Dear God, when I ask, you visit me and deliver your gifts. But I must be driven by difficulty and woe before I will seek them. I attempt every means to overcome trying circumstances, and only after exhausting them do I turn to what experience and faith tell me is the way: I ask for your aid.
Lord, why is this my last resort? Deliver me from my stubborn self-sufficiency. I am like a cross child, shoving away the help anyone can see I need, in favor of maintaining my illusion of independence.
Let me awaken to my weakness, and come to know and accept the aid you provide without requiring anything other than that I ask.
Let me ask.
Dear God, today, in all small things, let me see the working of your will and give thanks for it. When minor inconveniences appear, let me look past them to see your hand. If I face a large setback let me have gratitude for whatever way this will turn out to be your providential hand saving me.
Every step, every act, every word – your will enacted. Let me therefore rejoice no matter the circumstances, for they all spring from you.
Lord, let me have gratitude today. Let this be my work: to show it under all conditions. Let me be enthusiastic that your will come to pass, and that I have a hand in helping it along.
Thank you, my Lord.
Dear God, let me have simplicity today. Let me shed complication, avoid building contraptions of dependence, and cleave to the singular thing that I know to be true.
What is here, now, before me, tangible – this is what I may occupy my hands with. What may be tomorrow, what others may think even now, what could have been or ought to be – fictions. I think about such things as fantasy and escape from the real.
Lord, let me have focus today. Let me be present in this body, here where it rests, acting as I ought in the current circumstances.
Here, today, now, my sole occupation is rightly this: to seek and do your will for me.
What would you have me do, here and now? Whom would you have me help and how, here and now? What words would you have me speak, here and now?
Lord, let asking these simple questions be my sole occupation today. Let the answering of them be my devoted craft. Thy will be done.
Dear God, worry and fear are so often with me. I awaken frightened of all I face in the day. How many times before this morning have I felt same, and returned to you to ease my apprehension? If I focus on your will for me, the worry dissipates for a moment here, a moment there.
I would have thought the lesson would be learnt by now – yet worry still is my unwelcome companion.
Is this your will for me? How can I see this affliction as a gift? Let me view my inner life in such a way that I become grateful. How, Lord, can I become grateful for my fears?
The repetition of your lessons, at least, brings with it improvement. I awaken with trivial worries and I know immediately to redouble my efforts to seek your will. Perhaps this is preparation for greater tests to come. Or perhaps it is meant to show the way to others. Perhaps, finally, it is to keep me close to you.
Lord, please reveal to me your will today, and let me set about to act upon it. Let me help others today.
Dear God, let my intentions today be single. Let me seek solely to do your will.
All my plans, my stratagems, my worries, my contingencies – let these all fall away. Let me see your presence around every corner, and ask in any situation: what would you have me do, O Lord?
I build castles in my mind as easily as I do nightmares but in all cases I rule these imaginary landscapes. My fantasies are all bereft of you and I am alone in them. Alone to rise or fall. What an impoverished inner life. Lift me away.
Lord, today, let me know you are with me.
Dear God, my inner life is littered with shortcomings. My thoughts, even when not overtly selfish, are almost always self-absorbed. So rarely do I honestly think of others’ welfare, even when in the midst of taking helpful actions.
Lord, let me direct energy toward those around me. Fill me with love, let it blot out the selfishness that preoccupies my inner life. Let me singly think about spreading your love to others.
Dear God, let me see all the treasure you have heaped around me. I walk through your palace, showered in beneficence, yet I see myself struggle with limitation.
My selfish, grasping core tells me it is not enough. Not enough praise, not enough notice, not enough security, not enough resources, not enough love. Like I am sullenly plodding along a dark pathway, grumbling that I must toil, when all around me is beauty if I will but raise my eyes to see.
Lord, let me become glad. Let me live the ecstasy of discovering I am already loved just as I am, I have enough just as I am. I am your child, chosen, as are my brothers and sisters all around me.
These piles of treasure I pick my way through are comprised of the love and wherewithal you deliver every day.
I have yet to ever lack what I need to fulfill the tasks you set me. Within me is always already everything I require. Let me see it.
Dear God, already, at this early hour, I am consumed by thoughts of self. What will I do today, where will I go today, how will I enact my will today? These are the questions that transfix me. All self-seeking.
Lord, my nature is to be self-driven, my own alpha and omega. How shall I crack open this enclosing shell and lay myself bare to the world you arrange around me?
Shatter my walls, O Lord, and make me vulnerable to every wind. Let me abandon safety. Let me do so willingly, eagerly, enthusiastically. Let me lean forward into the storm, counting each struggling step as an act of devotion.
Let me run at the giants you call me to battle, the famine you call me to husband, the drought you call me to endure. All of it for you.
Too often, I run from the challenges you offer. I hunker down. I present my armor and protect my soft parts. Let me stand, exposed.
The wind blows around me, let me feel it fill my sails. I fear, so I hide. Lord, hold my hand while I emerge.
Dear God, increase my faith. For too long I have held on by my fingernails, believing my well-being entirely dependent on my actions.
May I let go, O Lord. Let me fall into your arms and feel you carry me from place to place. Let my dependence on you increase day by day such that yesterday‘s trust must today appear as nothing.
Let me, Lord, glide from task to task with the knowledge that at each station I will find, laid before me, all I need. Let me trust you, my friend and captain.
God, let my unbelief shrink. Let me recognize my tenacious efforts at survival for what they are: mistrust. Let belief and trust balloon and crowd out my doubting self.
You offer ease, O Lord. Why do I so rarely accept it?
Let me gladly receive your gift today.
Dear God, let me be a carrier of your word today. Let others see your way of life and become interested in adopting it. Let joy spread, and let me be one avenue through which it does so.
If I am to do this, it must be through works, not through exhortation or song. Lord, let me live my existence like a beacon. Let my deeds demonstrate what it means to live as you would have us live.
Lord, you do not require heroics from me. You only ask that I seek and do your will.
In all the circumstances I encounter today, all the people I interact with, let me ask continually how I might best serve you. Let me not be one who proclaims – but one who quietly acts. Let me be diligent in fulfilling your will. Let these quiet works be my testimony.