothe the field in lilies; let me have faith that you will provide for me equally.