I was recently given a prayer book from a friend in our meeting called Prayers from the Heart by Richard Foster. ((Books in this post use an affiliate code to a local, independent bookstore close to where I live in Portland.)) It’s a lovely collection of prayers, and the other day I came across this prayer by Howard Thurman. Thurman was among many things an influential Baptist minister, theologian, and civil rights activist, who worked for non-violence and started a multicultural church in 1944 (he is also well-known to Quakers for having studied philosophy with Quaker Rufus Jones at Haverford College). Thurman has written more than 20 books, one of his most famous being Jesus and the Disinherited. He is well-worth reading if you’re interested in reading books by people who have lived lives well (find out more here). Here is one of his prayers.
Lord, open unto me
Open unto me — light for my darkness.
Open unto me — courage for my fear.
Open unto me — hope for my despair.
Open unto me — peace for my turmoil.
Open unto me — joy for my sorrow.
Open unto me — strength for my weakness.
Open unto me — wisdom for my confusion.
Open unto me — forgiveness for my sins.
Open unto me — love for my hates.
Open unto me — thy Self for my self.
Lord, Lord, open unto me!
From A Service of Prayer.