Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, I trust that You are well and healthy. Make sure that You and Your loved ones take some vitamins as the weather is changing and I can already see the locals sneezing and snivelling. Lots of orange juice, please.
This week I would like to point out the benefits of the short prayer.
Are short prayers not simply lazy versions of their longer counterparts? No. The reality is that it is easier to mean a short prayer as they necessitate less time within which to be distracted. They remind me of the (fake) tale of Major General Charles Napier – his orders had been only to put down the Muslim rebels: by conquering the whole Sindh Province, he greatly exceeded his mandate. Napier was supposed to have dispatched to his superiors the short, notable message, “Peccavi”, the Latin for “I have sinned” (which was a pun on I have Sindh). Peccavi is in fact an excellent prayer. When You sin, recite this word. But think of what You have done wrong rather than of the fake Napier tale of brevity.
Think snooker. If You take too long getting into position, checking the angles and working out the next ten moves ahead, You miss the shot. the same with praying. If You choose a great, long prayer You’ll be thinking about changing gas companies by halfway through. Distraction is the Devil’s doing.
I think the best time to pray is in the morning. Before work for those of You who are not retired or unemployed. The short prayer that works best is this one:
I give you all that I am this day.
Please brush away my weariness,
So that I may be inspired in my work.
Help me to discover new ways to reveal your love to all I meet.
Keep my mind clear and focused on all I need to achieve,
And give me the wisdom to overcome difficulties and find solutions.
I look to you and trust you are with me this day.
A good nighttime prayer (on one’s knees as it’s hard to fall asleep on one’s knees) is the following one, depending on Your age:
Thank you for today, for all the ways in which I have known you…
For the sunrise and the birdsong
For the music I’ve heard, and the things I’ve enjoyed
For the meals, and for the cosy home I live in
For my close family and for my special friends
Most of all, thank you for being beside me through each moment.
May I dream good dreams and arise again tomorrow to thank you once more.
I trust that these prayers help You. I wish You all a wonderful week ahead and a peaceful Sunday. May God’s blessings rest upon You today. May His peace be with You and His joy fill your heart. I pray that God’s goodness and mercy shall follow You. May He carry You from glory to glory.