Prayers Written from the Heart
Week three of Lent 2023 is the midway point toward Easter Sunday. This week is to practice compassion through prayers. Prayer is the only power we can be in union with our God, our Creator because we have God’s Spirit within us, the Holy Spirit.
Schedule a few minutes of your day to prepare for your moment with God. Have a notebook, paper, or digital notebook so you can take a moment to write a short letter to Him. The letter you write should be a form of a prayer because you are writing it from your heart by sharing what you feel and what you want to change. Start the letter with how you feel. What struggles or obstacles are blocking your connection with God or the people around you? It’s okay for your anger to lash out on paper, but know and rest assured you will receive a peaceful response from Him.
After you write, imagine what God’s compassionate response might be. He is closer than you think. He is in your hands, listening to you writing those words. He’s in your heart, feeling what you feel. Trust God. Your perspective and attitude will shift when you open your heart and mind. It changes your mindset to believe He listens to your thought, imagination, word, and action. Be honest with yourself; otherwise, you are wasting your time. God doesn’t respond to lies, even “white lies,” because He already knows the Truth. He is the Truth. Don’t expect the answer to be your way or how the outcome should be.
Another form of prayer can be used daily for work, family, organization, or school. The prayer helps your mind see compassion for your interaction with others. Pay attention to your prayer; be attentive and be present. Compassion prayer is an invitation to yield your life to God. These compassion prayers are drawn on wisdom and the connection surrounding you through nature.
Here are a couple of prayers to help you guide your prayer from your heart -- your own words.
Let me stand to bear witness to you, Spirit of life, for you are my rock and my inspiration. You are all around me in the beauty of your creation, in the brightness of morning and in the evening light, constant and unchanging, but forever new and surprising. You are my wisdom and my understanding, my vision and my determination, sustaining my soul through every season. You are the living sign of justice, the source of compassion, the ground of mercy on which I rely. Your love is an endless stream, nourishing all the Earth in ways I cannot count. You are my lifetime, my heart and my hope, the inheritance from my ancestors, the strength that sustains me and the tenderness that embraces me when I close my eyes to rest in your timeless grace.
-- Steve Charleston, retired Episcopal Bishop of Native America
Merciful Jesus, you are my guide, the joy of my heart, the author of my hope, and the object of my love. I come seeking refreshment and peace. Show me your mercy, relieve my fears and anxieties, and grant me a quiet mind and an expectant heart, that by the assurance of your presence I may learn to abide in you, who is my Lord and my God. Amen.
-- Saint Teresa of Avila
Compassionate God, support and strengthen all those who reach out in love, concern, and prayer for the sick and distressed. In their acts of compassion, may they know that they are your instruments. In their concerns and fears may they know your peace. In their prayer may they know your steadfast love. May they not grow weary or faint-hearted, for your mercy’ sake. Amen.
-- Book of Common Prayer