"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Thursday, January 14, 2016

May God's Grace and P's Be With You

I'm going to cut to the chase. Prayer is work. And I'm not sure if or when I will ever get it right. If there's even such a thing of mastering prayer. It remains a mystery, for sure. We serve an omnipotent, omniscient God. The great I Am, self-sufficient in every way. Needs nothings. Gives all. And yet He opens up to us this portal called prayer. Like I said, I just can't figure it nor Him out. But then again, if I could, He wouldn't be God. And so I am left with finding my place in it all.

One of the more challenging parts of prayer for me has been learning how to pray for my immediate family. After all, this is my treasure. But what began as just 2 of us has expanded to 9 of us. I have run the gamut of experiments of what works for me and what doesn't. When the children were younger, I would bring each one into my bedroom and pray over them individually before sending them off to school. I have even kept a 3-ring leather notebook with each person and his or her spouse having his or her own section. I sometimes wonder if God tires of our wordiness in prayer. But what has evolved over the last few years and even more recently as I have been using Robert Benson's book, Venite, seems to be what works best in this season of my life.

In my morning prayer, called Lauds, I come to a place in Benson's book that reads, "We offer prayers for all those with whom we share the Journey: For our loved ones, those who have been given to us, and to whom we have been given." I pick up the picture that is always before me as I pray, and I call their names aloud. "Sandy, Charles, Adrianne, Robert, Kristin, Jude, Marynan, Todd."

Of course, God knows their names, but I want to give life to those names and each individual by causing the atmosphere to vibrate with the sound of my voice. And then I slowly and purposely begin to speak God's "P's" over them which I have recorded by their names in the back of my Bible.


More recently, the list has grown to include:

Promises (Christ Jesus is Yes and Amen)
Providence (His care and guidance)
Pardon (Receiving His total forgiveness)
Patience (To wait for His timing)
Perfection (Maturity and completion)
Perseverance (To run their race)
Possessions (Honor the Lord with them)
Praise (A heart of worship)
Prayer (A life characterized by)
Prophecy (Dreams and visions)
Prudence (Understanding)

I conclude with the words I have written and pasted on the picture: "Establish, O Lord, what You have wrought for us. And may your grace precede and follow us so that we may continually be given to good works." 

"Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy." 

From there I pray for those others who are categorized on the back page of my Bible; those who are near and dear to me as well as those who are facing trials and tests that day ... lifting their names (maybe even your name) in prayer. And as Venite guides me, I end with, "We entrust all who are dear to us to Your never-failing love and care, for this life and the life to come; knowing that You will do for them far more than we can desire or pray for. Amen." 

Yes, Lord. Let it be.

Like I said, this is the season of prayer I'm in right now. A distilling of words. So while I'm at it, may God's grace and P's be with you.

Just an ordinary moment...

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