Note: As a personal, spiritual discipline, reviving my practice in the Lenten season of 2017, I revise the prayers I wrote then for each of the forty days of this Lent; each petition focusing on a theme, a concern weighing on my mind and heart or a care of my soul and spirit.
On warding off worry by willing one thing…
Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life…Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them…Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these…Therefore do not worry…But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6.25-33, excerpted)
O Jesus, well You know my fainting, fretful, at times, fearful heart, wantonly given to worry.
Bind and draw me, by Your Spirit’s tether, closer to You that I, alway seeking, seeing first God’s kingdom, continuously will find rest in the knowledge that the surest, truest cure for care about manifold things is to care for one thing.
5 thoughts on “A-Lenten-Prayer-a-Day, Day 29”
Thank you Paul!
One of the things I’ve added to my day to reduce worry is reading the Bible every morning and / or evening. It’s become as imp as my workouts. I have been WOEFULLY remiss in reading the Bible. It’s been great too for preparing for bed after Compline that several churches including yours are doing.
My tenant has been hospitalized since last Mon with pneumonia (pending test results) and I was trying hard not to worry. She’s turned the corner though and I’m so relieved. I’m surprised at how comforting the Bible has been during this time.
Loretta, I am sorry to know of your tenant’s illness. May she recover and be restored to the wholeness of health and that, as an olden prayer has it, “right soon.”
I am interested to know what is it that you have found “surpris(ing) at how comforting the Bible has been during this time”? I ask as one who, since my sophomore year in college (1971-72) has been a daily reader of the Bible. During that college year, I had taken an introductory Bible course and absolutely loved it. Then, of course, I read the Bible to complete the course requirements. Still, something (the Holy Spirit?) stirred a spark in my soul and, again, since then, daily I’ve turned to the scriptures (and not only, over the years, for sermon preparation, but rather to reflect on God’s Word). Hence, I always intrigued when others discover an affection for something that I love. So, again, I ask you to tell me, please, what have you found in reading the Bible that has mattered to you?
As for many churches offering Compline (and a myriad of other on-line services [yesterday, I watched and listened to several!]), I wonder (with a smile of amusement!) whether, over time (that is, in the weeks, perhaps, months to come), we’ll all have (or, rather suffer!) a new clinical diagnosis of “on-line liturgical overload”!
Paul I’m happy to answer. No one in my house ever read the Bible cover to cover when I was growing up but my grandparents had us discuss Forward Day by Day each month.
When I went to Catholic high school followed by Catholic Univ we had to take religion courses every semester. But only some of them required reading the Bible. I’d always said I’d read the entire Bible one day especially when I got sick… but of course it never happened, though since I’ve been at StM I’ve read the entire New Testament. Weeks before COVID got really bad I made a list of everything I wanted to accomplish in my house. First on the list was read the Old Testament start to finish. Because I’m working from home & teaching online, M-F I read 1-2 hours per day and more on the weekends. I say it’s been surprising because I didn’t think it would be as captivating as it’s been for me. I look forward to what comes next and I feel really fulfilled and calm. I wish I had done it before of course, BUT I’m so glad I’m working on it before I die. My Aunt Frannie read it cover to cover at least 3 times that I know of. It’s one of the reasons she loved your sermons I used to give her. So better late than never for me.
My tenant will be back home today. She’s very weak but the horrible cough she says is gone. She was in a bad way last week but really started to turn the corner on Friday. Whew! Scary stuff!
Love ya back!
Thank you, Loretta, for replying. I appreciate it – and more, you.
There are myriad ways to read the Bible, as varied as there are people and interests and intentions. Know this, it makes my heart glad (1) that you are reading the Holy Writ and (2) that you are finding fulfillment in so doing.
You mention your beloved Aunt Frannie. She came to my mind yesterday. A flash of remembrance. I don’t know what evoked her memory, yet I do know when her image appeared to my mind’s eye, I saw her smile and I heard her voice – one of care and conviction, grace and gratitude (even and especially, in her weakened state). I smiled.
My prayers continue for your tenant and, of course, for you. These are perilous times of the onslaught of an invisible and silent (that is, until symptoms arise in the victims!) viral threat to life. Be well, stay well.
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Thanks Paul!!! I’ll keep you updated on my reading and my well-being!! Glad you’ve thought of Frannie!! She was a special soul! I miss her so much!! I know she’d be smiling ear to ear about my focus on reading the Bible so faithfully!
You and Pontheolla stay well too!
Love you too!