In the previous post, I wrote that Richard Methley urged us to begin the brief episodes of simple prayer scattered throughout the day "with a simple, affective, preparatory prayer." Here's one of my little poem-prayers I offer when I begin my morning prayers. It recognizes the wild dogs that bite and nip at my heals---the distractions that keep me unfocused and scattered. And it summons me to the one thing that really matters.

We never know what hounds us so, until the desert kills the dogs. Then naked and alone we cross the narrow gate, and find the kingdom known as God's.

Arrived, we owe no debt to yesterday, No anxious glance tomorrow's way. The present gives us all we need, for here and now our hearts are freed to love, and from Your river stoop and feed.