God, thank you for the little joys, Which sometimes go unrecognized. And forgive my tendency to forget That you’re with us, working all the time. God, thank you for your divine love, That fills this world in wondrous ways, And catches my attention more and more.
Gentle Spirit, source of inner peace, I rejoice in the moments when I sense your presence And feel a sense of calm. Even when my mind is so full of thoughts, Even when my days are so full of tasks, You whisper to me. You’re whispering in the words of friends, the kindness of another, the warmth of a community, and the creativity within me, In musical phrases, joyful celebrations, deep conversations, and moments of laughter. I hear your whispers in the tranquility of raindrops landing gently upon the ground. You draw me into the present moment, God, and oh, am I grateful. Amen.
Before I go to bed tonight God, hear my thankful prayer For life and love and little things That shimmer with your love and care. God, hear my recollections Of moments I’ll call gifts Of beauty, love, and wonder, and the poetics that uplift. Before I go to bed tonight I offer you this prayer In a spirit of deep gratitude For your presence in my life. O God, I trust you’re with me I sense your presence here. I go to bed in joy and peace And awaken in your care.
Words for the Morning (Originally written on 8/3/15)
Oh how I long to awaken slowly
And gently awaken my muscles with a stretch and a stroll
To greet the morning sun with gratitude
And savor the soothing smell and the dark delicious taste
Of freshly brewed French roast
Such is a gift that some do not receive
Such is a gift that I must first awaken to see
Such is a delight that extends from the loving Creator Being above
Such is a late summer morning
And for this, O God who created the senses,
I offer sincerest thanks!
O God, I’m on a treasure hunt, searching for the tools you’ve placed in my surroundings. Undoubtedly I already use some of these tools, and so I pray I won’t take advantage but instead, use them generously with gratitude and humility. Some other tools, I hardly use, and so I pray I may rediscover these tools at my disposal, and that I may learn or relearn how to use them effectively.
There’s another set of tools, somewhat hidden in this world. These tools seem to lie beyond my reach, or out of sight in some way. Help me persevere in the hope of finding and using these tools effectively for your glory. And please help me avoid complacency or lack of inspiration for the search. But God, may I progress with attentiveness and depth as an instrument of your good work in this world. In your blessed name I pray, Amen.
God of Peace and Joy, I’m grateful for sunny skies and opportunities to rest. Divine Teacher, who guides me throughout my day, I give you thanks for the opportunity to hear different perspectives and stories.
Thank you for opportunities to read, listen, and to think. Thank you for friends and friendly acquaintances—other thinking people. God, I am grateful for those people that I listened to, talked to, or thought of today.
This sense of gratitude brings a sense of inner peace and connectedness to you, O God. Yet, the stories and questions I heard today leave me with some feelings of doubt and inadequacy. I am full of emotions that are somewhat at odds, but coexist in this moment, hour, and day.
But in this moment, God, I am reminded of joy, as I think of my morning commute and my friend with whom I shared that travel time. We had not planned to travel together. It just happened that way, and I am so glad that we started the day with that shared experience.
And now God, I turn my thoughts to the way I might start the day tomorrow. My day will undoubtedly be different from today; however, your presence will remain. May I be mindful of your presence and intentional in all my endeavors, so that I extend your spirit of love to others.
I pray this in your name. Amen.
For more information about this form of praying, which is attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola, visit http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/how-can-i-pray/
Creator, Ruler, Sustainer, I confess that I struggle to abstain from unhealthy comparison; I make judgments that I want to reject; I anticipate with more dread than hope. I doubt.
But, I come to you in gratitude, for you remind me that I needn’t compare myself to others, that I am growing ever more aware of the judgments I make. Yes, God, I am moving toward a spirit of awareness and repentance.
Gracious God, you have given me courage to act despite my dread; and in those experiences, when I’m so pleasantly surprised, you extend a reminder of the hope that is in you.
Wonderful Giver of Faith, I am grateful, for I am not defined by moments of doubt. Rather, my doubts leave room for an ever-deeper faith. Please help me inch forward in faith, my God and my Guide. Amen.
Dear God, thank you for this day. Help me cultivate thanksgiving tomorrow. I offer this simple prayer to you, Most Gracious and Loving God. Amen