Faith, God and Family: Give Thanks for Something Everyday

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bible_smBy: Paul P. Jesep*/TRT Columnist—

One thing I underscore in my spiritual wellness classes is to be thankful for something each day. No matter how bad your life might be, give thanks. Develop a routine to do it. Be grateful to the Creator or the Universe (if you don’t believe in a higher power). Do so even when feeling overwhelmed by events or circumstances. Prayer grounds you, strengthens you, keeps you humble, and empowers you to stay focused on something positive.

Prayer can be calming and uplifting. Don’t, however, pray to win the lottery. Don’t offer an evening prayer and expect to wake up thin. Pray for peace in the moment when faced with life’s inevitable difficulties. And, give thanks in prayer when things go well.

Prayers during happy events like a wedding, new child, or the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality tells the Cosmos or Eternal Mystery (another name for God) that you don’t take the positive events occurring in your life or in the world for granted. [pullquote]A daily prayer is like a good diet and regular exercise. You get out of it what you put in. Prayer must be consistent and made part of daily life. Whether you’re an atheist, humanist, or believer prayer will make a difference.[/pullquote]

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, below is a prayer crafted for everyday use, should you need one to start the day. Better yet, write your own or Google the thousands out there and find one that’s right for your daily use.

“Holy Author, empower me with wisdom, courage, and strength to meet the challenges of the new day while seizing opportunities to bring a smile to someone or to better a person’s life even in a small way;

Giver of Life, thank you for making me exactly who you intended while showing me ways to be true to my creation, and to celebrate it;

Infinite Love, thank you for the beauty that surrounds me I too often take for granted, like trees, stars, flowers, mountains, the majesty of autumn, a thunder storm on a humid day, or snow storm on a bitter cold afternoon;

Justice Giver, thank you for the scaly, or feathered, or furry four legged family members you have allowed to share my life;

Purest Truth, thank you for my family and the sincere, genuine friends who share my joys, fears, and burdens;

Supreme Artist, thank you for teaching me to be a co-creator to build a better world where everyone, including those who dislike and misunderstand me, can live with dignity;

Mystical Eye, thank you for changing hearts and minds, turning those who would fear me to persons who love and accept me, or at least respect my personhood. For those who still misunderstand or would deny me my dignity send them the gift of awakening and awareness. Let them see through your Holy Vision;

Divine Wonder, thank you for reminding me of your presence during times of loneliness. Let me see your face in the clouds, the morning mist, and hear your voice in chirping birds and rustling tree leaves while telling me I am part of you eternally; and

Dearest One, for those who have touched my life directly or indirectly, positively or negatively, for the short-term or long-term, bring them joy, peace, and happiness empowering them to be better people with each passing day so that when called from this earth they will be welcomed to a better, higher spiritual place. Amen.”

A daily prayer is like a good diet and regular exercise. You get out of it what you put in. Prayer must be consistent and made part of daily life. Whether you’re an atheist, humanist, or believer prayer will make a difference.

* Paul is a corporate chaplain, seminary trained priest, and attorney in greater Albany, NY. Reach him through www.CorporateChaplaincy.biz.