Lenice’s Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for these dirty dishes.

I love this prayer for its simple, direct sentiment that’s filled with so many implied blessings; the food which caused the dishes to be soiled, the ability to prepare the food, the place in which to prepare it, and the family who shares its delicious goodness. My friend Lenice keeps it next to the kitchen sink as a reminder that God’s blessings can be found even in this most mundane of daily chores.

~SLM

A Grateful Heart: My Prayer

Gratitude is on my mind today. I’ve been wondering why we find it so hard to just be thankful. When did gratitude go out of style, become so uncool? Every day we are so “ate up” with what we think is wrong in our lives, with what we think is insulting or offensive, that we can’t see past the negatives to the abundance of positives.

We obscure our lives with so much wanting, confusing desire with need, that sometimes, it seems, we forget this uncomplicated truth: “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” We live in a time that is unprecedented in all of recorded history. We literally have almost anything we desire at our fingertips, at any given moment, and while there seems to be great disparity between those who “have” and those who “have not,” even the poorest among us still enjoy a standard of living greater than all but a handful of other countries.

We are blessed, more than any other people at any other time, and the simple act of counting your blessings makes all the difference in the world to your attitude about life, turning your attention away from the “don’t” haves and toward the “do” haves. Even on our worst days, when we we’ve gotten a rotten diagnosis, or we don’t know how we’re ever going make it another day, we still have more than we came with. We can still “count it all joy, when we meet trials of various kinds, for we know that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness,  letting steadfastness have its full effect, that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  And, we can still “give thanks in everything: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us.”

So, here’s a prayer for a grateful heart:

Instill in me a grateful heart that I may know Your ways and live by them. That I may be thankful for all Your gifts, even when those gifts appear to me as trials, for it is through adversity that You draw me nearest to You, that You teach me of Your faithfulness and love, that You show me the meaning of perseverance, of trust, of faith.

Instill in me a grateful heart that I may see humanity through Your eyes. That I may be thankful for Your love, Your compassion, even when that love feels miles away and I cannot see it, knowing that each person I see faces the same fears, insecurities, and battles as I, for it is Your love which connects us all, which teaches us of hope, of tolerance, of compassion.

Instill in me and grateful heart that I may walk with you in love and joy. That I may be thankful for the tranquility of Your presence, even when I’m surrounded by chaos, and strife is the theme of the day, trusting that Your yoke is easy, that Your guidance will see me through, that I may find solace with a prayer on my lips and peace in my heart.

Amen

~ SLM

1 Timothy 6:7, James 1:2-4, 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Proverbs 10:22 Count Your Blessings

Sometimes, when studying scripture, you’re handed a big, fat, juicy morsel to chew on and digest, and for me, Proverbs 10:22 is just such a tidbit.

“It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich,
And He adds no sorrow to it,”

A simple sentence, packed with a complexity of subtle flavors, and a rich texture of nourishing truth that speaks on many levels.

On one plane, we are reminded that anxiety and pain often times comes from our want of something, from our coveting what others have, and when we focus on our lack, lack is all we can see. It tells us that what we emphasize in our lives is what we create for ourselves. So, when we emphasize God, counting our blessings, we underscore the many gifts we are given every day, our abundance, and it changes our perception, giving us the chance to see the world around us with new eyes.

On another level, it tells us to look at life through joyful eyes. If we delight in our many blessings, our lives become welcome, and our happiness permeates our entire being, making our daily lives a gift rather than a burden to us. Even if our road takes us down a few dark alleys, scary places we don’t understand or appreciate, we can still see the positive, find the joy, and know that we are loved and cared for. The Lord’s blessings enrich us, even if they are given through difficulties.

It also speaks to the fact that the things of this world, our clothes, our cars, our home, or our nifty little electronic toys, are very transitory. They do not last, nor do they hold any real significance in the overall scheme of things. The point we should hold in our hearts is this: It is God’s blessings that make us rich, and when we realize this simple truth, realize just how fortunate we truly are, our daily “toils” are no longer painful, they shrink away to nothingness.

~SLM

A Prayer for Proverbs 2

Lord God, awesome and holy, let wisdom be my constant companion. Help me to recognize ther voice and to heed her advice. Bless me with the patience to listen with my heart and to understand what is true and fair, so that I may live honestly in the full-flower of your knowledge. Amen.
~SLM