“The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength…” Psalm 90:10
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
“May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:16-17
Here is a beautiful prayer for each of us as we grow older.
Lord, thou knowest better than myself, that I am growing older, and will some day be old. Keep me from getting talkative, particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion; and release me from the craving to try to straighten out everybody’s affairs.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details—give me wings to get to the point. I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others’ pains. Help me to endure them with patience. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains. They are increasing and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint—some of them are so hard to live with—but a sour old woman (or man) is one of the crowning works of the devil. Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it; but thou knowest, O Lord, I want a few friends at the end.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me, Lord, the grace to tell them so. Amen