Dear God, do I face my fellows, and they me? Arrayed forces across a battle plain? Stern demeanors across the negotiating table? What do we demand and expect from one another?
O, Lord, how exhausting is the life of battle and demand! Grant me a new vision.
When mixed with my brothers and sisters, let me not see rank upon rank. Let me see instead a loving family. I am present for them, and they for me.
Lord, grant me an awakening. Let me see how I am to approach my fellows, as friend and brother. Let me speak and act in ways that draw us together.
Dear God, what kinds of miracles do you perform in my life?
You alter my path to steer me around calamity. You place ideas in my head when I am unsure what to do. You speak to me in the voice of others. You deliver trials when I am ready to grow.
And yet, day by day, worry clouds my site. I carry tomorrow’s burdens, yet you come to help with today’s only. He sat down this worrisome stone, and walk on.
I am walking along this path with others. They are watching me to see how I step, what I carry with me, what kind of expression I hold.
Let me provide a good example. Let my pack hold only what is necessary, let my gait be measured, let my countenance beam with a smile.
Lord, let my leadership be fellowship.
Dear God, I worry about tomorrow, yet today stands in between. This day holds all I need for this day – yet by worrying I squander today’s ration.
While I fret over tomorrow, the wind blows away today’s grain.
O, Lord, I am a member of your kingdom of birds, creatures, trees, mountains, foes, friends. You support all this, day by day. The miracle is renewed each dawn. I look right past it, eyes fixed on the unknowable secret of tomorrow.
Shake me awake, Lord. This path I walk, today’s portion, is gentle, shady, and smooth. What do children do with times of ease? They play.
Today, Lord, let me breathe with ease and deeply.
Dear God, let me be watchful. Let me cast my gaze and see reasons for gratitude wherever it falls.
Today’s discomfort is not simply a trial to be endured but is itself a gift. Let me see this. Grant me clear sight.
Let me spread gratitude among my fellows. Their faces are downcast. May they see joy.
Dear God, send to me visitors, let them knock at my door seeking food and warmth. Let me greet them with cheer, build them a fire, feed them from my table.
Let me be hospitable, Lord, even as my supplies slip away. When my garden grows bare and still I welcome these guests sent by you – this is my way to show my devotion.
Let me share the bread made from my last flour, Lord.
Dear God, if my life is abundant, what then must be my experience? Do I sit idle among heaps of treasure? Do I walk through bountiful orchards while blind to the fruit that needs picking? This throng of fellows, do I shut myself away from them, barring the door against disturbance?
Lord, you give us your creatures abundance. I therefore am called to act. You offer so many gifts of which to partake.
Why, then, do I hide in my closet and shun even the lightest obligation? These chores I am called to do are markers of ecstasy.
Today, Lord, let me laugh with joy at all my duties. You bless me with obligation, you lovingly allow me to express devotion through my effort.
O! Let me be a joyful servant in this house of abundance.
Dear God, let me pray continually.
Dear God, you stand ready to aid me, you array forces in my favor. Yet I blind myself to them, keeping my sight on my plodding feet.
Lord, breathe air into my spine, straighten my posture. Let my eyes scan the horizon. Nothing to fear there. These hosts are yours, coming to meet me.
I thought I heard thunder, dear God, and it frightened me. It was the hooves of the ones you sent to rescue me.
Let me welcome the trembling ground.
Dear God, you are in me. Why, then, do I seek and journey for you?
It is its own form of arrogance, that I imagine by great effort I may come upon you. You were here all along!
Lord, if you are in me, then I must be a steward and pass along your love.
Let me learn humility today. Let me not seek displays of piety and virtue. Let me be the source of warmth no one knew was present.
Dear God, impatient, I look daily at my garden for evidence of growth. Where are the sweet fruits I hoped for? In frustration, convinced the seeds did not take, I plow it all up, I overturn the soil, I try again.
And what chance did I give the seeds to sprout? I knock down the house before it is built, convinced that it will never stand.
Lord, I act too soon. Impatient, panicked, faithless, I make desperate moves that wipe away the bounty that was poised to appear.
Let me learn to trust your love for me, Lord. You test me by asking me to wait while you prepare to shower me with gifts.
Such a small thing: to wait. Let me make my faith in you real. Let me learn to wait.