The Litany is a prayer that helps me focus. It gives me something to say when I’m at a loss for words, and it provides a structure for when I have too much to say and I don’t know where to begin.
Sometimes I just pray through the Litany, but when I want to spend a little more time, or when I want to make it a little more personal (let’s face it, any pre written prayer may seem a little stiff at times) I will slow down on some of the beefier paragraphs and use them as a framework to guide my prayers. Take this paragraph as an example:
“P: In all time of our tribulation, in all time of our prosperity, in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment, C: Help us, good Lord. ”
I could easily just blow through this petition, but if I stop and pray through each part I can get a little more in depth and personal. My prayers might sound a little like this:
“In all time of our tribulation… Lord, there is so much going on in our world today, and so many people feel like their lives are being shaken at the core. Help those who are feeling shaken. Be with those who feel like the very ground they stand upon is being ripped from underneath them. Be with (here I’ll pray for specific people that I know of in this category, but I’ll leave them out of my blog for the sake of privacy!). Lord, I also know that I will endure tribulation someday. Help me to take whatever happens and always conduct myself in a manner worthy of the Gospel. Be with my family if they find themselves in difficult times. Help my sons face challenges with strength and faith. Help my wife always be safe, protected, and strong in her faith. Be with my congregation. Help those who are facing battles that I don’t even know about. Use our congregation to help each other walk together in faith. Help us, good Lord!
In all time of our prosperity… Lord, we are a prosperous nation with many gifts given by your hand. Help me to always be thankful during these good days. Help us to always be thankful for your generosity which is more than we can ask or imagine. Lord, it sounds strange to be asking for your help during prosperity, but it makes sense when I really think about it…never let me trust in material things more than I trust in you! Help me be content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Help me, good Lord! Help also my family and my congregation to know that you provide all things for our good. Help us live generous lives with thankful hearts. Help us always be content. Help us, good Lord!
In the hour of death… Lord, I pray that my hour of death is far away, and that I live healthy and strong for many many years, but should that time come sooner, help me be ready to face it with grace , faith, and strength. Lord, I also pray for my wife and kids that they would live strong and healthy lives for many years. Strengthen their faith and point them to the joy of the resurrection. Lord, be with those who face death today. Especially those in the persecuted Church who face death at the hands of terrorists. I don’t know how they do it, but help them speak words of live and forgiveness as they testify to your resurrection. Help us, good Lord!
And in the day of judgment…Lord, I cannot stand before you on my own. Take Jesus as my ransom. I cannot claim to have lived up to your standards. I know it too well. But, I also know Jesus and trust in His sacrifice for me. His blood paid for me! Thank you Jesus. Keep me strong in that Trust! Keep my family and my congregation strong in that Trust too! Help us, good Lord!
It might sound like that, or it might sound a little different. Use the frame work, and then pour out your heart to Jesus knowing that He loves you and loves to hear from you. I hope that the Litany is a blessing to you and your prayer life during this season of Lent as we walk together toward the cross!