To say a prayer is not enough. One has to believe that it’s possible for that prayer to be heard.
- Rabbi Marvin Hier
There are times when compassion is easy, like when a friend’s house floods knee-deep with sewage during a hurricane. And there are times, many times, when we don’t think things through from someone else’s perspective at all.
I’m as guilty of it as you are. So I’ve written up a little prayer for myself:
From over-concern for my own comfort, Save me, Lord.
From irritation at inconvenience, Save me, Lord.
From distress over first-world problems, Save me, Lord.
From blindness to how I can help, Save me, Lord.
From self-indulgence when others are in need, Save me, Lord.
From a desire to do good so that I feel good about myself, Save me, Lord.
At the end of every day, ask: To whom have I shown compassion today?
Hopefully there is always a ready answer. Hopefully, there are many possible answers. And when there are not, there’s one more prayer to add:
Thank you, Lord, for your compassion, even when mine is lacking.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.