In some faith traditions, repetitive prayer is looked down upon. I think this is a shame. To be sure, familiarity can breed contempt; but I know the benefits of having useful words memorized and readily available.
A prayer by Mother Teresa lifted me yesterday. I heard from a friend some unsupportive remarks that another friend had made about me. Some points of my theology have been troublesome in my circles lately, but I hadn't realized it had gone to such a disparaging level.
I was hurt, to say the least. My wife cried as she and I talked about it. We believe we were called by God to come out here to Utah and help establish this church, but there have been times lately that we feel we don't belong. This is a heavy realization when it is understood that we moved out here to Utah from Michigan for this purpose.
Our thoughts began to turn as we talked. I wondered how much of my hurt was founded in pride. Do I need to be thought well of? Am I receiving my value more from men than from God? Does my service depend on my ego being stroked? Who am I serving?
With that change in thought, Mary Lee and I both remembered Mother Teresa's prayer that calls us to set aside our need to have our brothers and sisters in Christ tell us who we are - look to God for that assessment.
Deliver me, O Jesus,
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire to being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the desire of being popular,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being suspected.
Amen. ~ Mother Teresa