Prayer: Begin With The End In Mind

Today, we continue our series on prayer, and on being identified with Christ, with a prayer from the Sarum Primer. The Sarum Primer is a collection of prayers first published in 1514. And, while today’s prayer is only one of the collection, it is often simply referred to by the title of the collection, The Sarum Primer.

We pray first the prayer itself, followed by deeper contemplation of each piece of the prayer. As you pray, reflect on the multitude of our brothers and sisters in Christ, who, down through the centuries, have prayed this same prayer, each in their own need and place. Selah.

Let us pray:

God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in mine eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking;
God be at mine end, and at my departing.
                                      

Contemplation:

God be in my head
and in my understanding;

Father, our minds are constantly fed from newspapers, television, and conversations with others. Renew our minds. Help us to filter what we read and what we hear, to discern Truth, and from Truth, your Providential Will. We pray for all those involved in leadership in our communities and in governments around the world. Give them wisdom and understanding in decision making, particularly in those situations which impact the least of those among us. And help us remember it starts in each of our hearts.

God be in my eyes
and in my looking;

Father, let us see the world through your eyes. Thank you for those things we see that bring us joy. The first flowers of spring. The rising sun. The face of a friend. A redeemed saint. Show us the things we need to see. Show us the people and situations that need your help, and to listen for and respond to your promptings to step up.

God be in my mouth
and in my speaking;

Jesus, thank you that you choose to use us to reach the world with Your love. Guide us to engage our brain before we engage our tongue and to speak words that build up and don’t tear down. We pray for healing where our words have hurt, and we ask forgiveness for the times when we have said the wrong thing. Thank you for the words of love you speak to us. Speak through us, Lord, that others might know your love in their lives.

God be in my heart
and in my thinking;

Lord, lots of things dominate our thoughts. Many of these things are worries we have for friends or family. We lift up to you now those people and situations that are on our minds. And, while our prayer is for healing, renewal, and salvation, we ask for and trust completely in your will being accomplished. Help us to hold our focus on what you have written on our hearts. And to love as you love us.

God be at my end
and in my departing.

Father, we pray for all those who are coming to the end of their lives. That you will be with each of them. Let not one be lost but for the lack of our speaking up.  We pray for their care-givers, families, and loved ones. Be with each of us at our ending and remind us that each day with you is a new beginning.

Once more, then, with feeling and as an amen;

God be in my head
and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes
and in my looking;
God be in my mouth
and in my speaking;
God be in my heart
and in my thinking;
God be at my end
and in my departing.

Selah.

Adapted from work by Rector Bryony Taylor, https://bryonytaylor.com/

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