Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dear God, what are my instructions? I fear not knowing the right course of action just as much as I fear lacking resources. When a crisis comes, I often know what to do. It is in the smaller situations, the day to day challenges, that I am unsure.

Lord, let me listen. Let me be willing to hear and to do your will. When I believe myself the most free, with the most options open to me, that is when I must seek your guidance and discipline.

Lord, let me be willing to have humility. Let me do your will in all things today.

(Letter #851)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Dear God, I have awakened early and completed some of my obligations. Laboring in these dark hours brings a feeling of usefulness and devotion. My labors are for you, O Lord!

This morning I am studying the book of James. He insists that faith without works is dead. His writing calls me to understand that this prayer, this contemplation, this faith I have and profess – these are not enough. He calls me to work in this world, work on behalf of others.

Lord, let me understand this obligation you place upon me. Let me see coasting, resting on my laurels, as not just indulgent but in fact wrong.

Shirking my duty of charity is wrong. Avoiding the obligations that attend to me leaves my faith dead.

Lord, let me seek out ways to work on your behalf today. Let me not passively let such opportunities come to me, but actively create them. You hold high expectations of me. Let me be the servant you require.

(Letter #850)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Dear God, every day is the same length. When I face each one I gaze out upon an equal duration. Yet some days stretch before me as a yawning chasm and I am filled with fear and misgiving. Others appear short and I wish they were longer. Some seem filled with too much to do; others empty.

Lord, let me see these all with the same, even attitude. Each day is filled with moments, and you stand beside me at each one. Let me trust that you will provide enough strength and resources, moment by moment, to act as you would have me do.

I may be fearful of what I anticipate coming my way, but in reality it is almost always just one or two things that I fear. An isolated task I am unsure I can do. Yet I allow this one moment, which may not even occur, to cast a shadow on the whole day.

Lord, let me live in a series of moments. Let me not think of the day ahead but of the one single thing that faces me here and now. Let me act in this present moment exactly as I ought, your obedient servant. You have already delivered to me exactly what I need, right here. Let me recognize it.

Today, let me be kindly to all I greet. Every single moment, let me carry your message of love. Show me your will – not later but right now, just as you always have done. All I need do is listen and trust. Let me do so with a grateful heart.

(Letter #849)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dear God, I place myself at the center of almost every circumstance. Constantly, I wonder how I can improve my position, what will befall me, how will I feel. This line of thinking takes over before I realize it. Without even trying, I have shoved to the side all my big talk about seeking your will and trying to help others.

Lord, it is so easy to intend. Let me carry this intention through the day. Let me truly place others’ welfare ahead of my own. Let me diminish my own standing. Let me act contrary to my own instincts.

Let me, Lord, move to the margins and place you at the center of my understanding.

I will only be able to do this if I slow my responses. My reflexes are not humble ones. Let me pause and pause again. In the space, let me ask: What is the contrary action? What is the opposite of my instinct?

Let me seek to be small, that my devotion to do your will may grow large. Thy will be done.

(Letter #848)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dear God, my worries are so trivial, yet they loom so large. I am faced with a number of tasks and I am fearful I will not complete them. If I examine this list it is minor, filled with trivia. Yet my sense of anxiety is large. It is all out of proportion.

Lord, let me learn. My reactions are almost always more intense than warranted. I overreact, both negatively and positively. Grant me improvement of my emotions. Let me not live in a state of excitement. Anger, fear, elation, mania. The intensity of these feelings is unsupportable. Let me have the gift of serenity – a measured emotional life. Let my faith in you provide an inner calm in the face of such intensity.

Let me have sufficient faith that my fear dissipates, and my giddiness tempers. These are outgrowths of my emphasis on self. Burn it away, and leave behind a quiet open space.

Let me walk slowly through my day, without worry and bother. Let me react proportionately. Let me quietly listen for your instructions.

Slow me down, O Lord. Let me do your will.

(Letter #847)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Dear God, let me be a source of relief and ease for those around me, both with friends, and those who vex me or even see me as an enemy. Where I am frustrated, let me not just inwardly mouth blessings for them but let me demonstrate your love by taking some concrete action in their favor. Let me not pridefully decide who does and does not deserve good will: but let me convey your love to all indiscriminately.

In circumstances of confusion, let me be a calm presence, an eyr of the storm. This is your power made real on this earth: love and ease flowing from one of your children to another.

Lord, grant me the willingness to demonstrate love even when bitter.

Thy will be done.

(Letter #846)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Dear God, I am worried and frightened this morning. I am scheduled to give a presentation. Have I prepared enough? I am so fearful of what people will think and how they will respond.

Lord, these fears are born of self-sufficiency. I incorrectly see the task as putting on a performance. But I have learned that the proper way to see my role is as a helper. How can I try to be a source of aid and comfort to those around me?

Lord, take away this focus on my self. Let me look outward, seeking how best I can be of service. My comfort doesn’t matter. My fearfulness doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I try to fulfill your will.

Let me trust that you are preparing the way. Let me have willingness to perform any task, under any conditions, that you may require.

Let me willingly go where you would guide me. Let me see your guidance.

(Letter #845)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dear God, my prayers to you are in words. But it is so easy to speak as I believe I ought; words are of so little value. Let my words reflect my heart, O Lord. Let my actions prove my faith in you. What would you have me do? Let me pursue this doggedly.

Just as my most honest prayer will not be in words but in deeds, neither should I believe you will speak to me in language. You guide me, Lord, quietly and firmly, through events. Let me learn to see your hand in things. Let me watch for you.

Lord, let your power flow through me, your life, your energy. Let me bear fruit for others. Let me do your work without fanfare and without trying to be noticed. The tree does not seek praise for the fruit it delivers.

Lord, thy will be done. Give me my daily bread. Forgive me my trespasses. Deliver me from evil. These are the things you teach to be elements of a prayerful life.

Let me do your will today! Grant me guidance and energy to do it. Burn away my words and leave behind truth.

(Letter #844)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dear God, let me place my attention and energy where they ought to be. I get distracted by worldly concerns and before I know it I have focused exclusively on my own plans and designs, on worries that I face, on my physical body even.

I pretend these things are under my control, which is illusion. Worse, I place them before you. I spend more energy and time attending to trivia than I do tending my relationship with you.

Lord, I pray in the morning that Thy will be done, yet I myself do so little to bring that about.

Let me be active in seeking your will. Let me exert effort to make it reality — let me not try just to discern, but to act.

You grant me so much! Every need I have is fulfilled daily, and it has always been so. Let me not act as if you might fail me, but instead be your servant, working to make your will manifest, confident that all needed supplies will be delivered.

Let me take responsibility for doing my part. Let me work with a joyful and cheerful spirit.

(Letter #843)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dear God, grant me right motives today. I follow the rules, I perform my duties – yet my inner life is filled with selfishness and pride. I drag myself into my tasks, because deep down I am slothful. I look for ways to shirk my obligations. I seek nothing so much as to look good and be told I am so.

Lord, bring my inner life into the light. Let my thoughts be ones I would gladly make public. Burn away my pride, resentment, dishonesty, selfishness. Leave me with honesty, purity of motive, unselfishness, and love.

Let me act and think as you would have me do. Let me be willing to be changed inside and out.

(Letter #842)