The elegant relief engraved on the coin now dangling from a lamp in our home, is of praying hands on one side and spirit flames on the other. The tag attached reads ‘Spirit, bless the work of our hands.’
The clay token, given to us (Dwell Writers’ Retreat) by our hosts, the members of the Art & Faith community at Grunewald Guild in Plain, Leavenworth, WA, sparked the drive to hear Keith & Kristen Getty’s ‘Before You I Kneel’ (a worker’s prayer) from their Hymns for the Christian Life album.
The appropriateness of the gift was not wasted on my fledgling writer’s heart yearning for the discipline and diligence required to get to published status. This was the great motive behind my husband, Claude, and I arranging our 25th anniversary trip around this retreat all the way across the continent in Washington state.
At the retreat my desire distilled into one prayer,
‘Help me cease working with a slack hand’
– a worthy prayer for Lent.
I want to offer Jesus Christ, each day that I live, work well-researched, well-crafted and well-presented. Each piece that I write, each blog I post, each hour I spend preparing for my own or reading the writings of others, also a worshipful act — a pursuit of His Presence and purpose.
Keith & Kristen’s ‘a worker’s prayer’ captured the fullness of my prayer in word & tune – may it serve you similarly as you consider the way you take this Lent.
Before You I Kneel (A Worker’s Prayer) – YouTube
“Before you I kneel, my Master & Maker,
To offer the work of my hands.
For this is the day you’ve given your servant
I will rejoice and be glad
For the strength I have to live and breathe,
For each skill Your grace has given me,
For the needs and opportunities
That will glorify Your great name.
Before I kneel and ask for Your goodness
To cover the work of my hands.
For patience and peace to shape all my labor,
Your grace for thorns in my path.
Flow within me like a living stream,
Wear away the stones of pride and greed
‘Til Your ways are dwelling deep in me
And a harvest of life is grown.
Before You we kneel, our Master and Maker;
Establish the work of our hands.
And order our steps to seek first Your kingdom
In every small and great task.
May we live the gospel of Your grace,
Serve Your purpose in our fleeting days,
Then our lives will bring eternal praise
And all glory to Your great name.”
—Keith& Kristen Getty, Jeff Taylor & Stuart Townsend (c)
As we slow down this Lenten Season to consider the way our Lord prepared Himself for His great work, may we offer, along with the meditations of our hearts and the words of our mouths, the work of our hands.