This is a prayer I wrote on January 27, 2008. I was curious about what was going on in my life at the time so I pulled out my old journal. It turns out I had just come home from the hospital after a six-day stay for post-surgical infection. I was also quite upset at the status of some crimes we were prosecuting regarding sexual abuse against children. At the same time, I was in the aftermath of leaving one church to move to another one. The move was less voluntary than I would have liked it to be, even though I did “resign.” Some people were upset (pro and con) that I had left the pulpit of that church. Others were concerned about my recent hospital stay. Back at work, there were victims and police officers with various complaints large and small. I began to have a keen sense that there was a lot of complaint in the world. Importantly, I saw a lot of complaint (let me baptize that and call it lament) in my journal. I was fussy! Out of that experience came this prayer that I have laminated and posted on my desk, not for its rhetorical splendor or originality, both of which are lacking, but because I feel this one so deeply:
Help me to see the world the way you see it.
Break my heart with the things that break yours.
Give me joy with the things that give you joy.
Help me to care much about the things which concern you most,
And help me to emphasize less things that concern you less.
Create a new spirit inside me:
Adjust my heart until it beats in rhythm with yours.
Mold my desires until I want what you want.
Lord Jesus, show me your heart
Give me your heart
I’m desperate for you Lord
I want to know you, even in this life.
Lord give me a glimpse
and then empower me to live it.