RE-POST: A Prayer of Wonder

(I’m taking this week off from blogging. I’m re-posting some older stuff from this year. This is the second of three of my personal favorites. Originally posted April 4, 2011.)

Why, O God, do You take such interest in me,
a mere man?

You don’t just see me,
You’re looking at me.

You don’t just hear me,
You’re listening to me.

You don’t just know me,
You delight in me.

May I become as in love with You,
As You are with me.

A Prayer for Justice

Help me perfect my ways of loving and caring.
Inspire me to make myself whole,
so that I may honor Your name and
create a world of justice and peace.

Martin Buber

A Prayer for Holy Living

give me a quiet heart,
and help me to hear the still,
small voice that speaks within me.
It calls me to come close to You
and grow in Your likeness.
It teaches me to do my work faithfully,
Even when no one’s eye is upon me.
It counsels me to judge others kindly
and to love them freely,
for it persuades me to see divinity
in everyone I meet.
Help me, O God,
to come to the end of each day
feeling that I used its gifts wisely
and faced its trials bravely.

–a Jewish prayer, from the Mishkan t’filah

Prayer of Necessity

God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at mine end, and at my departing.

– From the Sarum Primer, 1558

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

-St. Francis of Assisi

Praying the Anima Christi

This is a Catholic prayer often recited after taking communion and dates back to at least the 14th century.

Rich and moving.

Jesus Carrying the Cross. Illustration by El G...
Image via Wikipedia

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from thee.
From the malignant enemy defend me.
In the hour of my death call me.
And bid me come unto Thee,
That with all Thy saints,
I may praise thee
Forever and ever.

Prayer of Intimacy

O God, living Truth,
 unite me to Yourself in everlasting love!

Often I am wearied by all I read and hear.
 In You alone is all that I desire and long for.

Therefore let all teachers keep silence,
 and let all creation be still before You;

do You, O Lord, speak alone.

           -Thomas à Kempis

Thankful for Grace

Thank You, God, for Your saving grace.

Help me remember I’m neither too bad to disqualify myself
nor too good to qualify myself for relationship with You.

Remind me heaven is not mine to earn
nor is it mine to lose.

Both are Yours alone to bestow, and in Christ You have freely given.

This day, instead of striving to perform for You or obsessing over my sin,
I will simply look to You and live by grace.

Thank You for Your saving grace.

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort
at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people
so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears
to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in the world
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done – to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Ancient Prayer/Modern Song

LATE HAVE I LOVED YOU, O beauty so ancient and so new.

Late have I loved you! You were within me while I have gone outside to seek you. Unlovely myself, I rushed towards all those lovely things you had made. And always you were with me, and I was not with you.

All these beauties kept me far from you – although they would not have existed at all unless they had their being in you.

You called,
you cried,
you shattered my deafness.

You sparkled,
you blazed,
you drove away my blindness.

You shed your fragrance, and I drew in my breath, and I pant for you. I tasted and now I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and now I burn with longing for your peace.

St. Augustine of Hippo