Give us not the desire to pursue fulfillment for its own sake, in whatever form it may take – wealth, prestige, success, acclaim. Instead, teach us to serve, in the same way your son Jesus humbled Himself to wash His disciples’ feet. Teach us to see far beyond appearances and status, for the vagrant begging on the streets is just as important to you as the king in all his royalty. May we take it upon our hands to accept our lot in life, for to covet what others possess causes the bitter poison that is envy. May we use whatever ability or talent we may have to improve others’ lives, and not for our own selfish ambition. Create in us the kind of joy that makes our hearts sing even in the midst of a raging storm, and rejoices when the sun pokes its head among the clouds once again.
Guide us, Lord, not to the path free of thorns and thistles, but to a serene disposition that trusts you through thick or thin. Instruct us to tame our tongue, for our words can malign as well as influence others. Instill in us the kind of discipline needed to earn our own keep through the dignity of honest labor, no matter how difficult and back-breaking it may be. Show us the value of patience, to learn that everything has a season.
Most of all, teach us to love in the same way you have loved us. To learn to accept others regardless of their faults and shortcomings. Make us realize that there is beauty in sacrifice. In setting aside our own will and making time for the needs of others and putting them above our own. We owe it to ourselves to relentlessly commit to a worthy cause, so that we may all end up making this world a little better, although a little less glorious than the heaven where you dwell. For we are the greatest manifestation of your superb and brilliant craftsmanship.