A Morning Prayer (and its backstory)

Ground me in your love,
   And fill me with your grace,
      That it may overflow and fill those around me.

Help me be faithful
   As you are faithful.

Guide me in your wisdom.
   Grant me right judgment,
      Wielded with mercy and charity.

Help me exercise a hermeneutic of generosity,
   Always imagining the benevolence
      And best intentions of others.

Wither away my fear and insecurity.
   Let them crumble to ash,
      And blow them away like chaff,

While the good seed of generosity
   Blooms and ripens
      And yields a hundredfold.

In your mercy and your care
   For me and those around me,
      Let me yield good fruit.


I was leafing through an old journal the other day, and came across a whole section that I’d used as a prayer journal, faithfully writing morning prayers before work, evening prayers after work, and sometimes night prayers before bed. Leafing a bit further back, I saw that this period began about the same time I started working with a spiritual director, in January 2014. She must have suggested it.

Most of them are quite personal, in the sense that they included specific personal and interpersonal situations I was dealing with; but I thought this one was lovely, and general enough to share.

In early 2014, I was in my last semester of grad school, finishing up my master’s thesis, and still very much thinking in an academic register, which is how that word “hermeneutic” got in there. 😇

A hermeneutic is an interpretive lens, a perspective through which you interpret something such as scripture or doctrine, or anything, really. The idea of a hermeneutic of generosity was relatively new to me, but really resonated with my lifelong belief that people may not always live up to your expectations if you expect the best, but they will probably live down to them if you expect the worst.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this prayer, and especially about any experience you’ve had with the practice of prayer journalling. Drop a comment here, or find me on Twitter.

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