In my last post I wrote about my struggle to find a personal spiritual practice and confessed that I have often felt that I have ADHD of the Spiritual Life. I remind myself often that the real point of all this is to lead a life focused on the love of God and to share the love of Christ with others. I’m certainly not suggesting that you do what I do but that you find ways to be faithful and intentional in your personal devotion to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
My pattern for morning prayer is easy to remember because its sections spell ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.
When I first wake up, I sing (silently) “Father, I adore you”.
Father, I adore you. Lay my life before you. How I love you.
Jesus, I adore you. Lay my life before you. How I love you.
Spirit, I adore you. Lay my life before you. How I love you.
Then I read or recite the Prayer to the Holy Spirit in the Worship Booklet for Pilgrims: Walk to Emmaus. In the book and in the Emmaus community we use plural pronouns but I use the personal pronoun in my morning prayer.
“Come, Holy Spirit, Fill my heart and kindle in me the power of your love. Send forth your Spirit and I shall be created. And you shall renew my world.
O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit Did instruct the hearts of the faithful, Grant that by the same Holy Spirit I may be truly wise And ever enjoy your consolations. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Next I use the Prayer of Confession from the same booklet. Again I change the pronouns to singular.
“Merciful God, I confess that I have not loved you with my whole heart. I have failed to be obedient. I have not done your will. I have broken your law. I have rebelled against your love. I have not loved my neighbors And I have not heard the cry of the needy. Forgive me, I pray. Free me for joyful obedience, Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I do these first three sections almost every day. After this beginning I may go on to Thanksgiving and Supplication or I may read Scripture first or write in my journal first. If I’ve had a dream that has caused a strong emotion, I write that next (unless I did that very first thing. A dream can be very fugitive so I capture it immediately if it seems important).
Last Fall I bought a One Year Bible (New International Version). It has 365 sections. For every day there is a section from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. I’m not guaranteeing that I’ll read it through in a year; it may take two or one and a half. I’m just moving the bookmark as I go. (I’ve tried to do the Bible in a year before. If I fell behind, I’ve felt defeated and stopped. This way I’ve removed the time expectation; every day there is some forward movement.)
During the Supplication part of my prayer time, I often use The Jesus Prayer and repeat it for every person on a list. On the morning of team meeting at work I often pray for everyone on the team. On the morning of a college class I teach I pray for that group.
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on (the name), your child.”
May the Lord guide and keep you as you seek to live a faithful life.
Cherry Winkle Moore is a visual artist and a retired hospice chaplain. Cherry has a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting, drawing and printmaking from the University of Alabama. Later she completed a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in pastoral care. Cherry sometimes says that in her case the MFA stands for Minister of Fine Arts and the MDiv stands for Making Divine Images Visible.View All Post