From "The Power of Prayerful Living," reprinted with permission of the publisher, Rodale, Inc.

Every Minute

Through every minute of this day, be with me, Lord!
Through every day of all this week, be with me, Lord!
Through every week of all this year, be with me, Lord!
So shall the days and weeks and years be threaded on a golden cord.
And all draw on with sweet accord into thy fullness, Lord, that so,
When time is past,
By grace I may, at last,
Be with thee, Lord.
--John Oxenham

Let Us Act In Love

O Lord, grant that this night we may sleep in peace. And that in the morning our awakening may also be in peace. May our daytime be cloaked in your peace.

Protect us and inspire us to think and act only out of love.

Keep far from us all evil; may our paths be free from all obstacles from when we go out until we return home.
--the Babylonian Talmud

Balancing Home & Work

Lord, I'm doing my best to balance home and work. Sometimes I feel there's not enough of me to go around in meeting all the demands. Both my energy adn my clock run out before I can get it all done. And when I get really frazzled, the people I love most bear the brunt of my frustration. Help me, Lord, to draw from your strength and peace in ordering my priorities. Help me to use my tongue wisely and always with kindness (Proverbs 31:26). Equip me to be the best I can be, both at home and on the job, and bring people into my life who can ehlp me with what I need to do. Thank you for your provision, Lord. Amen.
--Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock

Open Our Minds and Hearts

I pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma; that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world; that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life.

I pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving; that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life; that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts; that we may learn to join in our being.
-- Jane Goodall

A Prayer for Peace

Why can't I ever find peace, God? I've been fighting for so long, and each time I think I'm done, a new battle arises. Will my struggles ever end? Renew my strength, God. Restore my hope. Give me the courage to stare down adversity and the faith to face whatever may come without fear and without despair.
-- Rabbi Naomi Levy

Prayer for Tuesday
"Sustain Me, God"

Steer the ship of my life, good Lord, to your quiet harbour, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go. And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough and the waves are high, knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in your name we shall find comfort and peace.
--Basil of Caesarea

Why Pray?

Why pray? For plenty of people you might as well ask "Why eat?" Prayer, they will tell you, is an essential part of what it means to be human. Why is that? Ask God. God built us that way.

"We pray because it comes naturally, " says Larry Dossey, M.D., of Santa Fe, New Mexico, author of Healing Words, Re-inventing Medicine, and many other books on the healing power of prayer. "There is an emptiness that most people sense in their lives, a space that can only be filled by the Divine. Prayer makes that possible."

You could stop there. Prayer need fulfill no other function than to put us in touch with God. Everything else is secondary.

Having said that, it is also true hat you can gather an infinite variety of secondary benefits from prayer, most of them having to do with that fundamental connection to God. Why do we pray? Let us count the ways.

We pray to be healed.
We pray to be comforted.
We pray to be freed from jealousy, from anger, from temptation, from bitterness, from a whole host of human sins.
We pray that others will be healed, comforted, or freed from a host of human sins.
We pray because we're afraid.
We pray because we're lonely.
We pray because we're confused.
We pray because we're filled with despair.
We pray because we're filled with joy.
You get the point. The list of why people pray is endless. Infinite, in fact. Like God.

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