Praying for … me?
Published 8:27 am Thursday, August 23, 2018
Dear God: Please, Teach me. Keep me. Hold me. Help me. I want to be better than I was yesterday. Amen. — From Christian Today
I found this prayer to be helpful and use it frequently. But should prayer always be about me? Shouldn’t I be more concerned about the needs of others? Of course, we should. But …
When airline attendants review safety instructions with the passengers before every flight, they talk about the oxygen mask that pops out of the ceiling. During an emergency, the temptation is to help a child or older adult put on their mask first, before adjusting your own. That answer sounds noble but wrong. The instructions are to put the mask on yourself first. Why? Because you are better equipped to then help someone else. Can this same principle apply to prayer? Praying for myself will better equip me to then pray for others.
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Dear God: Please, teach me as I inspire others. Keep me as I help others feel secure. Hold me as I demonstrate God’s love to my neighbor. Help me as I become a servant for my community. I want to be better than I was yesterday to be a better witness for everyone.
Jesus says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) Why do we need to learn to love ourselves more? Melody Beattie lists nine good reasons:
When we tell ourselves how we feel and accept our feelings, we can tell others. When we can accept what we want and need, we will be ready to have our wants and needs met. When we can accept what we think and believe and accept what’s important to us, we can relay this to others. When we learn to take ourselves seriously, others will too. When we can learn to chuckle at ourselves, we will be ready to laugh with others. When we can learn to trust ourselves, we will be trustworthy and ready to trust. When we can be grateful for who we are, we will have achieved self-love. When we have achieved self-love and accepted our wants and needs, we will be ready to give and receive love. When we’ve learned to stand on our own two feet, we’re ready to stand next to someone. — Language of Letting Go
When we learn to pray for ourselves, we are better equipped to stand before God and earnestly pray for others. So, Dear God, Please: Teach me. Keep me. Hold me. Help me. I want to be better than I was yesterday. Amen
REV. LARRY E. DAVIES can be reached at email@example.com.