I’m reading Beginning to Pray by Anthony Bloom, again. It’s one of those books that needs digesting over time, chewing a mouthful of deep thought deliberately, savoring the flavor and richness. Slowing down the swallow as much as I can, I ask God to send the nourishment of it into every cell of my being.

First thing when you wake up, thank God for the day, even if you don’t feel particularly happy about it. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be grateful for it.” Give yourself time to realize the truth of what you’re saying and really mean it. Come to God with two convictions: you are God’s own, and this day is also God’s. It has never existed before. Then ask God to bless this day, that everything in it should be blessed and ruled by Him. Then you must take it seriously—not like the prodigal son who took all his goods to a strange country to live a riotous life. (paraphrased)

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It’s so easy to be a prodigal. Every day beckons with its distractions. Every day I’m tempted to hit the ground running to the things I desire. As soon as it’s daylight I want to go outside and work in the garden, and tackle my projects.  Beyond the desire to do what I love, it’s a practical matter. There is so much to do, and only me to do it!!

Right now, there are weeds (always weeds!) to pull, leaves to rake, fountains to clean and keep filled, plants to clip and move, and new things to get in the ground. Two new projects are hovering over me as well: a tree trunk I’m installing in my living room (yes, that’s right!), and an old fountain a friend gave me I’m converting into a succulent garden. I can’t wait to see how they’ll turn out!

How do I fit God in? Thirty minutes first thing in the morning? An hour, even two hours? Can I get the Word in me, praise and thank him, examine myself, confess, recommit, petition and then wrap it all up with an Amen in a generous two hours? I have found I can’t. I must take him with me into the day.

Hmm…something doesn’t seem quite right about that. Am I to take, or be taken?

God, I cry, take me! I am yours, and this day is yours, whatever it brings. I thank you for it. Thank you for another sunrise, sunset, and the time in between to try and fail, to forgive and be forgiven, to know your constant, unconditional love. Help me to receive it, to give it, to live it, as I stumble along following you on my crooked path, praying without ceasing in broken breaths.

Thankful Prayer
by Dina Cavazos