Teach us how to pray

LYNN Ministries
O Savior of the world, teach us how to pray for those who are lost
    in desolations of darkness
    without knowledge of the mercy that is yourself.
We remember the innocent victims of war 
    and all the agony they suffer,
    those who are greatly afraid, 
    those who have been overwhelmed by torment of mind or body.
Save us from the cowardice that would turn us away 
    from the thought of these things,
    from the indifference that would pass them by.
Give us penitence for the evil in ourselves 
    which has added to the darkness of the world,
    and if there be any small thing we can do to lighten any misery,
    show us what it is and help us to do it.
Teach us how to pray with the compassion that is not afraid to suffer
    with those who suffer 
        and if need be, 
        to enter darkness with them.
O Everlasting Mercy, who once in time came from the height of heaven
    down to the depth of our need,
    come again in power to forgive us and renew us and set us on fire,
    that through the labors and prayers of broken-hearted sinners
    your mercy may banish the darkness and bring new life upon the earth.
 
Elizabeth Goudge, 1900-1984, English novelist
 
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When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, 
    because they were harassed and helpless, 
    like sheep without a shepherd. 
Then he said to his disciples, 
    “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 
      therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest 
      to send out laborers into his harvest.”
 

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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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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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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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Our dwelling places

My dwelling places are many, Lord:
   my house or apartment, my dorm or condo;
   my neighborhood, parish and local community;
   where I work, where I study, where I pray;
      my dwelling places are many….

First of all, I thank you, Lord,
   not only for so many dwelling places in my day
but for the gift at each day’s end of a door
   to a place, to a room with a roof overhead,
      the place I call home, 
   whether large and spacious or small and cramped,
       a place to lay down my head at night and rest…
 
My dwelling may not be a castle, Lord,
   but how many in need would deem it a palace
for its locks and safety, its light and warmth, a fridge with food, 
   a shower and toilet, a bed and a pillow, an address for mail,
for it’s being a place to return to each night
   for being a place to call home…

I thank you for my dwelling place, Lord:
   let me not take it for granted
      and keep me generously mindful
         of those who have no place they might call home…

And how lovely is your dwelling place,   
   O Lord of hosts…

Your dwelling is the universe and all the heavens
   – and beyond the heavens, Lord…

Your dwelling has no roof, no walls,
   no beginning and no end…

The beauty of your dwelling’s beyond anything
   my mind might conceive or my dreams imagine
and yet – your dwelling place is with me and in me…

You who cannot be confined,
   you choose to dwell within my soul
      and make your home within my heart…

You, whom all creation can’t contain,
   you enter my humble quarters,
      the spare, simple chambers of my heart,
   and there, in Spirit, make yourself at home…

And, Lord, as you can see,
   I’m seldom ready for company,
      for receiving any guests at all,
         let alone, you, the greatest guest of all…

So, please forgive me,
   (indeed, forgive me, Lord!)
for my house is not in order, not yet or ever ready
   to be a place where you might dwell
      a place you might call home…

And yet, you come, you enter and you stay
   and you don’t leave, you don’t go away,
      you remain within me, always,
and in making my heart your home
   you make of your heart a home for me…

Amen.

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