The Word Among Us

Prayer Resources

Storing—Resting—Conserving

By: Agnes Kovacs

Storing—Resting—Conserving by Agnes Kovacs

Prayer changes us and changes with us. It is an expression of our need to be in relationship with divine Love, here and now. St. Augustine said it best: “Our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

When our energy supplies are low, our body naturally enters conservation mode. It slows down, stores—sometimes in unwanted places—whatever energy is available. We find ourselves craving rest, and on occasion we wish we could hibernate like bears and their ilk. Low energy affects our outlook: we turn inward. Reminiscing about times gone by is suddenly our favorite activity.

Physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual trauma can also lead to energy conservation: there are only so many inner resources available. All of it is needed to deal with the aftermath of trauma and to start the healing process. An essential part of the process is letting go in order to make room for healing to take place.

Whether we find ourselves in this season as a natural occurrence or as a response to some kind of trauma, its focus is putting things right and in order, and preparing to experience rebirth as we approach a new beginning in the cycle of life.

In our prayer life, this might be a season of quiet contemplation, reflection, gentle exploration, and making small but deliberate movement toward our ultimate goal of being with God.

Particularly suitable prayer forms are those involving the visual arts and music; both have the capacity to draw us into a new realm where we can encounter God.

Start out the new year with the conscious intention to spend time daily just “being with God.” You might find some—or all—of the prayers that follow helpful in getting started:

—Call and Response—

You summoned and I answered; here I am.
You challenged and I struggled to discern your will.
You blessed and I am thankful.
Help me never to forget that you are the source of all blessings.
Grant me wisdom to find my way to you.
Let me respond with Ignatius of Loyola:
your love and your grace are enough for me.

********************

—Suscipe: Self-Offering—

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

—St. Ignatius of Loyola

********************

—To See with God’s Eyes—

What do you see when you look at me?
A glance—and you know me like no other, including myself.
What do you see?
Do you see my doubts and fears?
Do you see what brings me joy?
Do you see a person desperately trying to . . . (you fill in the blank)?
Help me see beyond fear and doubt.
Help me treasure moments of joy.
Help me become the best version of the person you see.
Grant me sight that sees possibilities.
Grant me strength to sow joy.
Grant me wisdom to see with your eyes, my God!

********************

—Persistence—

When I hit the wall,
when I am spent and can’t go on,
grant me the courage of the Samaritan woman
who would not let Jesus dismiss her without a hearing;
the persistence of Jeremiah,
who could not keep silent about you;
and the whispers of your Holy Spirit to spur me on. Amen.

********************

—Prayer of Confidence—

All shall be well,
and all shall be well,
and all manner of thing shall be well.

—Julian of Norwich

********************

—Gratitude—

Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ,
For all the benefits and blessings
which you have given me,
for the pains and insults
which you have born for me.
Merciful Friend, Brother and Redeemer,
may I know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more closely,
day by day.

—St. Richard Chichester

********************

—Prayer for Deliverance—

From cowardice that dare not face new truth,
from laziness that is contented with half-truth,
from the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,
good Lord, deliver me.

—Traditional Prayer from Kenya

********************

—Sacred Heart—

O Heart of Love,
I put all my trust in you.
For I fear all things from my own weakness,
but I hope for all things from your goodness.

—St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

********************

—Confidence in God—

Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road.
Go forth without fear, for the one who created you has
made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as
a mother. Blessed be you, my God, for having created me.

—St. Clare of Assisi

********************

—For the Right Use of God’s Gifts—

O Lord, our God, without whose will and pleasure not a
sparrow can fall to the ground,
grant to us in times of trouble to be patient without murmuring
or despair, and in prosperity to acknowledge your gifts,
and to confess that all our endowments come from you,
O Father of lights, who gives liberally and upbraids not.
Give us, by your Holy Spirit, a willing heart and a ready hand
to use all your gifts to your praise and glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Archbishop Cranmer

********************

—Evening Thanksgiving—

Accept our evening thanksgiving, O Fountain of all good, who has led us in safety through the length of day;
who daily blessed us with so many mercies,
and has given us the hope of resurrection to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—Ancient Collect

********************

—Nunc Dimittis—Canticle of Simeon—

Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.

—Luke 2:29-32

********************

—Precious Lord—

Precious Lord, take my hand.
Lead me on. Let me stand.
I am tired. I am weak. I am worn.
Through the storm,
through the night,
lead me on to the light.
Take my hand, precious Lord,
lead me home.

—African-American Spiritual

—selections from A Prayer Book for Catholic Women by Agnes Kovacs, The Word Among Us Press, 2018. Available at www.wau.org/books

Comments