Dear God, stone by stone, the world weighs upon me. Fear, worry, resentment piling one on the other. These bedevilments, though, are all self-created. Let me, Lord, flee from myself by giving over each moment to your will.
If I am your instrument in one setting, I must be so in another and another. Let me ask in each, what am I called to do, how best can I be of use?
O! Relieve me, Lord.
Dear God, early in the morning, I am in solitude, yet also I receive small messages of faith from others who similarly seek to learn of and follow your will. I join this quiet circulation of faith, passing on small messages to others. Lord, in these morning times, a quiet and meek community forms.
The rush of the day dispels the fragile connections, but they reform each morning. Our voices sing to you in a quiet chorus, O Lord.
I am with others, we are with you, you are with us, you are with me.
While the day rushes at me, let me think back on this quiet community. Thy will be done.
Dear God, termites of fear chew at my foundations. Trouble and worry loom so large in my mind in these early hours. Let me not act frantically. Let my movements be slow, deliberate. Let my thoughts be filled with your presence. Let me comprehend how protected you hold me.
What can touch me, while I am in your arms? I am in your care, yet I act as if I am alone in an unforgiving land.
Let this fog of worry lift, O Lord. Let my thoughts become clear, my heart become calm.
Dear God, strip away my obstinacy, my selfishness, my pride. Let me cheerfully carry my portion of the load, easing the burdens of my fellows. Let me wash the feet of those around me who are weary.
Let me turn away from exaltation. Let me seek the plain and simple.
Dear God, it is easy to see you in the beauty that surrounds me and in the small doings of life that bring ease: a kind word, or an averted trouble.
But grant me, O Lord, the eyes to see you in all things. Let me find you in the plain, in the homely, in the difficult. The mire from which I seek to rise – you have made. Even the trial which I seek to overcome, the danger from which I run – you have made. Grant me the faith to sing joy even in the dullest days.
Dear God, you stand ready to enfold me in your love, if only I approach. Knock, you say, and I may enter. Do you then withhold from me, awaiting my call? No – even in my obstinacy, you raise me up on a glowing cloud, indeed you deliver joy whilst I stubbornly sulk.
Lord, your love is pervasive. I need not deserve it.
How can I live as you demonstrate, O Lord? Let me love my fellows even when bitter words flow my way. Let me gaze with love at a locked door, knowing it may open.
Dear God, what is the catalog of gifts received? This breath. The next. A sense of ease between tasks. Strength to endure hardship. Joy over loved ones’ health.
Lord, let me not look and wait for riches. Let me shun acclaim. Let me see these small gifts as treasures to be sought and husbanded.
Today’s dramatic ecstasy will become yesterday’s dim shadow. Yet meanwhile this constant trickle of small and momentary gifts will flow to me, drop by drop, creating a pool of relief and joy.
Let me value these cool waters, dear Lord.
Dear God, you promise me trouble in this world and you show me how it may be conquered.
Let me accept trial as a gift, let it pass through me, blowing clean the landscape. Blast away my selfishness, grind down my pride. What is left? Let it be love, dear Lord, and not cowering, selfish fear.
Alone on a dark plain, after the storm, let this candle glow and draw near to me the other survivors. Let them slip into this pool of light to join me.
Dear God, of what do I spend my time thinking? Toward what end do I bend my actions? What holds my affection above all? Lord, I am ashamed of my answer to these questions. My focus on and love of self crowd out all else.
God, today, let my self-regard shrivel and leave a corner of room for my fellows. Grant that my attentions might turn toward doing your will on this earth.
Let me build up others with the cast-off bricks of my own pedestal.
Dear God, you have lit up my heart, O Lord. A candle inside me. How can I become a beacon for others?
Let me draw others near to me without the agonizing pride that so often dogs me.
This candle, set upon a mountain top, will be blown out. Set upon a pedestal, will be kicked over and destroy our home.
Lord, let me glow, not burn.