I’ve recently found myself stretched on all fronts. At home, at work, spiritually, emotionally. They say when it rains it pours and it’s sure pouring now. I find myself slowly allowing certain things to slide just beyond my radar, more often than I would like to admit it’s my prayers. As soon as I allow myself to slack on my prayers I find that everything else shortly becomes overwhelming. I’m quickly reminded that I can do nothing on my own and when I try, I find myself dropping things everywhere I turn. Be it work projects, wedding plans or perhaps the worst of all,  I lose whatever grace God has bestowed upon me. I find myself quick to anger, impatient and lazy. These things lower productivity so I tend to stress more. It’s a cycle and until I make a point of stopping the cycle and making time for prayer it goes on and on.

This prayer is often one to creep into my heart when things start to overwhelm me…

(Prayer of the Elders of the Optina Monastery, Russia)

O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to rely on Your Holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal Your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that comes to me through the day with peace of
soul, and with the firm conviction that Your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all are sent by You.
Teach me to act wisely, without embittering or embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of this coming day with all it
shall bring.
Direct my will; teach me to pray, pray You Yourself in me.

It never ceases to amaze me, the way the prayers speak straight to my heart, as if they were written for me.