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.
Dear God, I cannot see the future. Rather than fill me with dread, this should be cause for joy. What surprises are in store for me today? Let me please wonder this as a small child wonders with their parent has planned for them. Expectant and eager.
Lord, let me have enthusiasm for this day ahead. No matter what plans I have or how routine my agenda, let me view everything that transpires as a joyous surprise. Each interaction is an opportunity to provide benefit for others.
I am taught that, in order to maintain these spiritual gifts, I must give them away. When I give away the gifts you have showered upon me, I am helping all. I must turn none away.
This can be an uncomfortable attitude for me to take. Does everyone deserve my good will? Does everyone deserve your gifts? Of course the answer is yes – even those I may despise. Lord, let me cheerfully have a kind and giving attitude in every setting today.
Let me shine your light.
Dear God, I awaken with fears about the tasks I must perform today. What am I worried about? When I closely examine it, I find that I am worried about what people will think of me. I am worried that I may fail, and my status in the eyes of others may diminish. This implies that I see all of society as ranked, from lowest to high – and that I am desperate to maintain the rung I am on.
Dear Lord, what an impoverished view of humanity. Please release me from this false understanding. Let me see all of your children, those who are vexing as well as those whom I admire, as equal. Above all, let me not strive to get ahead nor to rise, for the pursuit of success blocks me from you.
God, let me see all tasks as equally worthy, for they come from you. Let me seek to perform my duties with quiet craftsmanship, satisfied in the knowledge of the effort and care that go into the work – work which is often not on display. The cabinetmaker’s finest achievements are hidden deep within the piece he builds.
Let my work for you, Lord, have outward simplicity, and inner quality.
Dear God, as I tend my relationship with you, I have a more frequent understanding of how to respond to events in the world. This opens the door to hasty and ill-considered action, as I pridefully believe I somehow have a direct line to your will.
The more certain I feel, the more I ought to pause to discern your voice and guidance. The action that was correct yesterday may not be so today.
Lord, let me be willing to seek humility. Let me not be filled with pride and ego. It is such a small step from having a conscious contact with you, to becoming a zealot or crusader.
God, grant me uncertainty. Let me see it, when it comes, as a gift. Uncertainty causes me to pause, and in that space let me be willing to hear your quiet leading.
Without your guidance, I so easily fall into error and selfish behavior. Let me remain small and powerless, taking your hand like a child.
Dear God, I sit here, in this room, feeling and noticing every physical sensation I am able. The ground under the soles of my feet. The cushion pressing against my lower back. The expanse of my ribs as I breathe. The gurgle of the coffee maker. The tick of the clock.
I am alive, present in this body in this space. Lord, this is your gift to me. This body is not mine but yours, an instrument with which you act in this world. My highest joy is to become ready for your use.
The day stretches before me with few obligations. You grant me the freedom to fill it with selfish trivia, or with industry. Let me have the willingness to choose the latter. Let me abandon myself to you fully today, with great joy and without reservation.
Let me be your trusted instrument today.