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Praying with the Saints

Prayer for help in time of trouble, Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills - Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 
He will not let your foot slip - 
He who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 
The LORD watches over you
The LORD is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm - 
He will watch over your life;
The LORD will watch over your coming and going
Both now and forevermore.

"Father in heaven! When the thought of you wakes in our hearts let it not awaken like a frightened bird that flies about in dismay, but like a child waking from its sleep with a heavenly smile" (Soren Kierkegaard, 1813-55) 

Seeking God continually, by Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

O Lord my God,
I believe in you,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit...
Insofar as I can,
Insofar as you have given me the power,
I have sought you.
I became weary and I laboured.
O Lord my God,
My sole hope,
help me to believe
And never to cease seeking you.
Grant that I may always and ardently
Seek out your countenance.
Give me the strength to seek you,
For you help me to find you
And you have more and more given me
the hope of finding you.
Here I am before you
With my firmness and my infirmity.
Preserve the first and heal the second..
Here I am before you
With my strength and my ignorance.
Where you have opened the door to me,
Welcome me at the entrance;
Where you have closed the door to me,
Open to my cry;
Enable me to remember you,
To understand you,
And to love you.

Prayer for love, by St Columba (521-597)

O Lord, grant us that love which can never die,
which will enkindle our lamps
but not extinguish them,
so that they may shine in us
and bring light to others.
Most dear Saviour,
enkindle our lamps that they may shine
forever in your temple.
May we receive unquenchable light
from you so that our darkness
will be illuminated
and the darkness of the world
will be made less.

"Dear God, I am so grateful for your invitation to enter your heart of love. As best I can, I come in. Thank you for receiving me" (Richard Foster)

Invocation to the Holy Spirit, by Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022)

Come, true light.
Come, eternal life.
Come, hidden mystery.
Come, nameless treasure.
Come, ineffable reality.
Come, inconceivable person.
Come, endless bliss.
Come, non-setting sun.
Come, infallible expectation of those who must be saved.
Come, awakening of those who are asleep.
Come, resurrection of the dead.
Come, 0 Powerful One, who always creates and recreates and transforms by your will alone.
Come, 0 invisible and totally intangible and impalpable.
Come, you who always remain motionless and at each moment move completely and come to us...
Come, 0 beloved Name and repeated everywhere...
Come, eternal joy.
Come, non-tarnishing crown.
Come, purple of the great king our God.
Come, crystalline cincture, studded with precious stones.
Come, inaccessible sandal.
Come, royal purple.
Come, truly sovereign right hand.
Come, you whom my miserable soul has desired and desires.
Come, you the Lonely, to the lonely, since you see I am lonely...
Come, you who have become yourself desire in me, who have made my desire you...
Come, my breath and my life.
Come, consolation of my poor soul.
Come, my joy, my glory, my endless delight.

"My God, grant me the conversion of my parish; I am willing to suffer all my whatsoever it may please thee to lay upon me; yes even for a hundred years am I prepared to endure the sharpest pains, only let my people be converted. My God, convert my parish". (Curé d'Ars, 1786-1859)

Prayer for today, by Francis of Sales (1567-1622)

My God, I give you this day.
I offer You, now, all of the good
that I shall do and I promise to accept,
for love of You,
all of the difficulty that I shall meet.
Help me to conduct myself during this day
in a manner pleasing to You.

"O Lord, you know how busy I must be this day; if I forget you, do not you forget me, for Christ's sake" (General Lord Astley, 1579-1652, before the battle of Edgehill)

FIRE, by Blaise Pascal (1623-62)

who wrote these words and sewed them into his doublet after an intense personal encounter with God:

God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and savants.
Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.
God of Jesus Christ.
My God and thy God
‘Thy God shall be my God’
Forgetfulness of the world and of everything except God.
He is to be found only in the ways taught in the Gospel.
Grandeur of the human soul.
Righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee, but I have known Thee.
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy. I have fallen from Him.
‘They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters
‘My God wilt Thou forsake me?’
May I not fall from Him for ever.
This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.
Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ
I have fallen away: I have fled from Him, denied Him, crucified Him.
May I not fall from Him for ever.
We hold Him only by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Renunciation, total and sweet
Total submission to Jesus Christ and to my director.
Eternally in joy for a day’s exercise on earth.
I will not forget thy word. Amen.

(Pascal’s experience of Fire has been ‘explained’ by Vitezslav Gardavsky, a Czech Marxist writer, as being the result of the emotional shock he experienced when he accidentally fell under the hooves of a shying horse.)

Prayer for guidance, by Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

"God in heaven, you have helped my life to grow like a tree. Now something has happened. Satan, like a bird, has carried in one twig of his own choosing after another. Before I knew it he had built a dwelling place and was living in it. Tonight, my Father, I am throwing out both the bird and the nest" (Prayer of a Nigerian Christian).

An Oblation, by David Adam (1936…)

I place my hands in yours, Lord
I place my hands in yours

I place my will in yours, Lord
I place my will in yours

I place my days in yours, Lord
I place my days in yours

I place my thoughts in yours, Lord
I place my thoughts in yours

I place my heart in yours, Lord
I place my heart in yours

I place my life in yours, Lord
I place my life in yours.

A Benediction – ‘May you now, by the power of the Holy Spirit, receive the spirit of prayer. May it become, in the name of Jesus Christ, the most precious occupation of your life. And may the God of all peace strengthen you, bless you and give you joy’ (Richard Foster)

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ReSource has a simple policy: when we pray, things happen. This is not a lippy, meaningless policy - we've found out through trial and error! When God's children pray; people get healed, coincidences occur with statistical impossibility, lives are saved, governmental policies change; God moves in a thousand ways (not all of them mysterious!). If you'd like to hear some examples or share some of your own, just get in touch.

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