A week or so ago I found a prayer that struck me as very powerful, and very relevant to my life.  I have a book of famous Christian prayers, and I often read one or two to my children at bedtime.  They are prayers of blessing, of wisdom, of protection and thanksgiving.
Tonight, while tucking my daughter into bed, she said ‘Papa, I found a prayer I want to read to you.’  And from her little prayer-book, she read the same prayer I had found last week.

I take it to mean that I should also share it with you, my dear friends and readers.  Sometimes, as of late, I write about issues of politics and culture, of faith and family.  Tonight, I just want to offer you a little peace.

The prayer was spoken by Jacob Lord of Astley before the battle of Edgehill, the first battle of the First English Civil War in the 17th Century.

‘O Lord! thou knowest how busy I must be this day; if I forget thee, do not thou forget me.’

What an amazing prayer for a commander to utter before a battle, in which he may well lose his own life!
I feel that way frequently.  We have our own battles, even if they are not clouded by gunpowder or ringing with the clash of steel.  For me, it’s sometimes that the ER is busy, the patients are stacking up, I am weary or frustrated, angry or afraid, confused or simply overwhelmed.  Often, I forget to pray.

Or, as I raise my children, and my wife and I develop lessons, read to them, grade papers; as we care for friends or family, keep up the house and all the rest, we forget to pray.

Even, sometimes, as I go to church and engage in the frenetic activities that Sundays so often entail, I can forget to pray.

I understand what the good Lord Astley was saying.  ‘Lord, look out for me in the madness of the day.’  It might be spoken with equal relevance in the home, the stock market, the bank, the school, the hospital, the battlefield, the restaurant or any of the places where we find ourselves, and in any of the activities which engage us.
If you feel overwhelmed, know that God is not.  And as St. Paul reminded us, when we are weak, then we are strong.  And when we cannot even find time to pray, God nevertheless hears us and responds.

Be well, be safe and be blessed by Abba Father.


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