Dear God, I closet myself away, devoted to you, far from the rushing world. I seek you in solitude, alone, cloaked in silence. This time, these dim pools of light, feel sacred.
Yet, my sweet Lord, where are you?
You are among us, between us, with us. You walk in between me and my fellows, stepping in and out of our groupings, interceding, speaking, whispering. Guiding. Loving.
With people is where I shall seek you today, Lord. Not alone and aloof, but in constant intercourse with the world and its inhabitants. You are no theoretical force but my tangible companion.
Let me circulate today, Lord, seeking you.
Dear God, let me quietly make myself ready. Let me seek and seek, until I draw nearer to you with ease. Let me deny self over and over again, until I am empty and thus able to be filled. Let me give and give, past the point of comfort, until providing for my fellows and even strangers becomes second nature.
Lord, this path is hard. Yet it strengthens my ability to do your will. It makes me ready.
Let me become your implement, hidden in a drawer, outwardly unremarkable. Faded handle, plain markings. Yet set me to work and see how sharp is my edge, how strong is the material from which I am fashioned, how clean are my work surfaces due to daily care. Let me be that plain, sharp knife, O Lord. That straight measure. Here I am, a tool at the ready, resting until needed.
Lord, let me become ready for you to use me in this world.
Dear God, I sit still and wait for guidance. Listening, listening. So often, Lord, I hear nothing. I am left wondering which way to go, with no clear guidance. And the trials of the world, they enter and weigh on me.
Here in my rooms, even as I seek you, I feel so alone, tested, vulnerable. Have you left me? Will you not save me?
My body impels me forward. I breathe, without conscious intention but inexorably. Hunger drives me to eat, thirst to drink. I walk, I move. On these days, Lord, you give me a path forward: to do that which I must, even if the bare minimum.
And then the skies open with sunlight. In the midst of subsistence, someone else crosses my path. They have needs that I can fulfill.
I see, Lord, that you have spared me and my energies for these moments. Your guidance is to wait and trust – I will yet be useful to others. I will yet be able to spread love.
Lord, let me maintain myself, a sharpened tool in your cabinet. Let me be ready and act when you call me to action.
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.