In case you are having trouble settling your mind for prayer these days, here are a few of my standbys:

6:00 am – Please

Please be the light that shines upon my path, because this bedroom is still dark. The world is scary and loud. Every tiny decision has become a moral dilemma, and we all seem to be wandering like blind people through scenarios real and imagined. Please, Kindly Light, lead the way.

10:00 am – If

If you go with me, I will go. To the grocery store with my mask. To the writing desk in search of words. To the multiple tasks required to keep us safe and alive through this siege. Even to the quiet corner when my voice is not needed in the fray. If I forget, please remind me to go to more prayer. More meditation. More contemplation of who You are rather than who we are today.

12:00 pm – And now

And now I pause in the work to celebrate as Dietrich Bonhoeffer describes in Life Together. To rejoice and “keep holiday in the middle of the workday”. Food. Drink. Rest. Gratitude. Conversation with fellow travelers – even if it is done through computer screens or smartphone apps. We connect and celebrate the abundant life You give.

5:00 pm – At last

At last we close the hours of work and come to those moments of settling in and holding tight. Even if our workday has been spent at the kitchen table or the living room sofa, we transition now. From work to home. From meetings and quotas, teaching and training, loving and serving to doing it all over again in new ways with children, parents, spouses, friends, and roommates. Or, alone, in our single life. Yet never alone when we have You. Together, we take another deep breath and sink into gratitude. At last.

10:00 pm – Thank You

For another day on the earth you created. Another stretch of grace and mercy to us and through us. Even in a pandemic, life with You is good. So now, we sleep in Heavenly peace, protected by your angel armies. Surrounded by Your love. Thank you.