Loving God, I come to you now with the experiences of my day. I know that many times I fell short. I ask for forgiveness. Thank you, God, for the times when I felt at peace. I pray that those with whom I had contact felt that I treated them with fairness and respect. As I prepare to sleep, let me set aside all my earthly worries and concerns. May I always rest in you. In the blessed name of Jesus. Amen.
Daily Archives: May 29, 2021
Psalm 141 (ESV)
Give Ear to My Voice
141 O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to you!
2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
keep watch over the door of my lips!
4 Do not let my heart incline to any evil,
to busy myself with wicked deeds
in company with men who work iniquity,
and let me not eat of their delicacies!
5 Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head;
let my head not refuse it.
Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds.
6 When their judges are thrown over the cliff,
then they shall hear my words, for they are pleasant.
7 As when one plows and breaks up the earth,
so shall our bones be scattered at the mouth of Sheol.
8 But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord;
in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!
9 Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me
and from the snares of evildoers!
10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I pass by safely.
James 5:13-20 (ESV)
The Prayer of Faith
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
“He should pray” (James 5:13)
When should we pray? Al the time, according to James. Of course, we should still make sure we are setting aside a specific time for prayer every day, but that shouldn’t be the extent of our prayer lives. We can learn to pray – to tune into God’s presence – every moment of the day. Are you struggling? Pray! Are you happy? Pray! Are you sick? Pray! Has temptation tripped you up? Pray! Let every situation, good and bad, become an opportunity for prayer.
Our brothers and sisters who have traveled this road of faith before us, give us some guidance on what this type of prayer looks like. Charles de Foucauld described prayer as “familiar converse with our Beloved.” St. Therese of Lisieux called it a launching out of our hearts toward God, “lifting our eyes toward heaven whether from the crest of joy or the trough of despair.”
Wouldn’t it be great if God were involved with all the details of your life in the way these saints describe? Well, he is! That means that your prayer can be as familiar as the conversations you have with your spouse or your best friend. This idea can sound unrealistic, but it really isn’t. We just need to know how to get there.
Here’s one way you might want to try today: choose a Scripture passage or an encouraging phrase – maybe “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” or “Jesus, I trust in you.” Write it on a piece of paper, and put it in your pocket, or tape it to your computer screen. Let it become your “mantra” today. When you find yourself feeling agitated, repeat this phrase a few times, either out loud or in your heart. When you transition between activities, recall it. When you enjoy success, proclaim it in thanksgiving. When you face a road bump, proclaim it in faith. Over time, you’ll become more aware that Jesus is with you, and you’ll find yourself talking with him.
Of course, this is just one suggestion. There are many ways to learn how to “pray always.” No matter what strategy you use, remember that the point is to lift your eyes to heaven and discover that Jesus is with you – always!
Lord, teach me how to walk with you during every moment of my life. Amen.