A Prayer in Times of Stress

My new book is out, and the topic is . . . stress! Finding Peace: Letting Go of Stress and Worry is a new title in Little Rock Scripture Study’s Alive in the Word series. Each short book in the series explores three Scripture passages on a single theme, helping individuals or groups pray with the Word and apply it to their lives. Finding Peace is available on Amazon or at bulk rates for groups at Little Rock Scripture Study or Liturgical Press.

Below is an excerpt from Finding Peace—a prayer I wrote for stressful times. Feel free to share it with anyone who might like to have it. I wish you peace!

And speaking of peace, thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement that many of you sent my way after my rather fragile Easter blog. As Scully once said to Mulder, “I had the strength of your beliefs.” Easter in us!

 
A Prayer in Times of Stress

Lord God, you have promised
that you are never far away, even when I feel alone;
that you will never leave me, even when I feel abandoned;
that I will never be overcome, even when I feel defeated;
that there is beauty where I do not see it;
that there is music where I do not hear it;
that there is life where I do not feel it.

Whatever I am going through,
whatever the future may bring,
whatever questions I have,
whatever bad news I hear,
whatever pain comes my way,
whatever I cannot control,
be with me, my God, and this will be enough.

Whatever I lose,
whatever I have lost,
whatever is said,
whatever is done,
whatever is broken,
whatever won’t heal,
be with me, my God, and this will be enough.

Whatever decisions I struggle to make,
whatever pressure weighs down on me,
whatever I regret,
whatever I confess,
whatever I remember,
whatever I forget,
be with me, my God, and this will be enough.

Fill my restless spirit with your presence, and this will be enough.
Fill my tired mind with your peace, and this will be enough.
Fill my aching heart with your love, and this will be enough.
Amen.

Amy Ekeh
© 2019 Little Rock Scripture Study

 
 

An Evening Prayer

In this season of shortening days and early darkness, I’d like to share with you an evening prayer from my Episcopal days:

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give thine angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for thy love’s sake. Amen.

 —Book of Common Prayer

The Good Samaritan  by John Mosiman. Courtesy  Sacred Art Pilgrim .

The Good Samaritan by John Mosiman. Courtesy Sacred Art Pilgrim.

I Can't. You Must.

One of my students, Sister Jerilyn, shared this prayer with our class last night. The prayer is attributed to Oscar Romero. 

I looked this prayer up online, and one commentator astutely noted that this prayer was Romero's personal way of praying Jesus' prayer of surrender in the Garden of Gethsemane:  "Not what I want but what you want" (Mt. 26:39). 

I looked this prayer up online, and one commentator astutely noted that this prayer was Romero's personal way of praying Jesus' prayer of surrender in the Garden of Gethsemane: "Not what I want but what you want" (Mt. 26:39). 

Epiphany Prayer

Like the magi, we want to bring Jesus gifts.  But what gifts should we bring?  We should bring him what he wants the most.

Lord Jesus, I lay before you the gold of my sins and weaknesses, the incense of my painful memories and relationships, and the myrrh of my fears and anxieties.  These do not seem like gifts fit for a King, but I offer them to you from the treasure-chest of my heart, knowing that you wish to transform and redeem them.  I come to you open, empty and vulnerable; be a quiet, loving, saving presence in me.  Amen.

Anne Koken, color linocut.  Courtesy  Sacred Art Pilgrim .

Anne Koken, color linocut.  Courtesy Sacred Art Pilgrim.

We Are His, Give Thanks

A psalm for your dinner table or a quiet moment today.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come into his presence with singing.

Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he that made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him, bless his name.

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

John Kohan,  Dream of Byzantium, m ixed media collage on cardboard.  Courtesy of Sacred Art Pilgrim.

John Kohan, Dream of Byzantium, mixed media collage on cardboard.  Courtesy of Sacred Art Pilgrim.