A Franciscan Benediction









A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort

At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,

So that you may live deep within your heart.


May God bless you with anger

At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,

So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.


May God bless you with tears

To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,

So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and

To turn their pain into joy.


May God bless you with enough foolishness

To believe that you can make a difference in the world,

So that you can do what others claim cannot be done

To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.


(from many sources, including Prayer, Does It Make Any Difference by Philip Yancey, p. 105)

Pray Your Way Through 2011

Perhaps one of your New Year’s goals is to pray more. Well, January is a good time to pray and ask God what major issues or topics He wants you to zero in on for the year. Of course, as the year goes along, you’ll find plenty of things, people and situations to pray for. But right now we can all take some time to seek God on what ongoing requests He wants you to focus on for 2011. Mary and I were just talking about this the other day and decided to share our Top 6 Prayer List of what we’re focusing on this year.

Top 6 Prayer List for 2011

1.     Pray that we can love God with all our hearts. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

2.     Pray that we can believe God to do big things in our lives. (Ephesians 3:20,21)

3.     Pray for perseverance. (2 Peter 1:5-7)

4.     Pray for persecuted Christians. (2Thessalonians 3:1-2)

5.     Pray for justice for the oppressed. (Psalm 103:6)

6.     Pray that we would be developing and using our God-given gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).

You may be led to similar prayer goals, or God may reveal to you totally different goals. One of the challenges with goals is actually doing them or keeping them. What I decided to do to help keep these fresh before me for the whole year is to write each goal on its own index card and keep it in my prayer card file. I’ll use a larger 4 x 6 size card. (See Ready, Set, Pray if you need suggestions to help you establish a prayer time.) As I go through the year, I’m going to record any specific requests or how I see God working in these areas on the appropriate cards.

Set aside some time tonight or over the weekend to ask God what your prayer priorities should be this year. If you want to share any of your prayer goals for the year, just leave a comment. We’d love to hear them.

Click to listen to the Pray Your Way Through 2011 podcast.

Pray on!