Keep Nothing Back!

Keep Nothing Back!

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

February 19, 2022

Keep Nothing Back!

Marilyn Pagán-Banks

Open up before God, keep nothing back – Psalm 37:5 (MSG)

I recently met with a spiritual director and shared with her my trouble with guilt and worry. Guilt and worry over old sins. Guilt and worry over what I have left undone. Guilt and worry over what is enough and what is too much.

She asked about my prayer life and invited me to add one paragraph each night — “God, please take the guilt and worry. I am turning it over to you. I am trusting you. Thank you, God.” — and envision myself laying it all at God’s feet. Holding nothing back.

What a simple, yet life-giving gift.

Before I left her office, Sister Jean also shared a resource on poetry-prayer exploration, reminding me of the poetry of the psalms and the heart of those who shared them. One style of poetry-prayer exploration might be familiar to many: the acrostic poem, using the first letter of each line in a poem (or prayer) to spell a word or phrase. It was freeing!

Here is an acrostic prayer I wrote while on retreat, responding in gratitude to the work of the Spirit and reflecting on our call to be the Living Word in these times. I invite you to try it—and keep nothing back!


Loving God

I offer myself to you

Valley of the lilies

I offer all I hope to be

Never forgetting you as the source of love


Wonderful Counselor

Omnipotent Healer

Receive all of my praise and gratitude

Delivered with joy and dancing

John Edgerton


Marilyn Pagán-Banks (she/her/ella) is a queer womanist freedom fighter gratefully (though not always gracefully) serving as executive director of A Just Harvest, Senior Pastor at San Lucas UCC, and adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary. She is a joyful contributor to The Words of Her Mouth.


Daily Devotional


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