‘If the world stands bewildered and confused in the face of its trouble, it is partly because we Westerners have made a God of activity; we have yet to learn how to be, as we have already learnt how to do.” Paul Brunton
I had always heard that you can’t take it with you. But at the age of 40, I decided that I could take it with me. The material things I have will be left on this earth at my passing. But the thing I can take with me–my soul–I can practice every day.
Some of the spiritual practices that I use are prayer, creative visualization, guided imagery, contemplation of passages, meditation, and affirmations.
I believe that generally prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God.
1) The prayer I’ve used daily or used a part of it depending on what the situation has been “The Serenity Prayer”.
“God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Used by Alcoholics Anonymous and written by Reinhold Niebuhr
2) “Pray Without Ceasing” by Thomas Merton helped me 30 years ago to know that I can pray anywhere and anytime and it all helps me to be more surrendered and to be in a peaceful place.
“When I am liberated by silence,
when I am no longer involved
in the measurement of life, but in the living of it,
I can discover a form of prayer in which
there is effectively no distraction.
My whole life becomes a prayer.
My whole silence is full of prayer.
The world of silence in which I am immersed
contributes to my prayer.”
3) “Change My Heart” by St. Francis of Assisi:
“Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
4) “Letting Go” by Acaan Chan
“Do everything with a mind that lets go.
Do not expect any praise or reward.
If you let go a little, you will have a little peace.
If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.
If you let go completely, you will know complete peace and freedom.
Your struggles with the world
will have come to an end.”
5) John Wesley’s “Covenant Prayer”:
“I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; Put me to doing; put me to suffering; Let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, Exalted for you, or brought low for you; Let me be full, let me be empty; Let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, You are mine and I am yours. So be it.
And the covenant made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.”
Two short prayers:
6) Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me!
Prayer of Jesus – 4th century ±
7) Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief.
Bible – Mark 9:24
Finally, the prayer I use when all else fails is also by Thomas Merton:
8) “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 that 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 will I 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.”