Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sometimes in our lives there are seasons when prayer is difficult. Having reached the ripe old age of...well....let's not go there! Over the years I've adopted some prayer routines that help me stay centered spiritually. The first is from the passage in Ephesians that instructs us to put on the armor of God. I visualize myself putting on each piece and pray for it's particular function. It usually goes something like this:
I put on…
...the helmet of salvation: protect my mind and thoughts.
...the breastplate of righteousness: protect my heart and emotions; may I not react today, but respond with grace.
...the belt of truth: may I only hear, see, and speak truth.
...the shoes of the gospel of peace: may I carry peace everywhere I go.
I take up…
...the shield of faith: may it protect my armor and deflect the darts of the enemy.
...the sword of the spirit: help me recall scripture as I need it.
Another is the Jesus Prayer, which can be a wonderful undercurrent to your day when used as a "breath prayer" (repeated over and over):
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
And finally, I like these stanzas from the many prayers of St. Patrick:
Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death-wound and the burning
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till thy returning.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
Once these kinds of prayers become a regular part of your life, you soon find that you are well on your way to a reliance on God that will carry you through even the darkest of times!