Sunday, November 4, 2018
A Little Prayer to Start the Day
Going through a season of loss and change over the summer, I decided to read a book by one of my favorite authors, Kathleen Norris, A Marriage, Monks and a Writer's Life. Kathleen covers a variety of topics reviewing her past and dealing with acedia or apathy.
She also takes the reader through her husband's struggle with cancer. When David died, she felt fragile and disconnected from God.
"But I did find a prayer for myself that proved suitable for mourning and my continuing struggle with acedia," she noted.
"This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord,
for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently, And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.
The prayer she found touched my soul. Although I wasn't fragile, I had experienced a time of feeling distance from God. I liked the simplicity of the words as a way to prepare for a new day. I found how helpful it can be to use prayers from others.
I voiced the prayer to begin my day for several weeks. It brought peace and comfort during a time when God felt far away. The simple tasks described, standing, sitting still, lie low, do nothing, are ones we do everyday without thought. The prayer, however, invites us to regard these actions as holy and purposeful.
The beginning words acknowledge the uncertainty that each day can bring, at the same time offering grounding in God for whatever might happen. This assurance of God's constant presence reminds us we are not alone, no matter what happens.
The prayer ends with a desire to add meaning and depth to the words, to take them to heart, welcoming the Spirit of Jesus to energize our outward focus with those we encounter.
I find myself going to the words of this prayer during the day as a reminder that whatever simple tasks is before me God is with me and what I am doing is holy.
Prayer: Loving and caring God, our simple actions are deep with meaning and holy because you are with us. Help us always live and respond with the heart of Jesus. Amen.