All posts by Bonita Jewel

Bonita Jewel is a freelance writer and editor who blogs on a variety of themes. After living in India from the age of 16 to 28, she returned to California with her husband and three children. She holds a Bachelor's degree in English and an MFA in Creative Writing. Her greatest passions are family, faith, writing, and reading. She loves the magic and mystery of the written word. Contact Bonita for your next writing or editing project: https://danielandbonita.wordpress.com/ Or connect with Bonita at: https://www.facebook.com/BonitaJewelAuthor

Just for Today – A Prayer

Oh, God, give me grace for this day.

Not for a lifetime, nor for next week, nor for tomorrow, but for this day.

Direct my thoughts and bless them.

Direct my work and bless it.

Direct the things I say, and give them blessing too.

Direct and bless everything that I think and speak and do. So that for this one day, just this one day, I have the gift of grace that comes from your presence.

Oh God, for this day, let me live generously, kindly, in a state of grace and goodness that denies my many imperfections and makes me more like you.

By Marjorie Holmes, in I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God

 

A Prayer for Kindness

A Prayer for Kindness

By Marjorie Holmes

Lord, my faults are many. And the faults of my children are many. But whatever our sins and failings, help us never to be guilty of any conscious cruelty. Keep us always kind.

The world is so full of suffering. Unspeakable suffering on the grand scale; desperate lonely suffering in the small events of human life: Failures, disappointments, secret agonies.

Help us never knowingly to contribute to that suffering, either by a physical act or a gloating word. Don’t let us ever rejoice in another’s pain or downfall; let us share that pain as Christ would have done, and help each other instead.

Through kindness, simple human kindness, we are uplifted. We stand for a shining moment in your presence; we know for an instant the very source of goodness from which we came.

God keep us from cruelty always. God keep us close to you through kindness.

All This Violence – A Prayer

By Marjorie Holmes

This violence, Lord. I am confused by all this violence. Where is Christ in the cruel violence that fills our newspapers, our movie and TV screens, and walks the city streets?

Love your neighbor, he said, but love your enemies too. Give the robber your cloak, turn the other cheek. For God is love, he taught us. That is the whole secret of our relationship to each other and to you. To love, to show compassion, and to live in peace.

Yet this violence, Lord. All this violence. Isn’t it enough that there is no respite from the savagery of war? Are we to have no respite from man’s inhumanity to man even in our homes? How can we find any significance in Christ’s suffering if the spectacle of human suffering is so cheap and commonplace?

And the actual violence that lurks beyond our doors. We’re afraid even to be good Samaritans anymore. Yet how can Christians live in fear? How can we love and help each other if we live in fear?

What would Christ have done about all this violence? He would have walked forth bravely, still teaching his truths of peace, of love. But just as he drove the money changers from the temple, he would have lashed out too against those who would destroy the soul as well as the body through violence.

God, let me and my family live in a world of violence unafraid. But give us the mental and moral strength to combat this violence the way Christ would.

Forgive Us Our Excesses, a Prayer

Forgive Us Our Excesses

A Prayer

By Marjorie Holmes

Oh, Lord, these excesses! These sad excesses. So destructive of body and spirit, and bringing such sorrow into the circles of love …

Help us all to remember that excess in anything is a sickness of the spirit. Whether it be eating too much or drinking too much or taking too many pills.

Surely in going to these excesses, we are sorrowing for ourselves, because life itself seems too much.

We reach for these crutches to enable us to sustain it. Or to comfort ourselves, to escape or to minimize its pain. Self-indulgence is surely only a form of self-pity and self-scorn.

Oh, God, forgive us these mortal weaknesses and help us to forgive them in each other. Help us to understand that they spring from suffering at the core of the very soul.

Share with us your wisdom so that we’ll know how to help each other, sustain each other, comfort each other, provide such loving awareness of each other that we won’t need the false assurance of these excesses.

I Am So Tired, a Prayer by Marjorie Holmes

I Am So Tired

A Prayer

By Marjorie Holmes

You, who said, “Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest,” I come to you now.

For I am weary indeed. Mentally and physically I am bone-tired. I am all wound up, locked up tight with tension. I am too tired to eat. Too tired to think. Too tired even to sleep. I feel close to the point of exhaustion.

Lord, let your healing love flow through me.

I can feel it easing my tensions. Thank you. I can feel my body relaxing. Thank you. I can feel my mind begin to go calm and quiet and composed.

Thank you for unwinding me, Lord, for unlocking me. I am no longer tight and frozen with tiredness, but flowing freely, softly, gently into your healing rest.

A Prayer Against Comparing by Marjorie Holmes

A Prayer Against Comparing

God, help me to stop making comparisons.

Let me remember that each life must follow its own course, and that what happens to other people has absolutely nothing to do with what happens to me.

Help me to stop trying to judge–either others, society, or you. Help me to judge only my own performance in the light of the talent, health, and opportunities you have given me.

When I fail, help me to stop blaming other people for my failures, God–or blaming you.

But help me not to blame myself too much either.

Help me to keep faith in myself, as well as faith in your will for me.

By Marjorie Holmes

From I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God

God, Give Me Patience – A Prayer

Oh, God, give me patience–as I wait for a friend who is late, or for a line that’s busy, or for traffic to clear. Let me be fully aware of my surroundings as I wait–the feel of the chair upon which I sit, the passing parade of people, or the scent and color and sound of the very air.

Help me to realize that no time is really wasted in this life so long as we are fully awake to the moment, so long as we are aware.

Oh, God, give me patience–with myself!

With my follies, my hasty words, my own mistakes. The times when I seem a hopeless bumbler unworthy of friend or family or the company of any human being, so that I get into a panic and think, “Why am I taking up space on the earth? Why can’t I flee, vanish into eternity, simply disappear?”

Help me to stop wrestling with remorse. Taking a futile inventory. Waking up in the night to berate myself for “things I ought to have done and thing I ought not to have done.”

Reassure me, oh God, that there is health and hope and goodness in me, and that if I just have patience they will take over. I’ll become the person I want to be and that you expect me to be.

–     Marjorie Holmes, from I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God

A Prayer of Self-Pity – Marjorie Holmes

Lord, all night I lay awake consorting with self-pity.

Its idiot voice would not let me sleep. It entertained me with its chant of woes.

It pursued me into the pillow when I tried to bury my head. When I turned to the right it was there, insidiously smiling; when I turned to the left it perched upon my bed.

I thrust it aside but it would not leave me; it would not let me go. And though I finally slept, when I awoke this morning, it trailed me into the kitchen triumphant.

It was not satisfied that it had robbed me of rest; it wanted to sit beside me at breakfast, to tag me about all day. It pursues, it clutches at me still.

God, I am asking you to purge me of this awful companion now. I offer it up to you to do with it what you will.

Take self-pity away. Banish it. Heal me of its scars.

Please put self-respect, and a vital glowing sense of the many marvels and blessings of my life in its place.

–     Marjorie Holmes, from I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God

A Prayer for Anger – Marjorie Holmes

Dear Lord, I’m angry–so angry.

Anger is consuming me like a raging fire.

I want to do something drastic. I want to scream.

Don’t let me. Control me. Bless me, help me.

Bless and steer this anger into something constructive instead of tearing me up like this. Help me to channel its furious energies.

Let me find a task that needs doing. Let me clean a closet, attack the basement, the clutter.

Let me clean house, literally as well as emotionally.

I can cry a little as I work. That will help get rid of some of the emotion at the same time I’m getting rid of things.

Oh, God, your world sometimes seems such a mess. Your people seem such a mess. My life seems such a mess.

Maybe that’s why sometimes we’re given these violent fires of anger … to burn a little of the mess away and make our own path clear.

If so, thank you. Bless my anger. And put my anger to some good use.

–     Marjorie Holmes

A Single Signal Fire

Oh, God, when the way seems dark and there is no light there, plant at least one small signal fire at the end of the long black tunnel that I may keep plodding steadily forward toward it.

When friends laugh at me, help me to keep moving forward.

When people tempt me away from it, help me to stay focused.

When others scorn what I have produced, let me not be discouraged.

When those who have tried and failed or who have never tried at all, those who are envious or indolent, when such people would hurt me by spiteful words or acts, let me not be bothered. Return me to my task.

Let nothing really matter but these precious gifts you have entrusted to me. For their sake let me be willing and proud to make the sacrifice.

–     Marjorie Holmes, from I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God

A Prayer for Motivation to Keep At It

God, give me due respect for the abilities you have given me.

Don’t let me sell them short. Don’t let me cheapen them. Don’t let me bury my talents through indecision, cowardice, or laziness.

Plant in me the necessary determination. Keep me at it.

Rouse in me the fires of dedication. Keep me at it.

Give me energy, strength, and will power to bring your gifts to their proper fruition. Keep me at it.

When I falter or fall, lift me up and set me back on my destined path. Keep me at it.

–     Marjorie Holmes

The Refrigerator – A Prayer by Marjorie Holmes

Oh, God, how I dread cleaning the refrigerator. And I mean that not as an oath, but a prayer.

There it stands, humming away so faithfully, keeping our foods fresh for us. Reluctantly I open it, and instead of being grateful for its overflowing plenty, I want to back away and slam the door.

Instead, let me pause a moment and thank you. How generously you provide for us. We are never hungry. There is more than enough to go around–there are even leftovers.

Leftovers. A nuisance, yes, but also a symbol of your bounty. Quite literally our cups “runneth over.”

Everything that we need to survive, you quietly put upon this earth for us, and the proof is here before me. Here on these crowded shelves.

Lord, forgive me for even a moment of irritation. Flood me with thankfulness.

Bless these shelves that I scrub and restore to order. Bless my hands as I work. And bless this task; make it no longer a source of dread, but a humble form of worship–cleaning the refrigerator.

–     Marjorie Holmes, in I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God

A Prayer of Thanks for Color

Oh, God, how grateful we all should be for color.

For blue skies and blue eyes. For oranges vivid in the brown basket that sits upon my kitchen table. For the purple grapes that choke the fence, and the lavender cups of morning glories against a white garage.

I am grateful, God, for all red things. For cannas, and scarlet cardinals. For the ruby red of cherries. The red on a woodpecker’s throat. The bright living red of my own blood flowing. And the Faded red of old boxcars or windbeaten barns.

I offer up thanks, dear God, for green. That leaves are green of countless shades–and so are the grasses and growths with which you’ve chosen to carpet your world.

I am happy, Lord, for yellow. The golden yellow of sunshine, and butter, and daffodils, and autumn trees. For the lovely yellow–so rich, so intense–in an egg yolk, a lemon, a length of ribbon, a pair of bright new shoes.

And, Lord, you gather up all these many colors into an arch of misty ribbons and turn them into a rainbow for our delight. As if the whole beautiful earth were being packaged up and tied with a bow.

–     Marjorie Holmes

The Lord Brings Order – Marjorie Holmes

I will trust the Lord to bring order into my life and into my house.

In his presence there can be no real chaos and confusion and dirt, for he is peace and purity and order — and he is here.

He lives within these walls as he lives within my heart.

He sometimes stops me as I fret and struggle and scold, and says, “Don’t be discouraged.” He reminds me that we are all his untidy children, but he loves us all — even as I love these who cause me so much work.

As I move from room to room picking up other people’s possessions, he reminds me how abundant is life that it strews in my family’s path so many good things.

He bids me look out of the window and see the abundance of the fields, the woods, the water.

The very earth is strewn with the bright ownings and discards of its living things: sticks and branches and leaves, shells, nests and weeds, and feathers and flowers.

The very water carries these things on its breast. The wind blows them about. Yet Mother Nature does not despair — no matter how many times she must do it all over.

He reminds me that back of everything, governing all, is order. Absolute order.

I will trust the Lord to bring that order into my house.

A Prayer of Thanks for Peace

Oh, Lord, thank you for this little space between crises in our family. Thank you for this probably brief span of peace.

Right now nobody is ill. Thank you. Right now nobody is in trouble. Thank you. Right now I am coasting, resting. It is as if I am walking across a pleasant meadow with only the happy chiming of birds in my ears and the sunlight as of some wondrous love upon my face.

The familiar cries of sorrow, distress, imploring please, and arguments are still. Thank you. I rejoice in this sense of lightness and release.

It is common sense that tells me that this lovely respite cannot last, and not really my lack of faith.

For now, let me simply be thankful for this respite. Let me be revitalized by it. Let me draw from it physical strength and spiritual resources for the inevitable crises and conflicts to come.

Thank you, God, for this precious span of peace.

– Marjorie Holmes