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Personal Prayer Mantras

Provided below are some of my most personal prayer mantras. They are based fundamentally in God's Word. Most were derived, compiled, or generated over a period of more than three decades of daily meditation and Lectio Divina practice. And, yes, some elements come from a decade of self-imposed SEAL-type training, from books I've read, and from movies I've seen; but that doesn't make them any less from God.

I pray and breathe these thoughts and aspirations over and over and over throughout each day. Sometimes, I pick just one and focus on it for a few weeks, months, or, even, years at a time. Those most precious to me, I've highlighted below. They are "My Super Eight." Even now, as I read through what I've written, the memories of their individual and corporate imprinting upon my soul bring tears to my eyes. Oh that we might all begin to incarnate Jesus, the Living Word of God, and actually become mercy...become joy...become loving-kindness...become (in our very present beingness) the ground of our very extraordinary ordinariness.

Even if you pick just one (or create your own) mantra, if you stick with it for the rest of your life, I guarantee, the time you spend with it will not be a waste.

Peace to all of you...



  1. Holy Father, come.

  2. Father, I want to walk before You in holiness, humility, and purity of heart all the days of my life.

  3. Lord, have mercy.

  4. The Lord is with me; I have tied myself to the Master.

  5. Body and mind, in the Name of Jesus, you're healed.

  6. Jesus, I have You; You Are My Healing.

  7. Stop opening your mouth; you keep putting your foot in it. Be sensible, and turn off the flow. A man who is never at fault in what he says is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. Even a fool is thought wise if he holds his tongue. It pays him to keep his mouth shut.

  8. The JSD Ethos: For freedom's sake, I punish myself in training, drive fear from my heart, and empty myself out before God. Like a rescue swimmer, I brave the deep so others my live.

  9. Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening.

  10. You must increase; I must decrease.

  11. Not my will, but Thine; into Your Hands I commit my spirit.

  12. The more thou sweatest in training, the less thou bleedest in battle.

  13. If thou hurtest in thine efforts and thou suffer painful dings than thou art (most likely) doing it right.

  14. Sometimes, one hast not to like it, one hast just to do it.

  15. If, in your training, you're not pushing yourself to the point of risking death, you're probably just going through the motions.

  16. Lead from the front, not the rear; be easy to find: at the center of the battle.

  17. Attack the tasks you hate with greater zest than the tasks you love.

  18. Strive for elegant simplicity; economy of effort and energy; and fluidity of thought, feeling, and action.

  19. Be out of the box...uncomplicated...unconventional.

  20. Remember that (more often than not) real talent usually needs only the simplest of tools to accomplish its work.

  21. Dedicate your body as a living sacrifice unto the Lord God Almighty.

  22. Hakuna matada (no worries).

  23. No mind.

  24. Be still, and know that I (God Almighty) AM God.

  25. Breathe-in the sufferings of others, and die again and again and again with each out-breath.

  26. Oh that I might become Love, dear Father...that I might become an open and ventilating conduit of Your healing, and of Your loving-kindness, joy, compassion, equanimity, and wholeness.

  27. Where are you Dave? Here. What time is it? Now. What are you? This moment.

  28. Empty your mind, Dave. Let it all go, and stay here—conscious and present—devoted 100% to the experience you're having right now. Because right now is all you have; there is nothing else.

  29. Take out the trash, Dave. The trash is anything that's keeping you from the only thing that matters: this And when you truly are in the here and now, you'll be amazed and what you can do and at how well you can do it.

  30. Keep death ever before your eyes. Death isn't what's sad, Dave. What's sad is that so very few people ever really live.

  31. On time is five minutes late.

  32. Discover the wisdom of no escape, that is of of staying on the spot, leaning in to the sharp things, and making friends with your hopes and your fears.

  33. Go to the places that scare you, relax into your own groundlessness, hold nothing back, and sing for joy and be glad, Dave...all your days...prayerful and thankful, too...even when you're feeling sad, tired, or broken.

  34. I know God, but only in so much as I know myself to be known thoroughly and loved through and through by God.

  35. You are forgiven...even before you act.

  36. The joy of the Lord is my strength.

  37. Life—the Life that is true and full—is about knowing and loving God and about being with Him and those to whom He's yoked you together in community.

  38. Train constantly, recognizing that training is not so much something you do as it is something that flows in and through everything you do.

  39. If you're cold, turn down the air; if you're hot, build a fire; if something pricks you, lean into it.

  40. I exist to empty myself into other people...principally, by coming alongside them as their slave and by living a life of genuine selflessness.


IKIGAI Weekly Blog Schedule (per The Training Trinity):

Mondays: Meditative Prayer

Wednesdays: Holistic Discipline

Fridays: Martial Arts Practice​


The Life You Were Born to Live

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