Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dear God, guide my thoughts. They are so unruly. My mind jumps from plan to plan; always selfish, always focused on what I can achieve or attain. My actions may be correct, but I know my mind concocts a fantasy world in which you are an afterthought.

Dear Lord, so often I seek from you strength or some other material support. Too seldom do I ask you to control and bridle my thoughts. Let my inner life be peaceful and directed toward you today.

As I think, so I do. Let me have more thoughts of service, more thoughts of true faith in you. Fill me with your love. Let my thinking be correct, that my steps may follow.

Thy will be done.

(Letter #882)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dear God, let me show my faith in you through my actions today. Let me be an obedient employee, a loving partner, a kind friend, a compassionate parent, a graceful leader. Let my sole ambition today be to be useful and responsible. Let this be the song of praise I sing for you.

Worries creep at the periphery of my attention. Jackals, pacing around the firelight. Lord, let my works be bright. Let me be attentive to what is before me, and take comfort in the safety you deliver. If I do your will, I find relief. Out in the shadows are ghosts, with no substance.

Let me act in the here and now.

(Letter #881)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Dear God, I am so changeable; you are an unchanging source of power and love. On each day the correction I need differs. One day I need my spirits bolstered. Another, I need to be taken down a peg. These lessons and supports you send me are always tailored to my particular situation and I respond to them variably.

Lord, you watch over me. I regret the past; I worry for the future. Today, you shine upon me and you tell me, if I will but listen, that nothing will arrive today that I cannot handle. I am up to the tasks, because you have prepared them for me. Just for me.

Lord, let me approach you as my father, as a child before you. I ask, what will we do today? Let me ask with excited anticipation.

Let me be a doer of your will today, not just one who hears and does nothing. Let me act today, overcoming inertia and sloth.

Let me run, seeking fields in which to sow your love. Your loving hands support me. Let me spread the news of this to those who despair.

Thank you for your loving embrace.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Dear God, let me be the proper size today. I so enjoy the feeling of imagining myself larger and greater than I am. The truth is that I struggle with a selfish, small spirit. I am ungenerous, ungraceful, and intolerant at my core. I cannot remove these attitudes by simply thinking; my thoughts themselves are twisted. I must rely on you.

Lord, my Lord, grant me some small measure of improvement. Fill me with your love, that I may spread it to others. Let it blot out my selfish, defective habits of thought.

Let me willingly draw near to you, Lord, for I know by experience that you will in turn come near to me. Overpower my defects and make me your instrument. Let me do your will today.

(Letter #879)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Dear God, strengthen my faith. Lessen my burdens. Weaken my ties to the world. Grant me greater humility.

Today, Lord, let me be willing to act in secret for the good of others. Let me go out of my way to place the spotlight on my brothers and sisters. Let me actively seek those whom I may help, without trying to gain credit for good works.

I have worries about how things will go in a number of areas in daily life. Do I have sufficient resources? Will my loved ones thrive? Will I lose standing professionally? Will my health deteriorate?

O my Lord, let me work all the harder on behalf of others. Let this work be my prayer to you.

Today, let me simply aim to be useful and responsible — an adequate tool of your will. Nothing more.

Lord, I feel your love. Let me deliver it quietly to the world.

Thy will be done.

(Letter #878)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Dear God, I lie. In my prayers, I ask that I be granted greater humility, but deep down I question whether I truly want this. I say that I seek your will, but I exert so much effort in getting my way and influencing outcomes to benefit me. I desire good intentions. I so rarely have them.

Lord, improve me. Every morning I face the same prison of self. Yet I know the door to my cell is wide open. There you are, beckoning me. Let me willingly become more like the person you would have me be. Let me not harbor such selfish habits of mind and deed.

Where can I abandon self, O Lord? Surely I will find multiple opportunities today. Let me try harder to see them and to act.

(Letter #877)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Dear God, I am alive, sheltered, with sufficient resources for the day. Food, water, air. On the level of organic survival, I have no needs nor pressing problems. Any worry I have, any anxiety, is fiction. My worst fear is not death or privation, but loss of status or denial of something I think I want or need. Such imaginary problems. They all amount to a worry that I might face unpleasant emotions.

Lord, I so easily confuse my emotional life for my spiritual being. I act as if I believe gratitude and faith must depend on being in the proper mood. I perceive my emotional state as my reality.

Deliver me, O Lord, from this wrong thinking. My emotional reactions to circumstances are all illusion. Depending on the day, the very same events may cause elation or despondency. This is proof enough that they are unreal.

Lord, let me see the reality of your work in my life. Let my faith grow, like an oak, and overshadow the daily emotional changes and even my physical being. Let me see the reality that is otherwise invisible.

If I am truly grateful, then I will act. I will pass it on. Let me recognize the faith you have slowly delivered to me, that you have awakened in me, for the gift that it is. Let faith in you be my reality.

(Letter #876)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Dear God, I think about the day ahead, and the tasks and activities it holds. My reaction is not dramatically positive nor negative: I have a feeling of equanimity. Yesterday was marked by fear and elation. From where did this neutrality come?

Lord, let me not examine too closely why I feel one way or another. I used to analyze myself with gusto, under the illusion that if only I knew why I felt as I did, I would then overcome my toxic inner feelings. It never occurred to me that, if I wanted improved self-esteem, I must do esteemable things. Improved attitude comes to me as a result of right action.

Lord, let me have gratitude for the neutrality you have provided – but let me not live too aloof from this world. Staying neutral is attractive, since it is safe and affords a measure of comfort. But in this world I must act.

Let me live as a member of humanity, doing your will moment to moment. Let my actions be for the benefit of those around me. Let me not be selfish in outlook.

Let me seek your will today, O Lord. Let me not glide and coast, but exert myself on your behalf.

Let me be your beast of burden, carrying the load you set upon my back. Let me do your will unquestioningly.

(Letter #875)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dear God, contradictory emotions bedevil me. On the one hand, pride. I view myself as exalted, a rank above my fellows. But at the same time: fear. I lay frozen in bed, frightened of the tasks before me.

Together these feelings of pridefulness and fear whiplash me from pole to pole. They are the twin consequences of my fixation on self. The more I focus on me, the more I am subject to the winds of the world.

Lord, I beg you to grant me deeper faith and a steadier heart. Let my efforts not bend to some external outcome, but to seeking you, discerning your will, and dispatching it as best I can. Let these be my simple objectives.

Let self wither and fade. Thy will be done.

(Letter #874)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Dear God, I feel so small this morning, in the face of all that is before me. The world, and the tasks and challenges within it, is so large and I am so inadequate. Small, like a child.

If I am a child, though, it is a child of God. Of you. You grant me your power. You protect me. You go before me to prepare the way, that your child may not encounter insurmountable difficulty.

Lord, let me trust that I am your child, moving among my brothers and sisters. We are enacting your will on a stage of your making. Let me play my role, grateful to have a part. Let me do your will today.

(Letter #873)