Below is Thomas Merton’s infamous prayer . It speaks of surrendering to God, in every way. I am so moved every time I read these words. I am inspired both by Merton’s honesty and humility (and how much I connect with his words), as well as the graciousness of God that Merton points to. As a worker in God’s vineyard, I think this prayer is good to keep close at hand. This prayer expresses the peace that comes from knowing and trusting in God’s presence in a life with so many unknowns and irresolvable conflicts.
This prayer acknowledges that, despite our human tendency to think we know what life is about and how we can manage it, we really have no clue.
“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” (Prov 16:9)
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.