unite me with Yourself

image / pikrepo
If only I possessed grace, good Jesus, to be utterly at one with you!
Amidst all the variety of worldly things around me, Lord,
    the only thing I crave is unity with you.
You are all my soul needs.
Unite, dear friend of my heart, this unique little soul of mine
    to your perfect goodness.
You are all mine; when shall I be yours?
Lord Jesus. my beloved, be the magnet of my heart;
    clasp, press, unite me forever to your sacred heart.
You have made me for yourself;
    make me one with you.
Absorb this tiny drop of life 
    into the ocean of goodness from whence it came.
 
Francis of Sales, 1567 – 1622, Counter-Reformation Bishop of Geneva
 
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But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.

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Prayer for Election Time

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Heavenly Father
source of all truth and wisdom, 
who knows and loves the whole creation,
watch over our nation at election time:
that truth may prevail over distortion,
wisdom triumph over recklessness
and the concerns of every person be heard.

Lord Jesus,
who chose the way of the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane,
help us to turn our backs on self interest
and to support policies that sustain the poor, 
the vulnerable and the frightened people of this world.

Holy Spirit,
who brought understanding
among myriad peoples and languages at Pentecost,
give to all your people a passion for peace
and inspire us to work for unity and cooperation throughout the world 
and in our political life together.

Lord, we give thanks for the privileges and responsibilities 
of living in a democratic society.
Give us wisdom to play our part at election time,
that through the exercise of each vote, 
your Kingdom may come closer.

Protect us from the sins of despair and cynicism, 
guard us against the idols of false utopias 
and strengthen us to make politics a noble calling 
that serves the common good of all.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord.
Amen.
 
Unboxed Worship, Box Hill Baptist Church, Australia
 
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First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

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peace in perplexities

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Lord of the elements and changing seasons,
    keep me in the shadow of your hand.
When I am tossed to and fro with the winds of adversity 
    and the blasts of sickness and misunderstanding,
        still my racing heart, 
        quiet my troubled mind.
Bring me at last through the storms and tribulations of this mortal life
    into the calm evening of your unchanging love;
    and grant that in the midst of my present perplexities and confusion
I may experience your peace which passes human understanding.
 
Brother Ramon, SSF, 1935-2000, English Franciscan brother
 
______________________
 
 
 
Do not be anxious about anything, 
    but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving 
    let your requests be made known to God. 
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, 
    will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 

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seasons of your presence

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O my God,
let me never forget that seasons of consolation are refreshments here, 
    and nothing more; not our abiding state. 
They will not remain with us except in heaven. 
Here they are only intended to prepare us for doing and suffering. 
I pray Thee, O my God, to give them to me from time to time. 
Shed over me the sweetness of Thy Presence, lest I faint by the way; 
    lest I go about my daily work in a dry spirit, 
    or am tempted to take pleasure in it for its own sake, and not for Thee. 
Give me Thy Divine consolations from time to time; 
    but let me not rest in them. 
Let me use them for the purpose for which Thou givest them. 
Let me not think it grievous, let me not be downcast, if they go. 
Let them carry me forward to the thought and the desire of heaven.
 
John Henry Newman, 1801-1890, English Catholic priest, theologian & poet
 
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He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.
 

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representing our compassionate Savior

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane / Robert Walter Weir / CC0

 

Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief,
we pray for our brothers and sisters who mourn.
 
We pray for each one who feels the keen grief that death can bring,
    You have told us that death is not the end of life,
    that beyond the grave is the resurrection,
    yet you wept at the side of a grave,
    you understand our grief.
    Strengthen those who mourn.
 
We pray for our brothers and sisters
    who are shut off from the rest of society
    by their color or their accent.
    If we are part of their trouble,
    help us to correct what lies in our power to correct.
 
We pray for each one who is in pain
    because of sickness or injury.
    You knew pain so deep and intense
    that you thought the heavenly Father had forgotten you.
    Be the light for those who are in the valley of the shadows.
 
Compassionate Savior,
    you have called us to represent you
    in compassion with your brothers and sisters who mourn.
    You have done your part;
    help us to do ours.
 
Andrew W Blackwood Jr, 1882-1966, Presbyterian pastor and professor
 
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He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

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You understand me, Lord

Psalm 139 Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed / CC BY-SA 4.0
 
Lord,
you understand me,
you know my every thought,
my brain is not a mystery to you.
Enter into my mind, Lord,
guide and direct my thoughts.
Be before me when I speak,
be beside me when I act,
be within me when I listen,
that I might possess
the wisdom born of love,
for you are love,
the love which understands
everything.
 
Frank Topping, 1937-, English minister and author
 
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O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.
 

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the pursuit of Wisdom

You are wisdom, uncreated and eternal,
    the supreme first cause, above all being,
    sovereign Godhead, sovereign goodness,
    watching unseen the God-inspired wisdom of Christian people.
Raise us, we pray, that we may totally respond
    to the supreme, unknown, ultimate, and splendid height
    of your words, mysterious and inspired.
There all God’s secret matters lie covered and hidden
    under darkness both profound and brilliant, silent and wise.
You make what is ultimate and beyond brightness
    secretly to shine in all that is most dark.
In your way, ever unseen and intangible,
    you fill to the full with most beautiful splendor
    those souls who close their eyes that they may see.
And I, please, with love that goes on beyond mind
    to all that is beyond mind,
    seek to gain such for myself through this prayer.
 
St. Denis prayer, from The Cloud of Unknowing, 14th century
 
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My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, 
    so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, 
    in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 
    in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
 

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a prayer for wisdom

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O Lord our God, reveal to us your heart and character so that we in turn will yield our hearts, minds and wills to obey your commands.  It is in listening and hearing from you that we can set our hearts to obey your commands and follow your instructions.
 
We recognize that our craving for wisdom, deliverance, and freedom can only be fulfilled in you, so grant us the patience to listen to your wisdom and the courage to apply our minds to your knowledge.  Our cry in this hour is “that we may know you.”  We understand that to “know you” is a lifelong process.  A lifelong process of seeking after you and a lifelong process of searching for the good in life.  It is only by so doing that we can come to know you, the eternal One, the supplier of wisdom, insight and knowledge.
 
Your help is readily available and granted upon request to those who seek after you.  Grant us the grace of honesty because you are a shield to those who live honestly.  You are our lifeguard and protection from those who act wickedly toward us.  Your light, O God, gives us a clear path to follow and when we walk in that path of life our personhood is solidified, our joy is complete, we survive our trials, and our wicked enemies are destroyed before our eyes.  These great acts we will not forget.
 
Dr. John J. Finn, Pastor in Tennessee
 
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Now then, my children, listen to me;
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.
Blessed are those who listen to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
For those who find me find life
    and receive favor from the Lord.
But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
    all who hate me love death.
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draw me into your friendship

image / Lawrence OP / flickr
Lord Jesus, from the start
You invite ordinary people to come to where you live.
When they come, you welcome them
and call them to labor and rejoice with you.
You are the most beautiful among men,
and I hardly believe you want me for your friend.
You are powerful, Lord.
Draw me more and more into your friendship
and lead me along the way you took with friends.
 
Joseph Tetlow, SJ, retreat director and author
 
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The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

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a sign of your goodness

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Father, I’m a man of my time and situation,
Around me, the signs and symbols of man’s fear, hatred, alienation;
a bomb exploding in a market square;
. . . faces on TV twisted in mocking confrontation.
It’s not that we haven’t tried, Father,
to find ways to peace and reconciliation
but always too little, too late;
the forces of opposition were too great . . . 
I am perplexed, angry, hopeless, sick, I want to turn
my back, wash my hands, save myself, my family, get out.
But every time I turn to go
there stands in my way a cross . . .
 
Lord, make me a child of hope, reborn from apathy,
cynicism, and despair, ready to work for that new man
you have made possible by walking the way of the cross yourself.
I do have hope grounded on your victory over powers
of evil, death itself, focused on your kingdom,
breaking on us now as light out of deep darkness.
And I do see signs of hope immediately around me.
I see a wider sign:
I see a sign – flower growing on a bombed-out site.
The sign – an empty cross.  The burden, Lord, is yours.
Lord, I am a prisoner of hope! There is life before death.
 
Prayer from Northern Ireland
 
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Turn to me and have mercy on me;
    show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
    just as my mother did.
Give me a sign of your goodness,
    that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
    for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

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