We are encouraged through God’s word to “pray always,” but we might also think of this as encouragement to “pray all ways.” This blog post, based on a prayer booklet that I offered to my congregation, offers one such way to pray. These are the prayers that I offer for Saturday morning. You can find an introduction to this way of praying, and the prayers for Monday morning here: Introduction and Monday Morning Prayer.
Saturday – Community in Christ
Whatever happens, those who have learned to love one another have made their way to the lasting world and will not leave, whatever happens.Wendell Berry
Opening Psalm: Psalm 63:1-8
O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful
or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is
not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing,
but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all
things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never
Silence for reflection and prayer.
Devotional Poem – Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.
Closing Prayer – Max Ehrmann, “A Prayer”
Let me do my work each day; and if the darkened hours of despair overcome me, may I not forget the strength that comforted me in the desolation of other times.
May I still remember the bright hours that found me walking over the silent hills of my childhood, or dreaming on the margin of a quiet river, when a light glowed within me, and I promised my early God to have courage amid the tempests of the changing years.
Spare me from bitterness and from the sharp passions of unguarded moments. May I not forget that poverty and riches are of the spirit. Though the world knows me not, may my thoughts and actions be such as shall keep me friendly with myself.
Lift up my eyes from the earth, and let me not forget the uses of the stars. Forbid that I should judge others lest I condemn myself. Let me not follow the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my path.
Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am; and keep ever burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope.
And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for life, and for time’s olden memories that are good and sweet; and may the evening’s twilight find me gentle still.
You can find a pdf of this prayer booklet here: Poems, Prayers, Psalms, and Promises.