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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Greet the Coming Day in Peace . . . Orthodox Prayer

An Orthodox Prayer that I discovered in an online newsletter:

O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.

Help me in all things to rely upon Your holy will.

In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.

Bless my dealings with all who surround me.

Teach me to treat all that comes to me with peace of soul
and with firm conviction that Your will governs all.

Grant me strength in unforeseen events.

Let me not forget that all are sent by You.

Teach me to act lovingly, firmly, and wisely,
without embittering or embarrassing others.

Grant me strength to bear the fatigues of the coming day
with all that it shall bring.

Direct my will. Teach me to pray. Pray You Yourself in me.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Athlete’s Prayer--for The New Year, New Season, New Team or Coach.

The Athlete’s Prayer:

“Lord, take my life, my energy, my event, and help me compete fairly and to the best of my ability today. I give you the New Year. Help me respect my opponents, and compete by the rules. Help me accept the outcome—win or lose—grant me the insight to evaluate and improve my performance, to support and encourage my teammates, and to listen to my coach. You created me with this love for sport, please use sport to mold me into a person whose life glorifies You. ”

“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25, The Message).

As 2009 begins many athletes are setting new goals, devising new training programs, and developing new strategies. You may be starting a new season, adjusting to a new coach, or getting to know the members of a new team.

Whether you are an experienced pro athlete, a college player, or just starting on a high school team, you have a drive to excel, to compete, to always give your best.

To paraphrase the oath taken by Olympic athletes, you want to play by the rules, without doping or drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship. You are dedicated, like athletes from every corner of the world, to going all out for the glory of your sport and the honor of your team.

For the Christian athlete, the New Year, a new season, a new team or a new coach all create reasons to pray. The Christian athlete prays because he or she wants to excel not just for the applause that fades but to honor the Lord by giving Him each race, each game, as a personal expression of thanks, of joy, and a token of personal commitment to being a faithful disciple. Whether you are a standout, a reserve player, or just a weekend athlete, if you follow Jesus your sport will give you relationships and opportunities to share your faith with others. Pray you’ll be ready when those opportunities come.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Finding Strength in Scripture Reading

As a New Year begins, the following quotation from Kathleen Norris' The Cloister Walk, fits my thinking on a way to approach living with Scripture. Norris writes:

"For a long time I had no idea why I was so attracted to the Benedictines, why I keep returning to their choirs. Now I believe it's because of the hospitality I've encountered in their communal lectio, a hospitality so vast that it invites all present into communion with the text being read. I encounter there not a God who rejects me because I can't pass some dogmatic litmus test but one who invites me to become part of a process, the continuing revelation of holy word. Heard aloud, the metaphors of scripture are roomy indeed; they allow me to relax, and listen, and roam. I take them in, to my 'specific strength,' as Emily Dickinson put it in her poem 'A Word Made Flesh is seldom.' And I hope to give something back" (The Cloister Walk, Riverhead Books, New York, 1997, page 217).

Now I invite you to share your response, to post your thoughts, to leave a Comment.

Make 2009 a year when you relax, listen, and roam whenever you hear or read or meditate on Scripture. Make it your aim this New Year to give something back to the God who invites.