At Christchurch this summer we’re trying out various spiritual disciplines (sometimes called spiritual practices) to see which of them God will use to transform our character. The goal of any discipline is not to become excellent in the discipline, but to become excellent in something higher and deeper. You practice your golf swing merely to give you a better looking swing, but to make you a better golfer. Practicing the scales is a means by which you can become a better musician. And better music makes the world a better place.
This week’s practice is a particular kind of praying — a simple prayer to be prayed again and again. Many people are familiar with “The Serenity Prayer” in its short form. I heartily recommend the longer form found below.
The purpose of prayer is to connect us to God, to open a two-way channel for him to bless, guide, and correct as he sees fit. The Serenity Prayer is not an end in itself, but a means to a more effective life of loving God and neighbor.
Pray it morning and night for the rest of the week. Let it begin to shape how you see your world: a place of limits and opportunities which require much wisdom, wisdom which God so freely grants to those who seek him.
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Pastor Mark loves his wife and grown children, the Word of God, and words. And coffee,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)
Christchurch Evangelical Covenant • 1900 Congress Street • Portland, Maine 04102 • 207-775-1900 • firstname.lastname@example.org