Dear God, what do I owe? You have pulled me up out of despair, you grant me support, you provide me with life and means to survive. You deliver me a family and a community of whom to be a fellow.
And yet you ask of me nothing. These things are gifts of grace. How, then, shall I respond? Shall I hoard these things for some imagined future of need? Shall I squander them on driving through my selfish day?
Lord. Lord. Let me pass on your bounty. Let me share every resource, even and especially those I fear are limited. Let me loan away my money, give away my treasure, devote all my time, expend every energy – all in demonstrating your graceful love.
Let me promote others’ work. Let me build up others’ spirits. Let me teach those who do not yet know. Let me protect the vulnerable. Let me throw open the doors of my home and set my table with food for all comers.
You give to me. I misperceive my life as filled with limitation and thus I encounter wall after wall. Let me see the treasures you have provided and recognize how they are in fact offered for others.
Let me give and give again.
Dear God, I disappoint myself in so many ways. I fall short in my tasks. I garner too little praise. My status does not grow as I inwardly wish.
Above all, Lord, I rely insufficiently upon you. I grow too far from you. I look around at this world and I seek tangible satisfaction here. I forget, deny, that all this is illusion.
Lord, let me set aside these worldly cares. Let me center my efforts on improving my relationship with you. Let me seek your will and do it with energy and enthusiasm.
Let me forget these failures and shortcomings. These impressions are symptoms of my self-regard. I place myself at the center of the cosmos and as a sure result I become subject to the evaluations of those around me. Let me, Lord, place you in the center, as you are already. Let me see through the illusions that cloud my thinking.
Dear God, when I fear what will unfold, it is because I do not see myself rightly.
I know this: I face uncertainty today and I worry how things will turn out, as if I controlled the course of events. What needs controlling, instead, is my perspective and thoughts. I act as if I live a life of humble acceptance yet, inwardly, I strive and strive. I try to wield influence. I cower in fear that my failures will become known.
Lord, cure my thoughts. Let me become a child, trying his best to fulfill simple tasks – yet too young, still, to know how. We see such children, and do not judge. They are learning. Let me be learning. Let me view myself with compassion.
Lord, let me call upon you in the moments that I am to face. It is all too easy to seek you in the quiet dawn, but that is not when I truly need you. At dawn, I worry and you sooth me. But solace is not of any real worth – it is only a balm. Grant me your presence in the heat of the day, O Lord. Visit me in the midst of action.
Today, now, in the worried morning, let me anticipate that you will meet my needs with supply. Let me have this trust, like a child. Let me be your child.
Dear God, faced with a new day, I become frantic as I set about to conquer it. I plan my victories and campaigns, and become anxious that the preparations are not yet done. My dreams trouble me, filled with worry.
Lord, give me solace. Let me have the peace that comes from reliance on you. Let me seek your will. I so often mouth those words. Today let me mean what I say.
Grant me, Lord, understanding of your will for me, and the willingness to be obedient to your dictates. Grant me power to carry out your bidding, in things large and small. Let me row where and as you steer me, fretting not that the direction is unseen.
Dear God, let me work to build others up in secret. Let me shun recognition and if the spotlight turns toward meeting let me shine it on others. Let me shrink, step into the margins.
For I so wish to be the focus of attention. I wish to stand tall, stride with force, and be the object of admiration. I am prideful and self-absorbed at depth.
Lord, move self to the side. Enter me. Let love enter me, and set out to spread from person to person. Let me be a carrier of love, quietly, secretly.
Dear God, impel me today. Be the wind at my back, inexorable. How unsettled I often feel when buffeted by storms, when blown this way and that like a paper cup. Yet at other times I yearn for the direction you provide, your strong and steady guidance.
Where is the difference? Why is one gust chaos, yet another shows up as loving direction? The fault is inside me.
Lord, you drive me toward your will, and it is up to me to submit to being moved. This chaos I feel is my own useless struggle against the wind.
I whip this way and that, feeling blown, yet in truth I am my own source of unrest.
Sweet Lord, let me relax and sail on. Thy will be done.
Dear God, let me look upwards today. Let me be my higher self, and seek to align my will with yours. I build so many plans; they are so trivial in the end. They distract.
Let my plans fall away. They are all selfishness cloaked in righteousness. My motives will never be wholly yours – this is the bondage of self in which I exist. I cannot escape my instinct to preserve myself.
Lord, grant me relief, even for a moment. Let me step outside my cage, doing your will, or seeking to, even when self is at risk. Let my boundaries dissolve under your warm rains.