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You are more friend to me than I am to myself

December 10, 2010

Here’s a prayer sent to me by my lovely friend, Stephanie.  I’m going to post it everywhere so now and then I can take a breath and rest.  I hope you enjoy and use it during the rush and stress of this holy season.

O God!
Refresh and gladden my spirit.
Purify my heart. 
Illumine my powers.
I lay all my affairs in Thy hand.
Thou art my Guide and my Refuge.
I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved;
I will be a happy and joyful being.
O God!
I will no longer be full of anxiety,
nor will I let trouble harass me.
I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.
O God!
Thou are more friend to me than I am to myself.
I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.
                                      'Abdu'l-Baha

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. planejaner permalink
    December 10, 2010 9:25 am

    Nancy–
    here I sit in front of my computer with papers and cards strewn about, list after list of things to do that I am trying to boil down to their essentials…just feeling flustered and busy and on fire–and I haven’t yet finished my cuppa joe or yet wiped the sleep from my eyes…

    and in pops this poem…

    and my heart is still
    my soul finds silence
    God is with me

    blessings
    jane

  2. December 10, 2010 1:21 pm

    How lovely! I needed to hear this in Haiti this afternoon!
    Blessings to you from Port-au-Prince,
    Kathy

    • December 10, 2010 3:57 pm

      Kathryn, I know you must need to rest every moment to deal with all you must face daily. My prayers are with you and all you come in contact with. And those you don’t!
      Nancy

  3. December 10, 2010 1:31 pm

    I get two conflicting emotions when I read a prayer along this theme. First I don’t want to project a sense of entitlement for God’s blessings. I don’t want to have a sense of complacency by “turning it over.” either. Only half the people are paying maintenance in my condo townhouse association and if it collapses I lose everything I have and what am I to do with myself and my 87 year old parents, of whom I am the sole care taker? But somehow things go on another month and I am ashamed of not having faith. And then comes to mind Mathew 6:26. “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns: yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” And there’s the old hymn they taught me when I was a little boy down at the Presbyterian church:

    What a Friend we have in Jesus
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer.
    O what peace we often forfeit
    O what needless pain we bear
    All because we do not carry
    everything to God in Prayer.

    • December 10, 2010 4:32 pm

      Carl, you have put into words the conflict I face every time I utter a prayer. We are so whipped by the football players who pray that the Rams will be blessed by God and the Vikings won’t. And we feel such survivor guilt when we see we’ve been spared a heart ache or a tragedy and another hasn’t. God can seem so much like a grand old chess player or a vexatious, capricious joker meting out zings or gold coins, whatever HIS fancy. These metaphorical Gods are so ingrained in us they’re hard to set aside. My favorite way of approaching prayer and worship is to throw all that I’ve been taught away, and revel (sound animistic or hedonistic? – well?) in the beauty of what touches me – smiles, sighs, animal fur, bird songs, cold, crisp air, crunchy snow, the murmur of leaves. This is the God that is All That Is. I try to “think on these things.” Once a time ago I did this, and I became an ostrich. Now, I can see what I tried to avoid — the pain and suffering I saw around me. I don’t like it, but I also don’t try to explain or wish it away. I’m not liking very much the things about myself and my world that are cruel, and I don’t know why they are the way they are. I just try to smile and bring a drop of love and comfort however I can, and curb my greediness, and see our human trajectory on earth as something dangerous and hurtful, and try to teach whoever will listen that there are more conscious, conscientious, caring ways to live. And if I were to speak at this moment, this very moment, about God, I’d tell you that That (capital T) is What we’re all about — and That Is God’s work. I’m only one person, but there are a lot of us “one persons” out here. So, dear new friend, let’s let our lives become the prayer that trusts and rests in the Good That we know, That doesn’t worry like the little birds, and That revels in the glory around us. We can’t become ostriches; our hearts are too full of love for others to not be moved by their plights. We see, we love, we heal, we bless, we cry, we howl, we get angry, we make mistakes, we break laws, we forgive, and we try harder. But most of all, we love. And every minute of everyday, we ask to be more and more able to hold more and more love. And we rest, and breathe, and say thank you.

      • December 10, 2010 9:56 pm

        You are very wise here. The big problem is unmerited suffering and we don’t like it. I don’t think that at the beginning of the universe God said: “Well, a bazillion years from now I will make a hurricane come in 2008 and blow the roof of the widow Mrs. Wilson’s house. ” It not God. It’s the geophysics of the planet that did that. I am not particularly interested in being under the God of the Old Testament. He is vindictive, jealous, punitive, wrathful, to be feared, and assists the Israelites in murdering other people. I think we attribute human emotions (anthropomorphism and personification) on God and certainly God is not capable of these things. The God of the New Testament is loving and restorative and of life, not death or an eye for an eye. He cannot own these human frailties. You are wise in concluding that each of us need to understand that we cannot understand and keep our side of the street clean being directed by the Holy Spirit in all things despite what ever good or evil or unfortunate events are going on around us. We must continue to do the best we can in spite of it all. When facing very sad things I hear many people say “God is testing me.” I tell them God does not test your faith. (that’s a destructive influence of Job)It is evil thats tests you and God fortifies you to resist and rise above Adam’s Fall. Please keep me subscribed as there are only two or three others on these blogs with whom I can discuss there matters. My blog is mostly humor and cartoons so in is an inappropriate forum for such matters. I an BA and MA religion/history and did my paper on the religious disputes of the New England Puritans from 1630 to 1670 and how this divided the Puritans into camps of either Presbyterians or Congregationalists or sometimes a combination of both. Regards, new friend.

      • December 13, 2010 7:59 am

        I’m so glad you’re around to counter the thoughts like “God is testing me.” To me, and again, I don’t understand it, what I consider to be “God” is all creation – the most beautiful, wonderful, aweful, incredible world, universe, multiverse, cosmos and all the extraordinary (or perhaps just plane ordinary) things that dwell therein. (Think of the orderliness of the seeds of a drying sunflower – ugly beautiful. And all the awful things that happen that cause so much suffering. I don’t understand, but it’s all part of All That Is – the Great Whatever!!! Which fills me to bursting.

        I’m glad to make your acquaintance and I look forward to many moments of sharing. Nancy

  4. Lost In A Cornfield permalink
    December 12, 2010 9:39 am

    Nancy,
    It never ceases to amaze me that you or Jane will post exactly what I need when I need it.

    I have been struggling with letting go of someone very dear. She is joyful because she knows she has her time has come and she is ready. With this ringing in my heart I saw her for what may be our last visit. With this in mind I was able to see and understand the joy and appreciate the time for the gift it is. Thank you for sharing and making our visit a beautiful experience.

    JaimeLynne

    • December 13, 2010 8:07 am

      JaimeLynne, soooooo good to hear from you. I’ve really missed my friends. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with the passage of your dear friend. Her gain of peace and joy is your loss, and my heart goes out to you. The gift of her will remain in your heart daily from now on. She will be there — only a thought away. But I know you long for her skin-on existence with you. That’s the hard part. The missing also stays with us in some sort of joyful pain. ( I lost my best friend 7 years ago and she’s always with me, yet I long to sit and have our hearts join over a cup of coffee and a paint brush). Just remember, the Friend Inside will comfort you in your missing and will remind you of the Love That is always there. That in Itself will sustain you.
      My love to you, Nancy

  5. December 18, 2010 12:13 pm

    Lovely prayer.
    🙂

    • December 20, 2010 6:03 am

      THank you, sweet Punam! I see I have an email from you. It will be so nice to connect again. Love Nancy

    • December 30, 2010 12:20 pm

      Dear Punam — I’m so happy to see your lovely face. All these months and I didn’t know how beautiful you were outside. You’re as pretty as I thought you’d be from having learned how beautiful you are on the inside. I love the pristine tulips and your picture. I pushed the” link to”button, but I’m not quite sure what that means.

      Did I write to you or just imagine writing to you about how happy you are?

      Love
      Nancy

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  1. You are more friend to me than I am to myself (via Embracing Myself) « PlaneJaner's Journey

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