God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God and God in him. 1 John 4:16b
I abide in love when I treat others with compassion, patience, and respect. I abide in love when I graciously receive help or kindness from another. I abide in love when I spend quiet time in prayer with the Lord—alone or with others.
Today I will pray to be filled with God’s kindness and patience. I will pray to give and receive love wherever I go.
Philip Galle (1537-1612) after Jan van der Straet The Meeting of the Apostles and the Women in the Upper Room engraving National Gallery of Art
Hear, O Lord, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks. Psalm 27:7-8
There are so many people to pray for, so many people who are ill, suffering, lonely, afraid, or abused. People who are locked down in nursing homes because of the COVID-19 virus. People who have lost their homes and have become refugees. People who are fleeing unjust and unsafe regimes and are seeking asylum in new countries. People who are being trafficked and sold into slavery. People who have no one to pray for them.
Today I will remember to pray. I will ask the Lord to hear me as I pray for those in need in our fragile, troubled world.
Daniel Chodowiecki (1726 – 1801) Betende Frau mit Rosenkranz, 1773
God has the power to heal the wounds and divisions in my life and in our world. Today I will collaborate with the Lord by praying for those I find difficult to love or respect, and those I fear or resent.
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5: 43-45)
Francois-Barthelemy-Marius Abel (1832-1870) Figure kneeling in prayer, 1856 Watercolor and brown ink on medium weight off-white wove paper By Shepherd Gallery (Flickr: ABEL – Figure Kneeling in Prayer) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
So often my prayers are imperious.
I forget prayer is a time of self-emptying, of surrendering myself to God.
Today I will pray to be blessed with the knowledge of God’s will for me and the grace to carry it out.
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” Mark 10:35