Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, October 25, 2015
Be Thou My Vision, Lord
Have you ever sung a prayer? That’s what this prayer made me feel like doing. I like to sing, and I enjoy singing, but I haven’t particularly thought of my singing as prayer, before.
Today’s prayer is about Devotion. The prayer I chose for today from The Oxford Book of Prayer deals with “For Thine Is the Kingdom” (Prayer 477, page 141)  This is listed as a Traditional Irish prayer. Looking at my trusty hymnal, I find that it was translated by Mary E. Byrne, and versified by Eleanor H. Hull.
Looking at the topic of this prayer, I find myself looking at God. With devotion. Yes, there were many other prayers that expressed worthy ideas of devotion. However, this one drew me in, like a magnet. And, I found myself singing it. (To the tune of SLANE, if you would like to know more.)
“Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart.” O, Lord! Not just a sovereign, ruling God, not just some intellectual deity whom I posit as superior or foundational. But—Lord of my heart. The feeling-part. God is the God of my insides, my emotions, just as much as God is the God of my mind and intellect.
“Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art,” God, how awe-inspiring, and humbling! Saying that nothing can compare to You. This reminds me of the “I am” from Exodus 3. God said “I am” or “I will be what I will be.” Surely, God, nothing can possibly compare to You.
“Thou my best thought, by day or by night.” O Lord! When I think of You, what can possibly compare? I am ashamed to say that my mind often gets sidetracked or hits a detour, and sometimes I even neglect thinking of You. Forgive me, dear God.
“Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.” Waking, sleeping, morning time, evening time. At any time of the day? Yes. When You are present, Lord, You are indeed my light. My devotion remains given to You, Lord. Even when You seem far away or when I hide myself from Your everlasting light, You are still there. Even when I doubt You, it doesn’t matter. You are still with me through difficult times.
Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for this prayer. Thank You for emotions and feelings. And, thank You for the multitude of differences in the world, and the unity of love we all share in You.
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(also published at www.matterofprayer.net
 The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 141.