An issue of Parade Magazine noted that Mychal F. Judge, the late NYPD Chaplain, carried this prayer in his pocket, and the NYPD personnel referred to it as Mychal's Prayer. It is worth repeating:
"Lord, take me wherever You want me to go;
Let me meet who You want me to meet;
Tell me what You want me to say;
And keep me out of Your way."
Most people of faith have heard numerous sermons, homilies, and lessons about doing good and serving others. Our religious groups, denominations, and churches organized to do this resulting in program after program to make it happen. We are very proud of ourselves, it seems, that more organizations exist now than ever devoted to service and ministry. You simply cannot have a natural disaster or significant catastrophe in America without the presence of the Red Cross and scads of other religious relief agencies!
It would seem that God is very, very lucky to have us around to organize all this for Him! I mean, what on earth did we do for service before 21st Century Americans could conceptualize and organize it?! After all, if our service and ministry to others isn't programmed and organized, how valuable and effective COULD it be?
Honestly, organized service and programmed ministry really ARE valuable --- in their place. However, not everyone can participate in these to any significant degree. For the vast majority of people of genuine faith, the thrust of true spiritual service to others occurs at the daily, personal level. Ministry in most circumstances flows along the lines of human relationships and contacts.
That's what makes Mychal's Prayer so profound. He realized, as have most of us who are/have been Chaplains, that ministry with eternal value often is ministry that does not appear to be a "big deal." A kind word, an encouraging conversation, a pat on the back, or even a listening ear can mean far more than some of our complex, sophisticated programs! The time spent sharing our lives with others in the "daily grind" is a greater investment, I believe, than a good bit of the flashy, much-heralded activity that passes for "ministry."
What's the difference? Simply put, genuine, personal ministry is ministry that is directed by our Sovereign God --- and often ministry that has NO indication of just how important it really is! It is ministry energized and used by God, even when He does not TELL us He is using us. It is ministry that focuses on the warp-and-woof of the daily lives of real people who are incessantly going and coming. It's the way the Divine is interjected into the mundane.
Mychal's Prayer is simple, yet profound. Why don't you pray this prayer at the beginning of the coming week and keep it in focus each day? I believe you'll be surprised at how many opportunities you'll have to put "feet to your faith" in the lives of others. Depend on God and follow His lead. You'll do good to all kinds of people --- you'll do it God's way --- and you'll do it empowered by Him! May He us all of us this week for His glory!