Prayer, Plain and Simple

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

And the rain fallsoft upon your fields,

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

         -an old Irish blessing

An earthquake woke Los Angeles and Southern California before dawn this morning. Millions were jolting out of bed by the tremor. While no damage, injuries or power outages have been reported, the fear sparked by an earthquake like this is real, especially in the wake of the recent devastations in Haiti and Chili. Today let’s pray for all those who are suffering anxiety at this moment because of this earthquake in LA.

“God you are our peace. We thank you that no one suffered injury from the earthquake in Los Angeles this morning. In light of recent earthquake tragedies in other parts of the world, there is much to be thankful for here. We know that these events are natural, still, many people are anxious and tense and have lost their peace as a result. We pray now that your comfort and the support of your security will envelope all of Los Angeles. Bring peace to the souls of the millions who live there. When the earth under our feet is shaky, we don’t feel secure. This is normal. But instead of fear, we pray that many will turn to you for strength. The Psalmist (Psalm 46:1-3) sings, ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.’ God, remind people now, across Los Angeles to turn to you for stability, strength, peace and hope. Nothing else in this world is unshakeable and unchangeable. You alone are our firm foundation! Call the people of Southern California to trust in your! In Jesus…”


Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. The following prayer is often called “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” because it seeks God’s protection in a world of both tangible and invisible dangers. Though Patrick of Ireland lived more than 1500 years ago his prayer asking that God himself would cover him is just as relevant today. Who of us haven’t wrestled with the haunting fear of living in this unpredictably world? Patrick’s solution: Run to God!

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through the confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the Judgment Day.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of demons,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

Read this prayer aloud as you head into the teeth of today’s challenges. As you do, wait a moment in silence as God responds to your requests. God’s hands will wrap you in the safety of his presence, for as Paul reminds us, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

It is one thing to pray for God’s will to be done in your life, but it is quite another to accept His will. Many of us talk a good game about wanting His will for our lives, but once it is revealed, we get scared and we run away from it. We let fear take over. Or we refuse to accept it because God’s will actually isn’t what we wanted at all. I can say all of this because I’ve been there and in many ways, I am there right now. I’ve long prayed for God’s will and purpose to be revealed in my life, but I never really took into consideration how I would respond to the revelation. I realize that not only should my prayer be, “Thy will be done” but also, “Let me accept thy will.”

Heavenly Father,

Your word in Isaiah 55:9, says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” And in response to your word I say, “I thank you for being above me and knowing what is best for me.” In this life, we are all searching for our purpose and asking for your will to be done. But let us not be blindsided and naive to think that as we ask, so we are ready for it to be revealed and respond accordingly. I pray that as each of us comes to a point in our lives where we dare to ask you to reveal your will for us, you would put us in a place of acceptance of what you reveal to us. It may not be what we want, but it will surely be what we need in order to live a life fully invested in you. When fear attempts to consume us, be the destroyer of the fear by your perfect love for we know it casts out all fear. When you see that we are tempted to turn back and ignore your will, chasten our spirits and helps us to see that you only want the best for us. Help us to realize that anything you bring into our lives and anything you reveal to us is for our good. Give us a spirit of acceptance and a heart open to your move in our lives. Most of all Lord, let us never get so caught up in seeking you out for a revelation that we forget to seek you, for you. Let us always desire to be with you above all things. Seeking your kingdom first and letting everything else be added afterwords. Letting your love surround us and cast out any fear or doubts. Help us to live in love with you, accept your will for our lives and give us the proper response to your revelation.

In Jesus’ Name,


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