My “O Lord!” Prayers: A Story

As I mentioned in a recent blog (Information Time Change), I purchased the Kindle e-reader.  This was not an easy move for me, as I am no techie, and I have above average frustration with new technologies.  But to my initial surprise I can see some wonderful advantages to an e-reader.  I’ve purchased several e-books for mine and have begun reading on the Kindle.  (The Orthodox Study Bible is available as well as several Orthodox Prayer Books.  The entire 4 Volume PHILOKALIA is available for 99 cents).   I have not come close to mastering the techniques of the Kindle nor how its creators envisioned its use.  I’m still thinking “book” as I try to figure out how to use the technology.  It does require some rethinking –  there are no page numbers, just Kindle location numbers.  I don’t know how to easily determine “how many Kindle location numbers are left until the end of the chapter.”  So I can’t readily determine how much longer am I going to keep reading.   Rethinking.   That’s what is required.  It’s not just an electronic book, it is literature in a new format.

I’m writing all of this to get to the point of this blog, but there is one more stretch of road to the story.

I am an avid reader.  And even though I have given away many books through the years (no, I don’t have a single text book from college or grad school, but yes I do have books from seminary), I have 6 bookcases full of books, many shelves stacked double depth.

I tried a couple of years ago to get rid of some books (3 cartons full), but that made hardly a dent in the collection.   My e-reader was a better inspiration to shed some of that old “technology” – the printed and bound book – to lighten the load.   So I boxed up 11 cartons of books I deemed either that I would never read them again, or that I have never looked at again since I first read them, and donated them to the local library.

The process of culling books turned up a few old papers and notes of mine that I had long since forgotten.  Some were wedged between books, but I have no idea why I put them there.   One was recorded in an old spiral bound green wide ruled notebook.  The cover listed the course as “Civics” written in my brother’s hand writing with his name printed below the course title.  There was exactly one sheet of the paper left in the notebook.  On the inside of the front and back cover, and filling the front and back of the lone wide ruled page was a collection of short prayers.

At one point in my teen years I had an intense interest in God.   I copied these prayers from books that I was reading at that time.  Unfortunately I did not record where the prayers came from, or who their authors were.   The prayers spoke to me at that time, profoundly.  That much I remember.

When I saw the green notebook, I remembered hand printing these prayers in block letters, but don’t  remember where I got them from.  I don’t believe any were originally written by me.  I was simply copying prayers that spoke to me at that time.  They came from things I was reading at that time.

Sometime after writing these prayers down, I went through a period of total disbelief in God.   The hand written prayers sat unused for awhile, and then toward the end of my college days I came back to a belief in God and used these prayers again.  Eventually time passed on, and the one paged notebook was forgotten amidst my ever growing library.  It emerged as I was looking for books that I was going to give away.

I’ll include a couple prayers here and then the rest in two more blogs.  Each prayer is complete in itself and not related to the one before or after.  They are simply in the order I recorded them.   And that notebook?  Put it in the recycle bin.  The prayers have a new electronic life.

O Lord!  Your Name is Love: do not cast me away, erring as I am.  Your Name is Power: strengthen me, who so often grow weak and fall. Your Name is Light: enlighten my soul, darkened by earthly passions.  Your Name is Peace: appease my troubled soul.  Your Name is Mercy: do not cease to forgive me.

O Lord!  Grant me a simple, kind, open, believing, loving, and generous heart, worthy of being Your dwelling place, O Most Gracious!

O Lord!  Give me nothing – except only to love You with all my mind, heart, soul and strength, and my neighbor and my enemy as myself.

Next:  My “O Lord” Prayers (A)

The Word, The Information, and The Bit (PDF)

My recent blog series which began with the blog The Word, The Information and The Bit (I) is now also available as a PDF at  The Word, The Information and The Bit  (PDF).  The blog series is my reflecting on  James Gleick’s book THE INFORMATION: A HISTORY, A THEORY, A FLOOD .

I wrote some other blogs also based on Gleick’s book which may offer some insight into what originally persuaded me to read his tome:

From Incarnation to Encryption

Knowledge and Wisdom, Fact and Truth

Information Time Change

Through the Cross Joy Has Come Into the World

“There are times when following the way can be hard and it is certainly not ‘fun and games,’ but for those who are called, it is a far safer road than any we could mark out for ourselves.

We look to Christ, and try to ‘walk as He walked.’ There are times when the life of any disciple of Christ may be like the Garden of Gethsemane and Golgotha and he may be called to suffer as He suffered.

But when this is a true Cross, taken up in the spirit of Christ, there will be joy in the suffering, just as the Lord did not look upon His ‘going up to Jerusalem’ as a ‘horrible sacrifice’ He was ‘forced to make.’ He did it freely and ‘for the joy that was set before Him.’”

(Mother Raphaela, Living in Christ: Essays on the Christian Life by an Orthodox Nun, pg. 59)