As the clock moves past midnight and on to Tuesday morning, I am preparing for my lectionary study group, knowing that tomorrow’s time will be a bit different. A colleague and friend was in a bicycle accident this last Thursday and has a broken collarbone and ribs. He has asked me for prayer and anointing. I told him that I would, indeed, have the oil for anointing with me. Even as I say the words, I can smell that strong scent of frankincense and myrrh that flows from the tiny container of oil in my purse. It goes to hospitals with me and has often been used when one is dying.
I would usually go to a special resource for prayers for healing, but tonight (this morning) it occurred to me that it is Tuesday and the Tuesday prayers in my daily prayer book are focused on healing. And so I will use and adapt the Tuesday prayers. One of the morning prayers moves me deeply:
In the beginning O God
You shaped my soul and set its weave
You formed my body and gave it breath.
Renew me this day in the image of your love.
O great God, grant me your light
O great God, grant me your grace
O great God, grant me your joy this day
And let me be made pure in the well of your health. Amen.
And one of the evening prayers:
As I utter these prayers from my mouth, O God
In my soul may I feel your presence.
The knee that is stiff, O healer make pliant
The heart that is hard, make warm beneath your wing
The wound that is giving me pain,
O best of healers, make whole
And may my hopes and my fears
find a listening place with you. Amen.
— from Celtic Prayers from Iona, J. Philip Newell, Paulist Press.