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.
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.
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.
Dear God, I have so much for which to be grateful. Yet I ignore it all in favor of dwelling on some fear about what may transpire later. And of what am I truly fearful? In examining my attitude, I find not that I am afraid I will not know what to do, nor that I will not be up to the task. No. I am merely scared that I will face discomfort and difficulty.
Lord, I see this fear clearly. It is the secret, small fear hidden in all my grand thoughts about my supposed anxieties.
It all boils down to a worry that I will be uncomfortable. That someone may criticize me and it will not be pleasant. That some eventuality will occur and I will have to act. That something I think I need will be taken from me, and I will have to work to regain it. That something I want will not be delivered to me, and I will have to do without.
These fears – this one selfish fear – is laughable when seen in this light. Lord, let me retain this perspective. All this worry is truly bondage to self. I am imprisoned by my self-regard.
You, glorious you, can save me. Let me seek to help others today. Let me bend my exertions toward your will. Let me eagerly seek and enthusiastically do your bidding today. Let this crowd out my selfish habits of thought.
Dear God, you know my every thought, my every intention, my every secret. You know how strong is my desire to be a better person than I am and how, deep in my core, how strong are the forces that urge me to fall short. I am at war with self, and you know this even before I admit it.
Lord, strengthen my higher self and weaken the selfish, small part of my intentions.
Lord, let me feel your protective mantle. You are my shield, the roof over my head. I am so vulnerable, in truth. Without you I am exposed and naked.
How, my dear God, can I think more of others, even when I am fearful for my own fate? How can I place self-satisfaction behind service to my fellows? I want to have these right intentions, but if I am honest with myself, I am still seeking my own comfort and advancement.
Let me, Lord, find you under the mire within me. Grow inside my heart, and blot out the self-regard that bedevils me.
Dear God, such storms I have encountered. I feel as if I have been buffeted for days and, this morning, I have a chance at calm. I may have some breathing room today.
Lord, it is vexing that my inner state is so controlled by circumstances.
You would have me do your will under all conditions, not just when it is easy. If this is truly my aim, to seek and do your will, then I will have equanimity. Can I feel that, even amidst turmoil? A day of respite can provide a reminder of how I might more productively comport myself on other days.
Lord, let me feel your calm. You rescued me before and you will continue to do so. Let me rely on you this day and all days. Let me feel your steadfast power as the ground beneath my feet, permanent and unmovable.
Let me be grateful for the solid rock upon which you allow me to stand.
Dear God, let my relationship with you be more than just an idea. Let me depend on you wholly. As I consider the day ahead, let me do more than simply imagine that you might help me. Let me trust you as a child would. Let me take your hand and be guided.
I face difficult interactions today. I can imagine myself the victim in them. But this reduces those around me to fictional characters, cartoons. The truth is, that others have awakened this morning with the same uncertainty before the day. None of us know how our time will unfold. Others must surely have fear and worry equal to mine.
Lord, let me view all my dealings today as opportunities to come to others’ aid.
You have granted me the grace of your love. I feel it. This is something not everyone has as of yet. Let me share it, the way I would share an umbrella.
Let me accept your will for me today, without reluctance. Even adversity is sent by you, and so it must surely be a gift. Let me be eager to receive all you deliver. Let me seek and do your will today.