Call to Prayer - May 26, 2020

Author: The Rev. Elizabeth McCord

Published Date: 5/26/2020

Categories: Social Spiritual Life


In difficult and uncertain times, many of us find courage by leaning into our faith. Each week, I’ll invite any of you who wish to join me in spiritual reflection. I’ll provide a written prayer, but I hope each of you will use the words, rituals or practices most meaningful and authentic for you. Please contact me if you’d like to share specific prayer requests or just check in at chaplain@carrollu.edu. You and your loved ones are in my prayers every day.

This Week's Reflection

Elizabeth McCord
The Rev. Elizabeth McCord

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

 
Adapted from the work of 20th Century American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, the “Serenity Prayer” has offered comfort and courage across generations and contexts, most notably in 12-step recovery programs. The contemplative prayer practice below draws from the Serenity Prayer’s themes.  It invites us to discern what we can and cannot change in our lives—something that has become ever more challenging during COVID-19.  This week, take some time for prayerful reflection, and seek the serenity, courage, and wisdom you need to find greater peace.

  • Find a quiet space. Take a few deep breaths. Invite yourself into the Presence of the Holy, and seek God’s wisdom for this time of prayer and discernment.

  • Let your awareness dive within. Consider without judgement what weighs most heavily on your heart and mind today.   

  • After simply observing the circumstances, decisions, people, and feelings that arise, go back and review each matter. Consider honestly what is out of your hands, and note those things that you have both the ability and responsibility to affect, change or redirect. 

  • Practice letting go of those things that are beyond your control. They are not yours to carry. Your worry will not change them. You can only accept them as they are and seek God’s grace.

  • Practice seeking courage for those things you are able and responsible to address. What do you need to move forward? Is there anyone who can support you in carrying this burden? What inner and outer resources can help make this change manageable? Ask God for what you need. Allow yourself to be empowered by grace.

  • Take a few deep breaths. Embrace any clarity you have received through your prayer. Allow yourself to rest a few more moments in stillness, gratitude and calm. 

  • Go in peace to love and serve. Amen.

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