O God, early in the morning do I cry unto You.
Help me to pray, and to think only of You.
I cannot pray alone. In me there is darkness. But with You there is light.
I am lonely, but You leave me not.
I am feeble in heart, but You leave me not.
I am restless, but with You there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with You there is patience.
Your ways are past understanding, but You know the way for me.
Lord Jesus, You were poor and in misery, a captive and forsaken as I am.
You know all man's distress;
You abide with me when all others have deserted me.
I would remember before You all my loved ones, my fellow prisoners,
And all who in this house perform their hard service.
Lord, have mercy.
Restore my liberty and enable me so to live that I may answer before You and before the World.
Lord, whatever this day may bring, Your name be praised.
Be gracious unto me and help me.
Grant me strength to bear whatever You send,
And let no fear overrule me.
I trust Your grace, and comit my life wholly into Your hands.
Whether I live or whether I die, I am with You and You are with me...
Lord, I wait for Your salvation, and for the coming of Your Kingdom. Amen.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor (1906-1945)
written on Christmas Day 1943 while in a Nazi concentration camp
executed on April 9, 1945
Oh my God, when I read this prayer, when I try to pray this prayer, I realize I am just a toddler when it comes to praying to You. How many prayers are about me, my desires, my concerns, my wants? Please let those very things in my heart drive me to my deepest need, to You, to Your abiding presence.
Teach me to pray.
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