Prayer for Monday Morning

We need Your help and Your grace
as we are again returning to our daily task.

Grant us true faithfulness in the performance of our calling.

Guard us me against becoming selfish, careless,
and slovenly in the pursuance of our daily work…

Feed us with food convenient for us
and teach us to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

Grant us that godliness and contentment
without which there can be no true happiness,
and
let us walk through the things temporal
that we may not lose the things eternal.

For Jesus’ sake.
Amen.

 ~ adapted from the Lutheran Book of Prayer

A Teacher’s Prayer on the First Day of School

Lord Jesus,
merciful and patient, grant us grace, I beseech thee,
ever to teach in a teachable spirit;
learning along with those we teach,
and learning from them whenever thou so pleasest. 
Word of God, speak to us,
speak by us us, what thou wilt. 
Wisdom of God, instruct us,
instruct by us, if and whom thou wilt. 
Eternal truth, reveal thyself to us, in whatever measure thou wilt;
that we and they may all be taught of God.

Christina Rossetti

Father in Heaven, this day always brings with it internal quivers and questions.  Give me strength, I pray, for the task ahead.  Help me to work hard and to finish well.  Help me “not to hinder our children from growing in faith and love towards thee”.  Remove my selfishness and restore to me the joy of my salvation.  Keep us from distractions.  Help me to love physics, O Lord, and I will give you the glory.  Make me a blessing to my family.  Thank you for the gifts you have given.  You are my King.  Amen.

After the Diagnosis

A friend of a friend was just diagnosed with recurring cancer. 

After fumbling with words, I went to my old faithful Lutheran prayer book. 

It is a wonder how just the act of praying can calm and comfort.  Prayer reorients us.  I remember the time a girlfriend was in crisis, leaving our house in the morning on her way to the unknown.  She was trembling, shaking, heaving, sobbing.  I hurt, but felt so helpless and ineffectual.  Curt gathered us into a three person huddle; he prayed with strong, manly tones.  My friend was bestilled, becalmed, bequieted. 

Divine Savior, Shepherd of our souls,
embrace me with Thy love and protect me throughout this day.

I need Thee, for I am wounded and bruised,
sick at heart and in trouble and distress.

To Thee I come.

Forgive me all my sins in Thy mercy
and love and uphold me amid these trials and tribulations.

Strengthen my faith.

Take every doubt out of my heart and lead me into Thy Word,
which promises that Thou wilt be with me always in every situation in life.

Calm my nerves.

Make me hopeful and patient.

O Christ, have mercy upon me.
O Christ, be Thou with me now and forevermore.

Amen.

Support of All Just Measures

Most Fridays I receive an email from a friend in Zimbabwe, sharing her news and musings.  Whenever I see her email in my inbox I rejoice.   When we don’t hear from her we intensely pray for her safety and security. This morning the email began,

“I haven’t written in a few weeks largely because I didn’t know what to write. What’s to be said? That we have suspended democracy?” 

Sandy of Maple Grove and I are exchanging news we receive from our brothers and sisters in Zim. Our church is also praying for a congregation and orphanage in a section badly hit in Myanmar.  Lord, have mercy.

Prayer In a National Crisis

King of kings and Lord of lords,
Thou Lord of life and death,
protect [Zimbabwe][Myanmar] in its great need.

Let men use this great trial to turn to Thee for strength
and to find in Jesus their peace with Thee.

Let wise counsel, calm thinking, unselfish aims prevail.
Grant unity to the land and support of all just measures.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

(from the Lutheran Book of Prayer)

Keep Us Standing

from the Prayer Book this morning:

Open our understanding
that we may find joy and delight in Thy Word,
which alone can sanctify our hearts and minds.

Keep us from temptation
and let sin have no power over us.

Bless everything that we do,
that by honest labor and work
we may obtain our daily bread.

Bless our food,
our lives,
and our home
and keep us standing in Thy grace;
through Christ Jesus, our All in all.

Amen.

picture taken on Sandpoint trip

The Gift of Gavin

I remember the moment you were born, dear little Gavin. 

Your Grammy and I were sitting in the background, your Daddy holding Mama’s hand and your beloved ZhaZha (Aunt Jackie) holding her other hand.  The hospital was short-staffed; they only had time to swaddle you and set you in the warm bassinet.  The doctor and nurse needed to help your Mama. The doctor barked, “The baby needs a nurse!” to the unresponsive air.  I walked over and stood next to you, watched your little pulse.

Now I watch you pulse as you listen to music, both the sounds we all hear on the CD player and the tune that is running through your head, which only you can hear.  You are so occupied when you play alone and hold some fine conversations with yourself; and yet you are very social, poised and articulate around others.  

I know what you want, dear boy.  It is a gift from God, and I pray that He will give us that gift soon…even this year.   While we wait we are thankful – so very, very thankful – for your smile, your hugs, your kisses, your exuberance, your strong arms and legs, your precious soul. 

Happy Birthday Three Year Old!