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thurmanThere are days that I feel restless and can’t settle down to work.  I start a job and drift off to something else.  I try to look something up and find myself playing Tetris on my computer, not enjoying the game but not able to focus on anything in particular, even prayer.

On these drifting days, I often turn to the prayers in the Book of Common Worship.

Yes, this book also contains the liturgy for a variety of worship services, but prayer is such an important part of our worship that the first section in the book is “Preparation for Worship,” a collection of prayers.

Perfect for these off-balance wonky days is this prayer by Howard Thurman.

Lord, open unto me

Open unto me—light for my darkness.

Open unto me—courage for my fear.

Open unto me—hope for my despair.

Open unto me—peace for my turmoil.

Open unto me—joy for my sorrow.

Open unto me—strength for my weakness.

Open unto me—wisdom for my confusion.

Open unto me—forgiveness for my sins.

Open unto me—love for my hates.

Open unto me—thy Self for my self.

Lord, Lord, open unto me! Amen.


But I also love this one by Dag Hammerskjold for its straight-forward simplicity.

Give me a pure heart—that I may see Thee,

A humble heart—that I may hear Thee,

A heart of love—that I may serve Thee

A heart of faith—that I may abide in Thee. Amen.


If you don’t have a favorite resource for these wonky off-balance days, you can find a variety of prayer resources online including:

A downloadable Book of Common Worship (Presbyterian).

The Book of Common Prayer On-Line (Anglican)

Common Prayer is a site that invites faith communities worldwide to join together in prayer.  They provide a variety of prayers each day.


Just remember, some days will always be more balanced than others.  Breathe, pray, and breathe some more.


This Prayer of Service is one of the Daily Prayers from the Book of Common Worship.

Teach us, good Lord,
to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labor and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Have a Mary Little Christmas

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