Here's a famous prayer for today:
The Prayer of St Richard of Chichester
St Richard, who was Bishop of Chichester for eight years in the mid-13th century, was well acquainted with both hard work and suffering. Though a gifted scholar and lawyer, he did not flinch from physical labour; and as Bishop he found himself a homeless outcast in his own diocese, until King Henry III finally accepted his appointment by the Pope. His prayer reflects the commitment and 'stickability' needed by anyone who seeks to be a true follower of Jesus.
Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which you have given us,
for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.
To think about.....
- How do you feel about the idea that Jesus Christ endured pains and insults for your sake? Does it help you to cope with suffering and rejection in your own life?
- Is your knowledge of the Lord's presence becoming clearer as you go through life? Would you like it to? What do you think helps - praying? reading the Bible? being with other Christians? anything else?
The prayer acknowledges that Christians don't become saints overnight! Instead, there is a gradual (and sometimes uncomfortable) re-orientation of our lives into God's way. Why not use this prayer (or your own words) to ask Jesus to help you take just one small step forward in the Christian life?