Welcome to the daily prayer guide for the month of September! Today is Thursday, Sept. 8.
For our time of praise, let’s consider words from another hymn: “All hail the power of Jesus’ name! Let angels prostrate fall; bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him Lord of all. Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race, ye ransomed from the fall, hail him who saves you by his grace, and crown him Lord of all. Let every kindred, every tribe on this terrestrial ball, to him all majesty ascribe, and crown him Lord of all.” (Edward Perronet, 1779.)
Like yesterday, take time to consider where you have failed God, and make confession, which of course includes repentance, a commitment to turn away from sin. As part of this act of confession, you can read or recite Psalm 51:1-10. Then hear the good news: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!
Having praised God and confessed sin, move to any petitions you may have. Try moving from broad global concerns to very personal requests, along these lines: from global (the war in Ukraine, for example), to national, to local, to church, to family and finally, to petitions for yourself. You may find that when you start with broader petitions, your personal petitions will be affected.
Take time to read these Bible verses in a contemplative and meaningful way: Genesis 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 1:1-11.
Give yourself a few minutes of silence before resuming your day.
Pray the Lord’s Prayer. Let me also offer you these words from “A Celtic Primer,” a compilation by Brendan O’Malley:
The Holy Spirit
“When the true shepherd speaks, and man hears him, the heart burns within, the flesh trembles, the mind lights like a candle, the conscience ferments like wine in a crock, and the will bows to the truth, and that small, powerful, heavenly voice raises up the dead from his own grave to live, to don the crown, and wonderfully changes the whole of life to live like the Lamb of God.”
Again, give yourself a few minutes of silence before resuming your day.
As you review your day, pay attention to how conscious you were of God’s presence.
Continue the meditative prayer time in the evening. If you’re struggling with meditative prayer as described in previous days, instead focus more deeply on your reflection about the day. A pad and pen might help; you could list “pros” and “cons” about earlier events, seeking God’s guidance regarding what you might have changed. As you exhale, release sin, and as you inhale, accept grace.