Patti Armstrong is an award-winning author and was the managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’ bestselling Amazing Grace series. Her latest books are: Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families and Dear God, You Can’t Be Serious. She has a B.A. in social work and an M.A. in public administration and worked in both those fields before staying home to work as a freelance writer. Patti and her husband live in North Dakota, where they are still raising the tail end of their 10 children.
Imagine meeting God on the other side of eternity and discovering that he had untold blessings to give you and a myriad of places to take you to but you had closed the door on all of it?
Who would do such a thing? I think we are all tempted to do so. We can see the fruits from great people who have gone before us like Mother Angelica, and St. Teresa of Calcutta who took the treasures and ran with them. They did not back off from God’s gifts. But sloth, fear, and any sort of resistance threatens to keep us from trusting God enough to have faith that his gifts include the graces we need to accept them.
Here are 12 prayers for help us receive all God’s gifts to us.
(1) Dear Lord, please use me to accomplish the maximum amount of good that you have created me for. I don’t want to just get by but rather to be carried on eagle’s wings.
(2) Jesus, help me to get over myself and remember to offer up even low-level suffering. “If your suffering is all about you, then nothing beyond you is accomplished; lives aren’t changed,” Jeff Cavins from his book: When You Suffer: Biblical Keys for Hope and Understanding.
(3) Take away my fear. Give me the strength to pray as you did, for the Father’s will rather than for my will to be done.
(4) Kill my pride, please. Completely. Don’t let me get in your way. Help me to be humble so I don’t humiliate myself.
(5) Help me to trust you more than I trust myself. Remind me that you are the one that keeps the earth in orbit.
(6) Lord, get me out of the driver’s seat even if you have to pry my hands off the steering wheel. My GPS is nothing compared to your God Positioning System. Just stick me in the back seat and tell me to stop asking how long until we get there.
(7) Dear God, pinch me when you catch me comparing myself with others. No, on second thought, knock me right on the head. Comparisons invite envy, pride, and jealousy. Remind me that I am special and that this is just between you and me.
(8) Jesus, I am so distracted sometimes. Please help me to pay more attention to you by praying and going to adoration and receiving the sacraments more often. I can’t receive your presents very well if I am not present to you. “I am more and more convinced that everything comes from prayer and that, among the calls of the Spirit, this is the first and most urgent one we should respond to," Fr. Jacques Philippe.
(9) Dear Lord, Help me to stop arguing with you. How silly to think I can convince you of anything. You know my desires and you know what is best for me. Instead of arguing, help me to think of asking to be open for whatever you have for me.
(10) God, I need help not just to stop complaining but also to see that the very things I’m complaining about are blessings. Help me to learn and love through them rather than to grumble. And when people make my life difficult, remind me that the measure with which I measure will be measured back to me (Luke 6:38). Thank you for the opportunity to receive undeserved mercy when I give it to others.
(11) Rather than rushing by them, help me to see the angels you are putting in my path to lead the way so that I don’t get lost.
(12) Dear Jesus, I surrender to your plan just as you surrendered to a plan that no one could have imagined would be the way to salvation for all mankind. I’m choosing today to accept everything you have for me. Please give me the courage and openness never to refuse your gifts.