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Friday, June 11, 2010

Prayer For All Times

Our family has recently taken extra time during evening dinner not only to share each others day’s events but also to share encouragement through scripture reading, verbal expression of daily learnings or other passage reading of importance which would uplift and encourage us all to continue to overcome and be strengthened through God’s grace as we continue to face trials.

About two months ago, as I scoured the used book section in our local resale shop, my eyes fell on a prayer book which intrigued me. I tend to gravitate towards books relating to the subject on prayers and praying, so when I saw this book, I quickly scanned through it and decided to purchase it. What a great find and a great price, less than one dollar. Prayer For All Times, originally written in French in 1922 by Pierre Charles who is known as a teacher and priest. This selection in this book is a compilation of the original three volume works and includes 50 prayers. I am currently trying to read one a day. This reading reminds me of My Utmost to the Highest by Oswald Chambers but has even a more simplistic approach in seeking God through prayer. Something we all need. Robin Waterfield who translated the original text defines the essence of Pierre Charles’ relationship with the Almighty and helps us capture the true significance in striving to worship and glorify our sovereign LORD. Although I still have many prayers to read, I’d like to share one of them with you as I was inspired when reading this one.

If you feel led, please take time to read it.

Wherefore Bearing in Remembrance
My soul, still bound to earth, does not take due account of the holiness of memory. Far too often I only see memories as a convenient antidote to relieve the gloomy boredom of my everyday life, or as a means of embellishing with fanciful patterns the monotonous ground of daily existence. When what I see in front of me bores me or wears me out, I retreat into my memories and, either for consolation or in retaliation, I reply in my mind the film of what is now no more. Memory: I use it as a pleasure or a plaything to distract me, or to feed my regrets and sadness, to bolster up my ambitions or give substance to my hopes or to reinforce my faint-hearted defiance.
     In so doing I act like an unbeliever and this reckless misuse of God’s gift is a sacrilege. For does not my past as well as my future belong to Him? Are not my memories steeped in the fragrance of His grace and full of the evidence of His redeeming goodness, that virtue which comes from Him, are not these memories, bearing traces of His light and His love, holy things?
     Teach me, O my God, to remember as I ought; to use this power as a christian should, to treat the past which lives on within me as your loving gift and as a pledge of concern which can soften the hardness of my heart. Has not the Holy Spirit taught us to call our Redeemer and Our only Saviour ‘He who was’? He knows all my past which He, as far as I allowed it, filled with all that is good and beneficial. He has borne with it and forgiven my perverseness and weakness which have contaminated it with sin and impurity. So it is that I cannot discount one single moment of my past life. I cannot discount one single phrase, be it never so small, of the ongoing activity of the Divine Word, which is the unfolding of Humanity and of the universe. He is the origin of all things and he is before all beginnings, before Abraham the father of the faithful and before Adam the father of sinners.
     When I attempt to stroll through my memories as if they were an extensive and deserted park, as if they were a secret garden to which I alone have the key and of which I alone know all the byways, I forget that He is the faithful witness who sees all and knows all who has always been my soul’s contemporary and has been with me in all my falling away and all my efforts to start again. Memory then should be for me a Royal Road leading me to God, a life-long communion, a hymn of praise.
Memories! Help me to remember my past not as something gone forever as an irreparable disaster or a vanished dream or lost happiness, but much more as an enduring reality, as a treasure, keeping my soul faithful and which never for one second has ceased be mine. Human memory here on earth is continually being consumed by moth and rust; and what it shows us is full of holes and lacks any glamour. But if I cherish it within me He who by the power of His word sustains all things, if I rest in Him in whom is all fullness, if I can see Him in all my past, He who is the everlasting and unchanging Light of my life, then I will have lost nothing as day succeeds day and as death succeeds birth.
     Grant, Lord that I may remember well so that I may know also what must be forgotten; my selfish interest, my mean and shifty stratagems, my false wisdom, my monumental stupidity. Grant that my memory may be filled with divine images. To retain there all the pledges of your mysterious grace, the heavenly relics and divine deposit is of your grace, seeds from which my gratitude may spring up. May my memories be all of that which has descended on me from the Father of Lights. Help me to understand that you are behind all that I am and that the keys to all mysteries are in your hands. (Taken from “Prayer for All Times, 1983, William Collins Sons & Co Ltd. Glasgow)

I hope this reading has blessed you.
• Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11 NIV
• My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek. Psalms 27:8 NIV
• Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Psalms 105:4 NIV

May we all continue to seek His Face
A bientôt

p.s. I am very interested in the French series of Pierre Charles La Priere De Toutes Les Heures (A Prayer For All Times. Please let me know where they could be found, I would very much like to read them in French.

This was shared with ChristianWomenOnline.net

(photo by Bruno family~if you would like to use this photo, please request permission)


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