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Sunday, August 2, 2020

Sunday Drive: Prayer Is the Soul's Sincere Desire

The well-known hymn by Scottish-born James Montgomery, poet, hymnodist, and anti-slavery writer:



~~~~~ o o O o o ~~~~~

It occurs to me that in the midst of this troubled world full of conflict and controversy, which I am powerless to resolve, I could do worse than to offer to my truckbuddies and drive-by readers some prayers that I have found helpful over the years in keeping my head calm, my heart humble, and my spirit hopeful - well, sometimes anyway.

Regardless of faith or the lack of it, we all need inner strength of some kind - something the roaring mass media and frantic consumer culture cannot give - to steady us amid the frightful changes and chances of this mortal life:  if any of these prayers I present in the coming weeks help you, I'm glad.

These are Episcopal prayers, but you need not bother with theology at all; you can take them merely as poetry, if you please.  It's the thought that counts.  And it's always permissible to keep the parts you like and discard the rest.

I will begin this series with a prayer from Forward Day by Day, an Episcopal publication, that I prayed every morning for years; I still know it by heart.
For Today

O God:
Give me strength to live another day;
Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties;
Let me not lose faith in my fellow men;
Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness;
Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them;
Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity;
Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things;
Grant me this day some new vision of Thy truth;
Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness, and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls;
in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


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