Help Me, Lancelot

Thursday, October 13, 2011

An edited repost, from August 2010, which still applies today:

The Help Me Prayer

(Me with a helper in my kitchen, Christmas 2009)

Devotional Classics's section on prayer introduced me to Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626 . . . back when guys were named Lancelot). He was, "one of the outstanding figures in the history of the Anglican church." Apparently, he inspired the poet T.S. Eliot so much that he wrote a book about Andrewes and began his poem, Journey of the Magi, (the first five lines) with a quote from one of Andrewes's sermons.

(Just so you don't think I'm quoting a big fat nobody here.)

Anyhoo, Lancelot wrote many personal prayers - prayers he never intended to publish. I felt honored to read them, and was drawn to one paragraph in particular. I have broken it down, because I think each line is so good. I think it is worth memorizing and repeating every day:

Help me to show honor and submission to those who have been put over me.
Help me to show affection and care for those who have been put in my charge.
Help me to overcome evil with good.
Help me to be free from the love of money, and to be content with what I have.
Help me to speak the truth in love.
Help me to be desirous not to lust, or to walk after the lusts of my flesh.

This seems like a prayer that can apply to all seasons of life. There is almost always someone "over us" - outside our control and making decisions that impact our lives. We may have different people in our charge: children, aging parents, students, strangers. Evil abounds, and it is hard to be good. Will we ever be content with what we have? Can we ever master the art of speaking the truth in love? There will always be something to covet.

So it seems that I will always need help. I'm glad I will be in the company of Lancelot when I ask for it.

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And on Monday, linking up with Inspired to Action for Motivation Monday

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9 Responses to “Help Me, Lancelot”

  1. A beautiful prayer - directed to God, focused on others.

  2. The perfect prayer to start my day. Great photo by the way.

  3. Need this prayer today.

  4. Thanks for the introduction to Lancelot!  I need to check out his writing.  This prayer is beautiful and timely.

  5. Wow. What a powerful, powerful prayer. And yes, for every season of life we can relate. Thanks for introducing me to Lancelot!

  6. A wonderful prayer--thanks for the introduction to Lancelot!

  7. Oh my, yes, this definitely applies. And those words do feed our souls. Yes, I will always need help in this life, as well. Leaning on Him!

  8. may we be truly free... i love this poem. i love that photo of you and your little helper. bless you.

  9. Amen! Your little helper is too cute!