Sunday, April 21, 2013

Prayer

My earliest memory of religion in my family was a nightly prayer my parents taught me:
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take....which would follow with blessings for various family members.

When I was older, my family would join hands and say this prayer before our dinner meal.  (We always had dinner together as a family every night, and the rule was that out of respect, no one took a bite until mom did since she worked to prepared the meal )
We thank the Lord for this our food, in Jesus name...Amen.

I seem to remember that my Aunt and Uncle in Colorado said a different evening meal prayer...and I always wondered why theirs was different...
God is Great, God is Good; Let us thank Him for our food.
By His hands we all are fed, Give us Lord our Daily Bread.

Growing up, we would pray together but my parents really never explained to me about their beliefs...it was just part of the routine. When I started attending my church out here, Bonnie emphasized the importance of the congregation praying for one another.  A good friend sent me this poem that is a constant reminder of the importance of giving God my undivided attention when I pray.

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.
So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees..
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease......
All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They'd laugh at me I'd fear..
No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.
I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood, full of strife.
For in his hands God held a book;
It was the book of life.
God looked into his book and said
Your name I cannot find
I once was going to write it down...
but never found the time.
82,90,43,0,C, .68

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way , and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was . 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

13 comments:

Sue Mackey said...

Thanks for sharing the poem. As far as the prayers, I was raised saying all of them too. I hope you have a great week!

gumo said...

One of your better most recent Sunday posts, John. Very appropriate and meaningful. Thanks for the helpful reminder.

Don said...

Bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Amen.

Terry said...

Words of wisdom, words of God.

Good to hear especially in these trying times.

Thanks JW

Unknown said...

Preach it, Brother! And pay no mind to the satanic censors who would dare try and shame you into silence. The Lord belongs in every word we speak, every breath we draw, and is the sole purpose for every day we live! Praise Him!

Jay said...

Ah yes. That is a very common prayer.

There are many common traditional prayers that take that format, as well as many parodies.

One variation I remember also hearing from time to time.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
May angels watch me through the night,
and wake me with the morning light.



Of course, there was also the following prayer, often the last resort of a desperate student that spent too much time playing, and waited to the last minute before trying to cram.

The Study Prayer

Now I lay me down to study,
I pray the Lord I won't go nutty.
And if I fail to learn this junk
I pray the Lord that I won't flunk.
But if I do, don't pity me at all,
Just lay my bones in the study hall,
Tell my teacher I've done my best,
And pile my books upon my chest.

Now I lay me down to rest,
To pray I'll pass tomorrow's test;
But if I die before I wake,
That's one less test I'll have to take.



Of course, who can forget this adorable and humorous one from Television.

Father Mulcahy's childhood prayer from M.A.S.H.

Now I lay me down to sleep, a bag of peanuts at my feet. If I should die before I wake, give them to my brother Jake.




This all leads me to take the liberty to write a custom prayer just for John, and I will leave it up to him whether or not he chooses to use it.

Now I lay me down to sleep.
Thanks Jehovah, your greenhouse helps me eat.
Chickens and Longhorns trod the soil.
Providing eggs for my table and warmth for my soul.
If my life's end should come near.
May my trust in my god overpower my fear.
Just as the sun provides me energy.
Both enemies and friends deserve my love and sympathy.

As I lay my bearded head down for some sleep.
May I dream of deeds I will do for those who have the least.
Before I wake if I should die.
Please Lord, save this humble man's soul underneath this beautiful desert sky.


remmij said...

that's the most valuable 1¢ piece I've seen in some time - kinda hard on Abe though... don't imagine he minds.

Like your lens, sometimes focus can be elusive. Grace is a beautiful thing... Mrs. Cain gives sage guidance.

riverrat said...

As a first grader, I can remember standing in line at the classroom door waiting for everyone to get quiet so prayer could be said. "God is good" was the one we took turns saying. If only they did that now in school, life would be much better for the children; I'm sure of it.

Thanks for sharing and stirring up good memories.

Under The SC Sun said...

Ahhh, the rhymes of children's Prayers. I too remember them well. After I rediscover Jehovah's love and promise for me, I modified my prayers to ask forgiveness and to return thanks for my many varied blessings. I offer prayer each day when I wake, before meals, before sleep and frequently when I have something stir my soul.

To me it is hard to not believe in our creator when I walk outside and see all the diverse life filling the Earth. One of my main reasons for enjoying my trips to the Desert is for some inexplicable reason I feel much closer to Jehovah God when I am there.

Cathy_NMH said...

Love, love, LOVE this post, John.
And just as good...the other great prayers and comments.

Be blessed.

Cathy

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Aaron Thoroman said...

Hey John I just got on this account!

I loved your Prayer comments! I'm glad you're staying in touch with Him.

Aaron in Colorado