Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, October 23, 2015
Teach Me Patience, Lord
People have recognized their need for patience for a very long time. For centuries. Suffering is a common thread in prayer, too. When I see patience (in prayer) coupled with suffering (in prayer), I know that I am looking at someone well accustomed to prayer.
The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer concerns “Deliver Us from Evil.” (Prayer 437, page 130)  The prayer is in a section entitled Suffering. Written by the English churchman Thomas Fuller (1608-61), this brief, pithy prayer appears below.
“Lord, teach me the art of patience whilst I am well, and give me the use of it when I am sick. In that day either lighten my burden or strengthen my back. Make me, who so often in my health have discovered my weakness presuming on my own strength, to be strong in my sickness when I solely rely on Thy assistance.”
I can’t help but think of the quote “O Lord, give me patience. And, give it to me right now!” This first line of this humorous prayer (above, here) is a joke, yes. But it is also disturbingly true. Lord, O, how I need those reminders.
God, to give You the option and decision to pray for either a stopping of Burdens or to strengthen me for the road again? (What insight. What a way with words.) Which is followed by an honest and forthright description of himself : my goodness, he is presumptuous. Just like me. And at the end of the prayer? Fuller speaks plainly: “I solely rely on Thy assistance.”
Ah, yes. Whatever the situation, Fuller has the words. (He was a wordsmith by repute, and a marvelous preacher, too.) Lord, give me the presence of mind as well as quickness of speech. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
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 The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 130.