Prayers. noun. According to Google, “A solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God.” Whoops. I missed the solemn part.
First, Father, I must confess. This post did not spring forth uninfluenced from my brain, and, since the 12th commandment of Christian colleges is “Thou shalt not plagiarize,” (preceded by the original 10 and the ever-popular 11th “Thou shalt seek a ring by spring to the best of thy ability”), I must here acknowledge Micha Boyett’s book Found. It is beautiful, and it is teaching me to pray in the midst of, not in spite of, my ordinary life. You created my voice, and you celebrate when I lift it to you. Did you know what you’re in for? For here is what spills from my lips, the psalm of my life.
Lord, please, in your provision, give me patience, for retrieving the zipline again and withstanding all this whining. Or just give these children longer, stronger legs and zipped lips. Especially zipped lips. Because how can this child be bored? She just got here five minutes ago. Is it inappropriate to tell her that only boring people are bored? Perhaps I need some discretion, as well.
Jesus, please help me to resist the temptation to be one of the staff who yells. I want to, when the boys don’t clean up after I’ve told them four times or when those two start fighting again and when the 6th graders whine that the 1st graders aren’t playing the game fairly. I want to pretend I’m menacing (I’m not) and surly (I am, occasionally). Oh, one who was tempted in all ways, help me be strong.
Prince of Peace, I pray your blessing over our home. May our electricity bills be low and the skateboarding kids cease their racket at a reasonable hour. Please prevent those people smoking outside the door to the building from being stalkers or creepers. Protect our garden-level apartment from anything more harmful than the occasional spider. And help me remember to lock the door behind me, for the love of all that is holy.
Almighty God, could you keep my hair from looking atrocious when I skip my shower this morning? I know you said that my beauty should not come from outward adornment such as elaborate hairstyles, and I’m taking that lesson seriously. But I would also prefer to not lead a brother to stumbling away from me in disgust. Thus, bless whoever invented dry shampoo and deodorant.
Holy One, bless those whom I love who are far away from me. Be with my sister in Texas and my boyfriend in DC and my friend in the middle of an injury and my mom in the boondocks where there are only males at home and said males at home. Let them know how loved they are. Thank you for leading me to my people, even though they’re scattered throughout the country. And bless those friends near me, who I so often take for granted, from the friend whose marriage I get to celebrate soon to the roommate who puts up with my long Skype calls.
Yaweh, keep me from road rage against those idiots in traffic. Get them off their cell phones, for we both know that it is only the fools who text and drive during rush hour. And help me not be one of those idiots, for we both know I remain the country girl who preferred encountering two cars and one tractor on the average rural commute.
Alpha and Omega, protect me from food poisoning, for my timing when cooking chicken remains inexpert. Thank you for not yet blessing me with a family, because evenings when I eat frozen vegetables and two hard-boiled eggs for dinner remain perfectly acceptable.
Abba, would you keep reminding me of the beauty in my very ordinary existence? I know it’s there. Sweet kids hold my hands and ask for piggybacks in the pool. Phone calls and emails and Skype connect me to the ones I love. There is ice cream in my freezer. I have time to walk to the library and read the many books I tote back. But sometimes, when I still have 3 hours of work left on Monday afternoons, I forget. Forgive me. Thank you for your blessings.