The time has come. This is the month we leave for our two year stay in Tanzania. We have gone through the difficult process of preparation: sorting our possessions, having yard sales, selling items, donating items, throwing out junk, downsizing in many ways, and determining what we should bring with us. In the end, we are in a better situation for having removed the unnecessary, excess stuff from our lives.
Recently I came across a prayer from a daily devotional book entitled A Diary of Private Prayer , by John Baillie, that spoke to my heart. I would like for this to be our own prayer as we seek to give of ourselves in service to our African brothers and sisters.
O Divine Love, who dost everlastingly stand outside closed doors of the souls of men, knocking ever again and again, wilt Thou not now give me grace to throw open all my soul’s doors? Tonight let every bolt and bar be drawn that has hitherto robbed my life of air and light and love.
Give me an open ear, O God, that I may hear Thy voice calling me to high endeavor. Too often have I been deaf to the appeals Thou hast addressed to me, but now give me courage to answer, “Here am I, send me”. And when any one of Thy children, my human brothers, cries out in need, give me then an open ear to hear in that cry Thy call to service.
Give me an open mind, O God, a mind ready to receive and to welcome such new light of knowledge as it is Thy will to reveal to me. Let not the past ever be so dear to me as to set a limit to the future. Give me courage to change my mind, when that is needed. Let be tolerant to the thoughts of others and hospitable to such light as may come to me through them.
Give me open eyes, O God, eyes quick to discover Thine indwelling in the world which Thou hast made. Let all lovely things fill me with gladness and let them uplift my mind to Thine everlasting loveliness. Forgive all my past blindness to the grandeur and glory of nature, to the charm of little children, to the sublimities of human story, and to all the intimations of Thy presence which these things contain.
Give me open hand, O God, hands ready to share with all who are in want, the blessings with which Thou hast enriched my life. Deliver me from all meanness and miserliness. Let me hold my money in stewardship and all my worldly goods in trust for Thee; to whom now be all honor and glory. Amen.
There is much to meditate on and learn from this tremendous prayer. Allow me to suggest that you take time to ponder it deeply and to make it your own prayer in whatever situation you find yourself.
And pray for us also, that we may be given the grace to live this prayer daily.
Moving forward in joy,
Moving forward in joy,