Hey team! Every Friday in the month of November, my Blog Contributors and I will be sharing our favorite prayers and why we love them so much, why we find them so impactful. If you haven’t checked out some of our Blog Contributors’ awesome work, you should here and here and also here.
I’ll be kicking things off this first Friday with a morning prayer–appropriate, I think, for our first prayer. This, I don’t believe, is in your average li’l red prayer book–at least, it’s not in mine. I’ve added it to my morning prayers though. It was introduced to me in a little prayer book someone made for me at camp arts & crafts this past year, and I’ve used it ever since. It is the Morning Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, and it goes as such:
O Lord, grant that I may meet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely upon Thy Holy Will.
In every hour of the day, reveal Thy will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that comes to me
throughout the day with peace of soul,
and with the firm conviction that Thy will governs all.
In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by Thee.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me the strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will.
Teach me to pray.
Pray Thou Thyself in me.
Wow. I’m still such a big fan. New little nuggets stand out to me every time I read it through.
I like beginning my day with this prayer for two big reasons. Firstly, because of my personal struggles, if there’s anything with which I need to ‘meet the coming day’, it’s peace. I think that holds true for a lot of us, but I can only speak for myself, and I know I need that peace.
Naturally. I’m controlling. I’m focused on outcomes. I’m willful. And just that opening line, sometimes it gives me pause, and I find myself really thinking about what it means and repeating it. “Lord, grant me to meet the coming day in peace.” I’m going to meet it, Lord–the coming day is, indeed, coming, and there is no way to stop life’s arrival. But if I am to meet it peacefully, I need Your help.
Secondly, and in a similar vein, at the end of the prayer, the supplicant asks for ‘the strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring’. I just realized that both of my favorite lines are in reference to the ‘coming day’. That’s really cool, and it speaks to why we should think about what we think, think about why we feel what we feel–that introspection, that checking of yo’ self, reveals new truths. This prayer is so forward-oriented, so future-focused, and that’s in harmony with my attitude towards life. I didn’t realize that until right now. How rad is that?
As well as being future-focused, this prayer is honest–I think that’s my favorite part. Not to say other prayers are deceitful, but to say this prayer is plain, it is unabashed–really, it’s human. There’s an inherent admission in the prayer–the coming day will bring fatigue. No way around it. In the midst of praying in the morning, in the midst of starting my day in the BEST possible way…I’m still aware that the day will be trying, will be toilsome.
That’s amazing. How desperately we wish prayer would just take our struggles away, but that’s not the deal. Even in prayer, in the morning, when nothing could have possibly gone wrong yet!–the coming day will bring fatigue, and I need Your strength, Lord, if I am to bear it.
So, that is the Morning Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow. I hope you can find some use in it–or, seeing it’s example, you can turn to your own favorite prayers and start wondering why they mean as much to you as they do. Until then, look out next Friday, for the next prayer.