Morning Offering

I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no one sees.

All that is eternal in me
Welcome the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.

I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Wave of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.

May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.

(by John O'Donohue, in To Bless the Space Between Us)

Saturday Psalm #41

Bless me, LORD, with regard for the weak,
so I may know your deliverance in times of trouble.

Protect me, LORD, and preserve my life;
bless me in the land
and do not surrender me to the desire of my foes.

Sustain me through times of sickness,
and restore me to health and vigor.

I have pleaded for your mercy;
I have begged for your healing, while confessing my sinfulness.

I know my enemy maliciously seeks my destruction,
my shame.
I know he whispers lies to me,
and spreads lies about me
like so many thistle seeds in a plowed field.
I know there are those who whisper together against me,
and imagine the worst for me.
I know even former friends, whom I trusted,
who shared my bread,
want to see me fail.

But you, O LORD, have mercy on me;
lift me up,
not that I may repay them,
but that everyone will know you are merciful and gracious.
Let me know that you are pleased with me,
and then whatever my enemy does will amount to nothing.
Uphold me, give me integrity,
and grant me your constant presence.

I praise you, LORD, the God of Israel,
who is from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

(photo via everystockphoto.com)

For Humility

My prayer today for my kids and my grandkids, from the "31 Ways to Pray for Your Kids" app for iPhone and iPad, available exclusively via iTunes.

To Believe

Lord, I'm aware the Scripture says, "Abraham believed God."
Not, "Abraham believed the text."
Not, "Abraham believed a set of precepts."
Not, "Abraham believed a list of propositions."
But "Abraham believed God."

I tend to be dangerously "nominal" in my faith, as A. W. Tozer puts it. But I want a faith like Abraham, your friend, whose faith rested on your personality and character. And I sense you drawing me into the reality of your presence.

Help me to be your man, and not my own;
to trust you, and not myself or my own strength;
to think your thoughts after you, not my own;
to accomplish your will, not my own.
Not my own--let that phrase characterize me and my all, in Jesus' name, amen.

Nothing Compares

With you
I can live
without other things,
for you
are God all-sufficient,
and the glory,
peace,
rest,
joy of the world
is a creaturely,
perishing thing
in comparison
with you.

(from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers)

I Pretend to Nothing

My God,
I pretend to nothing upon this earth,
except to be so firmly united to you by prayer
that to be separated from you may be impossible;
let others desire riches and glory;
for my part,
I desire but one thing,
and that is to be inseparably united to you,
and to place in you alone
all my hopes
of happiness
and repose.

(a prayer of St. John Scholasticus)