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Psalms for Praying

When faced with slow progress and seemingly endless days, You enfold me in your patient Heart.

Psalm 119. 145 - 176

In Centering Prayer, it is customary to read from the psalms before and after centering, and in our group we use a lovely book called Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness. In her introduction to the book, author Nan Merrill prays that her readers will find this book to be "a beacon shining light and blessing" into their prayer life. Though she insists that this book not be a replacement for the psalms of Hebrew scripture, Nan Merrill considers this book to be a companion in dialogue with the psalms dedicating the book to "the indwelling Divine Guest whose Voice is heard in the Silence."

Our group reads the appointed psalm before we center, and then we read it after centering and repeat whatever words or phrases stood out as we heard it. Today's appointed psalm is 119. 145 - 176, and for me the very first line above caught my ear. Slow progress, endless days and patient Heart are phrases I would repeat. What words get your attention, stir your heart, beckon you to prayer? Below is the whole reading from Psalms in the words of Nan Merrill. Read, mark and inwardly digest if you will.

When faced with slow progress, and seemingly endless delays,

You enfold me in your patient


Let me recognize your perfect timing in all things,

the fulness of your providence.

May I be so strong in your Spirit that all I do is inspired by You.

For You are loving, kind, and gentle; in You are all blessings.

Let me not be deaf to your Voice, nor suffer the pain of a rebellious soul.

Gentle me, O Loving Guide, that I may learn

the wisdom of purity, patience, and peace.

Teach me of mercy, O You who are the Merciful One,

that my, soul may serve with You joyfully and with love.

O friends, open your heart to the divine life!

Attune yourself to the Divine Guest

Within your Being!

For, when you come to know the Source of your life, love flows through you and radiates outward;

Harmony enters into your life, you see with new eyes.All that once brought pain and suffering

no longer affects the peace in your heart.

Through the healing forgiveness of Love,

all past wrongs are righted;

Joy comes alive in your heart, the joy of understanding.

Then do you know the great


the pearl hidden in the Secret

Realm within.

Glorious is the life of the soul when illumined by the Divine Spirit.

Search for it, friends, count not the years;

enter into the stillness of

your innermost being!


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