1/31/13

Praying 10 minutes today: FRIDAY 2/1


Find a quiet time and place to pray... take a few deep breaths...
be still... and know that God is near...


A word to reflect on:  
I will place my law within them, 
   and write it upon their hearts; 
I will be their God,
   and they shall be my people...
- Jeremiah 31   





(Before moving on to the reflection below,
   spend some quiet time with the scripture verse above...)

I know it's there, Lord:
   I know your law's within me,  
      you've autographed my heart;
   you've engraved your law, your word of love,
      inside my soul and on my mind... 

With your name inscribed you claim me as your own:
   your child, your image, your work of art divine...

I'm branded with your word, your love 
   and so your word of love becomes:
      the law by which I'm called to live;
      the decree by which I make decisions;
      the statute guiding all my choices;
      the rule by which I measure what is good 
         and what is not...

And yet...  
   and yet, Lord, I often fail to live by just that word,
      that love, that law so intimately written by your hand,
  so personally inscribed for me to read and learn, 
     to know and follow...

I will place my law within them, 
   and write it upon their hearts; 
I will be their God,
   and they shall be my people...

It takes centuries for tides to wear down boulders at the ocean's shore
   but only months, or weeks or only days before my pride begins 
      to wear against the letter first, and then the spirit of your law
         so carefully scriven in the marrow of my being...

My pride, my fears, my sins,
   my self-pity and my selfishness 
began to smooth away the words, the law I once knew well
   and recognized as guidance from your hand,
      written close to home where I might always find it... 

My own desires draw my eyes from reading carefully
   what you've written to instruct me,
      to teach me where your way leads,
         to show me how to walk in faith with you
             and walk in peace with those whose paths I share...

Thus come times when I forget
   what you've so plainly written on my heart,
when my conscience calls but I ignore its voice
   and close my mind and heart to what I know 
      is true, is just, is fair and is what you desire of me...

When I fail, when I refuse to read the word you've written on my soul
   I easily forget it's you who've claimed my heart 
      and healed and saved it;
   it's you to whom my heart belongs;
   it's you whose word and law are meant to shape the life I lead...

In good times and in bad, Lord, 
   I pray you'll be my God, I pray I'll be your own:
      your child, your image, your work of art divine...

So I pray today you might refresh in me the vision of
   your word, your love, your law inscribed upon my heart;
   your signature, your name, your claim upon my soul;
   your wisdom etched in my mind's thoughts to guide
      how I decide and choose, how I discern and measure
         what is good and what is not...    

I will place my law within them, 
   and write it upon their hearts; 
I will be their God,
   and they shall be my people...

In the stillness of my prayer 
   help me be honest with you, Lord, and with myself
to see how I've forgotten, failed to read, or just ignored
   your Spirit's guiding counsel engraved upon my soul...
 
Remind me deep within that you're my God,
   that I'm your own and that you call and help me always
      to live according to your word, your love, your law...

Remind me how, Lord, I'll be most content and happy,
   that the deepest joy that I'll know will come
      from living by your word and in your peace...
  
In the quiet of my prayer today, Lord,
  place again, afresh, your word of love, your law,
      upon my heart and in my mind...

I will place my law within them, 
   and write it upon their hearts; 
I will be their God,
   and they shall be my people...

To ponder and pray over...
Have I failed to pay attention to the word, the law,
   the Lord has written on my heart?
Do I sometimes ignore what my conscience tells me
   is the right thing to do?
What in my life blurs my vision or even blinds me
   to what the Lord has inscribed within my soul?
Is there some particular way in which I need to ask the Lord
   to refresh what he has written deep within me?  
What will I ask of the Lord today?
From this prayer time, what word or phrase will I keep with me
   to carry through the rest of my day?

(After you spend some time with these questions,
   pray the reflection above one more time...)

Here are some tips for praying 10 minutes a day.  If you find these daily prayer reminders helpful, please let me know - and share them with others.  You'll find an archive of these daily posts here.

 
 
   
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