Those Who Sit in Darkness

By Ramona Seeley of Leeton, Missouri, USA

“By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Luke 1:78–79

I was making my rounds as a hospital chaplain and went into the intensive-care unit, where there was a young man who had tried to commit suicide.

I entered his room, and we began talking. I tried to tell him how valuable he was in the sight of God. I asked him if he would like a prayer, and he said, “No.” He didn’t believe in prayer.

I paused and asked him if it was all right if I prayed for him for my own benefit, just so I could feel I had done everything I could for him. He said that would be all right. I took his hand, put my hand on his shoulder, and prayed simply, asking God’s Spirit to surround him, fill him with love, and show him how important he was. When I finished, there were tears in his eyes, and I knew he had been touched.

How glad I am that I didn’t walk away after the first rejection. I am so glad I followed the leadings of the Spirit and was able to give God’s ministry of peace to the young man.

Prayer for Peace:

Merciful God, who draws us out of the dark night of the soul, hold your bright candle so we might see. Shine your star to guide us. Spin your moon to balance us. Lift our spirits so we may journey out of our shells and follow you to peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Growing a Gracious, Generous Heart

Each day this week open your heart to God’s grace and generosity with a “breath prayer.” Let your breath slow and deepen. Be aware of God’s breath moving in and out of your heart. Spend several minutes focusing on breathing in God’s generosity. With each breath, silently name one gift for which you are thankful. “God, I breathe in the gift of  with thanks.” Let your heart expand to contain God’s gracious outpouring.

With each breath out, name one gift you want to share from the overflow of your heart.

Eternal joy and peace await those who grow in the grace of generosity that flows from compassionate hearts.  Doctrine and Covenants 163:9

Peace Covenant:

Today God, I will not turn my face from your light. I will contemplate my blessings.

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