Friday, May 4, 2012

Prayer for Worthy Dialogue

In my time, I've done quite a bit of discussing of ideas, mostly online/email lists, though also in person, and in that time, I've noticed how easy it is to get sucked into some less desirable tendencies, especially in any dialogue with potential onlookers.

So the thought occurred to me today that perhaps a prayer for us discursive types might be beneficial.  Here's my first draft attempt.  Suggestions welcome. :)

Lord of all creation,
  Font of all that is true,
  Inspirer of minds,
I implore you,
  grant me keenness of mind
  in my dialectic.

Let me never be more concerned
  with appearing right
  than with discovering the truth.
Grant me humility of mind,
  to recognize my own limitations
  and the excellence in others.

When I am wrong,
  give me the courage to admit it.
When I am right,
  give me the gentility not to flaunt it.

Help me to be generous
  to those with whom I discuss;
to give them
    the benefit of the doubt,
to search for a good interpretation
    rather than assuming the worst.

And grant me discernment to see
  when further discussion
    would be fruitless,
  and on such occasions
    to gracefully bow out
      without bitterness or pride.

In the end, let me never lose sight
  of the Good and the Beautiful,
  which perfection I find only in You.
I ask this
  in the name of the Holy Trinity,
  whose eternal dialogue of love
  I desire to be the inspiration
    for all of my own dialogues.