Dear God, these distractions, vexations, these trials – let me find it in my heart to be thankful for all. You have delivered each moment to me along with its content, placed it here, and me before it, for a reason. Physical pain, material privation, emotional upset – all planned and presented to me as a gift.
Lord, O Lord – let me see rightly. Let me see all the ways you save me and build me, all the ways you spur me to grow from child to adult. Even at the end of a blind alley, you place a door.
Who am I to imagine that I need rescue? I become fearful, but these looming figures are simply shadows. I steel myself, yet my strength is never called for. I prepare myself for disappointment, and yet gifts are showered upon me.
Only under self-sufficiency do I falter. Lord, grant me dependence. Let me give thanks for my surrender.
Dear God, I survey my interior life and find so much for improvement. Envy over the accomplishments of others. Regret over undone obligations. Selfish motives. Wrath and judgment aimed at those who vex me. Self righteousness. Self-pity.
Lord, let me not congratulate myself that this inner life finds no tangible nor obvious expression in action. It is there, seething inside, nonetheless. Let me please find a better way.
Direct my thought life, O Lord. My selfish mind contaminates even the kindest of my actions. Purify me.
Thy will be done.
Dear God, I limit you so, in my conceptions and my prayers. You are the foundation of the world, yet I ask for such minute trivia. Relief from worry. Solace from anguish. What matter such feelings? They are transient even without your intercession, yet I cry out for relief as if the feelings themselves were real.
O Lord, let my prayers to you be worthy of the power you hold. Let me not seek petty, small gifts.
Fill me with love, let it radiate out to others, let it heal and bring warmth to all. Let it move mountains, let it grow forests.
Let my aims, dear Lord, be worthy.
Dear God, each step I take today brings me gratitude. I give thanks, even, for being awake.
Let me, Lord, even as I am aware of your gifts, not cleave to them too tightly. They bring me no distinction. These gifts I see in front of me, all around me, are there and available for all — awareness, tranquility, love. Indeed, you provide them that they may overfill me and be made available to others.
While you shine on me, you shine equally on all. Let me pass this good news.
Dear God, let me see what you place before me. Let me see the path you lay out at my feet. You do not cloak the day in mystery. You make your will plain and give all I need to act upon it.
And yet I imagine myself in darkness, unsure. I look everywhere for aid except directly at the supply you have placed in my hand. I look for a sign of direction when my feet are already on the way.
Lord, I cloud my own understanding, I get in my own way.
Let me relax and simply walk forward along this path, wielding the implements you have provided. That is enough; that is your will. Let me do it.
Dear God, let me become ready that you may strip away the things that stand in the way of my usefulness to you. Let me submit with joy to the pruning.
Of what do my day’s burdens consist? They are made up of my own bedevilments. Pride, selfishness, envy, sloth. Take away these wrong attitudes and leave in their place a light soul eager to do your work.
I carry so much that I have taken up myself. Let me rightly see how I may set it aside. I am not your pack animal, Lord, but your child. How tragic that I carry so much more than asked.
Lord, let me carry what you give me to carry. No more. I view the world as filled with burdens and duties – when will I recognize them as treasures and lessons? Let me become willing to see the world rightly. It is so much brighter than I let myself imagine.
Dear God, I know the way you are leading. Yet I am so unwilling, all too often, to walk that path. What mulishness. Where am I trying to take myself? In truth I have no clear concept. Instead I manifest reluctance. No! my feet say. Or, worse, I distract myself and wonder.
Lord, your pathway laid before me is bright and obvious. I do not need secret signs nor eagle eyes to know the way. I see it. Each step well-illumined.
Let me, Lord, go that obvious way. There appear inviting distractions to each side of me, but they seem so only because they are distant or dimly lit. Upon inspection they are inferior and their pleasures are sure to turn to ashes in my mouth.
O! Let me walk this clear path. I stray only out of obstinacy. Let me march with obedience and learn of its joys.