Prayers for the journey

I have already posted many of this weeks Light for the Journey prayers as blog posts, but I know some of you like to share these with friends and having them in one post helps. I have reposted the prayer from yesterday because of its popularity
Enjoy!
Lord I breathe in life.004

God may I enter this day with joy.
May I search for your ways,
And follow your paths.
May I look for your presence,
And uncover your dreams.
May I commit all I am and all I do
Into your care.
Amen

Christine Sine https://godspace.wordpress.com/

There are confusing voices
distracting us from your Word,
persuasive voices
demanding to be heard,
drowning out the still small voice
we have listened to before,
bringing a new philosophy
that has no place for you.
Forgive us
when we doubt your Word,
forgive us
when we are led astray.
Grant us a faith that is strong,
and wisdom to distinguish
between Truth
…..and that which is not.

(http://www.facebook.com/faithandworship?ref=hl)

This is the day that God has made,
May we work hard
and share God’s gifts
with friends and neighbours
with colleagues and foes.
This is the day that God has made,
may we work hard
and we share with Jesus
in the poor and the oppressed
in the rejected and abandoned.
This is the day that God has made,
May we work hard
and share with gratitude
God’s gifts generously given
Full measure overflowing like manna,
Not for us alone but for the renewal of all creation.

Christine Sine http://godspace.wordpress/,com

God I breathe in your life,
And find your strength
Made perfect in weakness.
Christ I breathe in your love,
And inhale your fragrance
Interwoven through all creation.
Spirit I breathe in your peace,
And am engulfed by your presence
Surrounding me on every side.
God who is One,
God who is three,
I breathe in you.

Christine Sine https://godspace.wordpress.com/

When faith is tested to the limit
and we stumble,
forgive us.
When feet stray from the path
and we wander,
forgive us.
When our neighbour is in need
and we walk by,
forgive us.
When the voices of this world
drown out your whisper,
forgive us.
When love draws us to your feet
in repentance,
forgive us.

http:faithandworship.com

Lord Jesus Christ
let us breathe in your love
In all its wonder and beauty.
Lord Jesus Christ
Let us drink in your mercy
In all its grace and patience.
Lord Jesus Christ
Let us stand in your presence
In all its glory and majesty.
Lord or earth and heaven,
Let all that we are and all that we do
Draw us closer towards you.

Christine Sine https://godspace.wordpress.com/

May we dream of a world made new,
Where together we shout for justice,
And as one we fight against oppression.
May we dream of a world made new,
Where together we seek God’s righteousness
And as one we sing God’s praise.
May we dream of a world made new,
Where together we climb God’s mountain,
And as one we enter the promised land.
May we dream of a world made new,
Where together we proclaim the good news of God’s kingdom,
And as one we enjoy its peace, and abundance and love.

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Prayers for Teachers and Their Students

Here in the Northern Hemisphere teachers and their students are preparing to go back to school. It is a stressful and busy season for many. I have reflected on this a lot since reading this beautiful back to school liturgy. I think that all teachers, and students need prayers they can say throughout the day to bring their centre back to God who sustains them.

The following prayers were written with this in mind.

Lord I breathe in life.004

 

This is the day that the Lord has made,
May we work hard
and share God’s gifts
with friends and neighbours
with colleagues and foes.
This is the day that the Lord has made,
may we work hard
and share with Jesus
in the poor and the oppressed
in the rejected and abandoned.
This is the day that the Lord has made,
May we work hard
and share with gratitude
God’s gifts generously given
Full measure overflowing like manna,
Not for us alone but for the renewal of all creation.

 

The Celtic Way of Prayer

The Celtic Way of Prayer

The third book I read this last week is The Celtic Way of Prayerby Esther de Waal. I have read this book a number of times over the last 10 years and never fail to gain fresh insights about the Celtic Christian movement and its lessons for us today.

This time I was particularly impacted by the comment:

They saw the world through eyes washed miraculously clear by continual spiritual exercise; they was with “rinsed eyes”. They was with such clarity because the seeing came out of contemplative vision (96).

This concept is one that I need reminding of time and again. Taking time to see the world, with contemplative vision so easily gets lost in the midst of busyness. Living in the present, being alive to the world around, totally listening to God, looking and listening for the sacred in the midst of every mundane act of the day, finding in the world in which we live the reflection of God’s invisible world, these are the things that I keep coming back to.

A couple of days ago in my post Am I Fully Recognized for What I am I wrote: for Celtic saints all of life was organized in light of spiritual realities. It was the same for the Trappist monks I wrote about yesterday. The centre of all things is meant to be the spiritual reality of our relationship to God. It is this that should control our time, our rhythm of life, our use of resources.

As I continue my journey this is the focus of my thoughts. The questions that keeps revolving in my mind is: What would it be life to give myself totally to God? How can I organize my time, my habits, my thoughts and actions to become instruments of spiritual formation? I hope that you will continue to walk the journey with me. And to guide me today I pray this prayer – one version of St Patrick’s prayer known as “the deer’s cry”

This day I call to me;

God’s strength to direct me,

God’s power to sustain me.

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s vision to light me,

God’s ear to my hearing,

God’s word to my speaking,

God’s hand to uphold me,

God’s pathway before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks.

Business secrets

Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks by August Turak was the second book that I read last week. To be honest this book frustrated me a little because of Turak’s underlying assumption that capitalism is the only possible business model that works and I felt that at times he justified what and how the monks do things to fit that model.

In spite of that I found the book very helpful. It is well worth the read for any Christian business person really wanting to put God and God’s purposes at the centre of their lives. Hopefully it will also encourage us to ask the seldom asked question: what should a Christian business look like?

The business model that the Trappist monks use confounds all our usual business principles. Turak quotes USA Today as saying: “The monks break every rule in Business 101 except attention to quality.”  They only work 4 hours a day. They do no marketing. They are not profit driven and they don’t feel they need to make more product this year than last.

They are people passionately committed to their mission of selfless service to God and others who happen to have a business. Business success for the monks is merely the by-product of living a life of service and selflessness. (7).

He goes on to say that he feels part of the reason for their success is that they tap into the hunger within all of us for transformation from selfishness to selflessness, believing that it is this longing that produces passionate commitment to a business, transcending profit making as motive. He points out that though many businesses start with this passion they don’t finish with it. The key to 1500 years of success:

they not only incorporate personal transformation into their missions but institutionalize this process through methodologies such as… the Rule of St Benedict. (13)

A colleague of Turak’s commented that the monks have the advantage of free labour. Turak’s response:

The most important issue is why monasteries get this level of commitment from people and our secular organizations do not?

This I think is one of the most important questions Turak asks, especially for people of faith seeking to establish a business. Transforming people from selfishness to selflessness, calling them to something beyond themselves and their own success, putting faith in the process and in the One who has designed it, these are all important lessons that come out of this type of approach. It is not the drive to be successful, to make a lot of money or to be well known that should motivate us. Or in other words:

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously and God will give you everything you need. (Matt 6:33 NLT).

 

Imaginative Learning or Contemplative Action.

imagination first

Tom and I have just returned from vacation, and as per usual, I took a stack of books with me, some of which I will share with you over the next few days. One is Imagination First: Unlocking the Power of Possibility by Eric Liu and Scott Noppe-Brandon. I was particularly struck by Capacities for Imaginative Learning they share. Originally designed for arts and education, the authors feel however that they are guides for life.

It is an inspirational and thought provoking book that I would recommend to anyone who wants to increase their creativity.

What struck me is how closely these “capacities for learning” parallel contemplative practices and the spiritual discernment process we have used for many years in MSA. They open our eyes and ears to new ways of interacting with the world. They help us become creative, imaginative, able to solve problems in out of the box ways. From a faith perspective they open us up to the presence of God in all things and increase our awareness of God’s involvement in all the creative processes we engage in to shape our work and daily life.  I thought you would find them interesting:

Noticing deeply: identifying and articulating layers of detail through continuous interaction with an object of study

Embodying: experiencing a work through your senses and emotions, and physically representing that experience.

Questioning: asking “Why” and “What if” throughout your explorations

Identifying patterns:  finding relationships among the details you notice, and grouping them into patterns

Making connections: linking patterns you notice to prior knowledge and experience (both your own and others)

Exhibiting empathy: understanding and respecting the experience of others

Creating meaning: creating interpretations of what you encounter, and synthesizing them with the perspectives of others.

Taking action:  acting on the synthesis through a project or an action that expresses your learning

Reflecting and assessing: looking back on your learning to identify what challenges remain and to begin learning anew.

In the Power of the Triune God

Celtic cross Mayne Island

One of the spiritual disciplines that is really helping during this season of my life is the writing of prayers. Celtic Christians believed that life was embraced on all sides by God and that God was present alongside, behind, before, above and below. They experienced God as guest, fellow traveller, friend, fellow worker, brother, companion and comforter. This has certainly been my experience over the last couple of weeks.

I hope that you enjoy this prayer I wrote a couple of days ago with these thoughts in mind.

I will enter this day

In the power of the triune One.

God of life,

Christ of love,

Spirit of guiding.

Ignite within me a fire of love,

Its flame in my heart for all to see.

Let it shine for neighbours

And be generous to strangers.

Let I express compassion for friends,

And show forgiveness to foes.

Let it reach the lowliest creatures that live

And exalt Christ’s name which is highest of all.

This day and every day

Triune God,

Creator of life,

Christ of love,

Spirit of guiding,

Ignite within me a fire of love.

You Are the Peace of All Things Calm – Another Celtic Prayer

Here is another beautiful Celtic prayer that I find relaxing and comproting.

Lord you are the calm.002