"There's no need to fear, Under Dog is here!" - Underdog
"Up, up and away!" - Superman
"Avengers assemble!" - Captain America
"Wonder Twin powers, activate! Form of an iceberg!" - Wonder Twins
So, I was reading through a book on leadership the other day and found this awesome prayer. (At any one given time you can find me reading a broad spectrum of topics, from leadership to parenting to nutrition and recipes to biographies and topics specific to women and conquering the world...)
Here is a list of titles of the pile of books next to my bed currently, in case you are bored or don't have some reading materials of your own:
- NIV Study Bible by God
- The Skinnygirl Dish by Bethenny Frankel
- Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro
- How Babies Talk by Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, PhD and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD
- Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist
- The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook by Cybele Pascal
- The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss
- The Healthy Child by our doctors at Partners in Pediatrics (Ryan and Em are both sick...)
- No Compromise, The Life Story of Keith Green by Melody Green and David Hazard
- I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui
- The Secrets Women Keep by Dr. Jill Hubbard
- Climbing the Ladder in Stilettos by Lynette Lewis
- When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin
Okay, so, back to the prayer I found in "Leading on Empty," page 103. Jason and I have been praying about some specific things lately, seeking God for His direction and will, waiting on Him for open and closed doors and directives for the next season of life. Well, I hadn't actually looked at this book in a few weeks and snatched it up the other day, seeing I hadn't left a bookmark in the book. The thought "Chapter 7" came to my mind, so I sat down and started reading. The heading, "Monks to the Rescue" stood out to me so I started reading what is currently my favorite prayer! Here is the author's adaptation to a prayer once written by the Franciscan Monks who started serving the Lord in the early 1200's.
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, hard hearts, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live from deep within your heart where God's Spirit dwells.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world and in your neighborhood, so you will courageously try what you don't think you can do, but in Jesus Christ you'll have the strength necessary to do.
May God bless you so you remember we are all called to continue God's redemptive work of love and healing in God's place, in and through God's name, in God's Spirit, continually creating and breathing new life and grace into everything and everyone we touch.
Side note: When I was in elementary school some of the priests at my church wore long brown robes with rope waist ties and large wooden bead rosaries. Picture Friar Tuck in Robinhood and that's totally the look. My dad informed me they were Franciscan priests who had taken oaths of poverty in order to rid their hearts and minds from distractions of the world and serve the poor and outcast. For those hungry for history, it was started by Italian Giovanni Bernardore, known as Francesco by his father, and finally called Francis, who is known to us today as St. Francis of Assisi.
Anyway, throughout history the Franciscan order has morphed and changed, but one thing we have from them is recorded prayers. I haven't practiced Catholicism in almost 25 years, but this prayer is without boundaries of denomination. Heck, it's without boundaries altogether!
I LOVE it because it's totally the way God works!
God works in OPPOSITE WORLD! He doesn't do things the way we think He should and, as a result, it helps our eyes be opened to life as it was meant to be...selfless, without hindrances, lived to the fullest extent, full of love, without hate, lived out in complete trust, encouraging others along the way.
My favorite part of the prayer, at least for right now, is the part that says, "May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world and in your neighborhood, so you will courageously try what you don't think you can do, but in Jesus Christ you'll have the strength necessary to do."
If that part of the prayer doesn't make you want to tear open the front of your shirt to reveal your superhero insignia, I don't know what will!
No matter what hat you wear, what title is before or after your name, where you work, if you are out of work, or if your over-time job is that of being a mom, God is the One Who can give us strength to face ANYTHING! ANYTHING! ANYTHING!
Don't let the opinions of others pull you down! Don't believe lies!
God made you ON PURPOSE! He has plans for you!
And if anyone ever accuses you of having the audacity to believe you can actually change the world for the good, just thank them and keep going, because with God's strength, literally anything is possible!