A prayer …

I’ve been especially focusing my thoughts on the beatitudes in recent days. After the jump is a prayer that they inspired.

God, our Creator, thank you for the gift of Jesus. He walked among us embodying your creative and life-giving Word in his body, his life, his words, his deeds, his sufferings, his death, and his resurrection. When we see him loving the outcast, forgiving the sinner, confronting the hypocrite, and teaching the crowds a new way of life, we see your heart, your compassion, your mercy, your character. To know Jesus is to love him, and to love him is to know him, and to know and love him is to know and love you.
So help me, Lord, to be among your disciples who come to you to be taught.
Help me, Lord, to be among the poor in spirit, to see and know that your kingdom is my homeland even now …
Help me, Lord, to be among those who mourn, to join you in your sadness for all that’s wrong and broken in this world, and in joining you, to find true comfort.
Help me, Lord, to be among the meek, those who find strength in weakness and power in vulnerability, to never fear lack or want, because when I have your love, I have all the world.
Help me, Lord, to desire justice, rightness, goodness, fairness, cleanness, clearness, and integrity more than I hunger for food or thirst for water … and so let me find the truest fulfillment and satisfaction.
Help me, Lord, to be among the merciful. Help me to be a true friend to those who are hated, misunderstood, rejected, excluded, disregarded … just as you, God of Mercy, are. When others fail – when they fail me – help me show the same mercy you show to those who fail you … including me.
Help me, Lord, to be among the pure in heart. May your pure light shine in my heart and dispel every shadow, every layer and fold that conceals or pretends. Since it is only the heart that sees you, remove from my heart everything that keeps me from seeing you.
Help me, Lord, to be among the makers of peace. Many build walls. Many sow fear and distrust. Many spread rumors. Many inflame conflict and profit from it. Help me to be even among them an agent and messenger of your peace and reconciliation, and so bear your family likeness, God of peace.
Help me, Lord, not to fear being among the persecuted, but rather, to rejoice in having the honor of standing for your restorative justice and rightness, so I will see that your kingdom is my homeland, even now.
Help me, Lord, to be among those who suffer wrong well and with grace. Help me not to resent it, not to fear it, not to seek to escape it. Instead, help me to find joy in it … when others insult me, make my life more difficult, or falsely malign me because of you. Help me to see through the momentary, light trouble to the lasting and weighty reward, even now, for your kingdom comes by suffering rather than by making others suffer.
So help me, Lord, to be among your disciples who come to you to be taught. I am a limping, broken sinner and beginner, far from these realities, but this is where I want to go. In your mercy, lead me in this path. Amen.
(a meditation on Matthew 5:1-12)