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- The Center for Evangelism & Church Growth
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Be a bright flame before me, O God a guiding star above me. Be a smooth path below me, a kindly shepherd behind me today, tonight, and for ever.
Alone with none but you, my God I journey on my way; what need I fear when you are near, O Lord of night and day? More secure am I within your hand than if a multitude did round me stand. Amen. (Saint Columba, Iona Abbey)The second is a prayer that I ran across in my daily devotional reading. Dr. Sid Spain, my spiritual director and companion in the faith, and I have been working through A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God by Norman Shawchuck and Ruben Job, (known by many as simply “The Green Book”). I have added the plural to the tradition phrasing of the prayer by Norman Shawchurck:
Defend me [us] from all temptation, that I [we] may ever accept the right and refuse the wrong. Defend me [us] from myself, that in your care my [our] weakness may not bring me [us] to shame. May my [our] lower nature never seize the upper hand. Defend me [us] from all that would seduce me [us], that in your power no tempting voice may cause me to listen, no tempting sight fascinate my [our] eyes. Defend me [us] against the chances and changes of this life, not that I [we] may escape them but that I [we] may meet them with firm resolve; not that I [we] may be saved from them but that I [we] may come unscathed through them. Defend me [us] from discouragement in difficulty and from despair in failure, from pride in success, and from forgetting you in the day of prosperity. Help me [us] to remember that there is no time when you will fail me [us] and no moment when I [we] do not need you. Grant me [us] this desire: that guided by your light and defended by your grace, I [we] may come in safety and bring honor to my [our] journey’s end by the defending work of Jesus Christ my [our] Lord. May it always be so! (Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God by Norman Shawchuck and Ruben Job; pp. 104-105)May we pray together?