Monday, October 31, 2016

Prayer 1379- Faith, hope, and love

A tiny bee on a tiny flower in Babler State Park.

Almighty One, look with compassion upon your entire human family, and accept our whispered prayers and praises. 

You have given us reason, memory, and will: guide us to use them for your glory.

Let our understanding lead to faith, the kind of faith that questions and explores secure in your embrace, O Holy One. 

Let our remembrance of your abiding love lead to hope, the hope that leads us to never surrender but rest in your mercy. 

Let us use our will and desire to choose good and act justly out of love and charity that overflows our hearts. 

In all we do, Most High, guide us into paths of peace and justice, and temper all our acts with mercy and humility. 
May we ever feel the comforting weight of your hand upon our hearts, and remember your lovingkindness as we pray.

Amen.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Prayer 1378- the Twenty-fourth Sunday After Pentecost

Zacchaeus tries to see Jesus as he passes by. Image origin unknown.

Most Merciful One, we awaken with joy as we prepare to serve at your altar and remember your tender care of us always. 

Help us to be so awestruck by your willingness to meet us where we are that we are willing to transform our lives. 
Help us to reconcile with those we have wronged that we may open the home of our hearts to You, Lord Christ. 
Help us to overcome our own short-sightedness to tend to the sick, the poor, and the outcast all around us. 

Renewed by your Spirit, O God, we turn our hearts toward our loved ones in need, and ask your blessing upon them.

Amen.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Prayer 1377- let love heal

Autumn palette, Babler State Park.


Let us praise the almighty power of God, and open our hearts to receive God's grace. To You be honor and worship O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Drive far from us all that wounds us, and help us embrace good over evil. Let love heal our hearts and minds, and comfort those who mourn, for You, O God, have loved us since before our birth. 

Place the robe of your mercy upon the shoulders of all who seek You, Lord Christ, especially those whom we now remember.

Amen.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Prayer 1376

Half Dome, Yosemite National Park.

In peace and thanksgiving,
we pray to You, O Lord.
You preserve us through the night,
and walk beside us during the day, O Christ.

Forgive us our sins,
for our oppression of the poor,
for our heedlessness toward Mother Earth
and her inhabitants.

Redirect us when we fall
into envy, fear, or heedlessness:
may we walk with our hearts open to love and hope.
Help us deal with each other in love,
with tenderness and forebearance,
as You love us.

Help us to clothe ourselves in the gospel of Christ,
testifying to the beauty of God's kindom
with joy and faithfulness.
Watch over all who suffer
in body, mind, or spirit, O Lord,
and help us care for them in gentleness.

Amen.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Prayer 1375- Thankfulness throughout the day

The canopy of gold and green, Babler State Park.

God of the universe,
accept our prayers and praises
as we ponder your mighty works
and abundant grace. 

When dawn comes,
bearing its golden gifts of promise,
You are beside us;
your eye never sleeps.
At midday,
your light illumines our hearts,
and we pause to give you thanks 
and remember your lovingkindness. 
As the evening sun draws us
from labor to rest,
your hand, O Holy One,
rests upon us in companionship and peace.
When night descends like a curtain,
you place your mantle over us
and send your angels to guard our sleep.

In all things we remember
the life that You have given us thrums in our veins,
making us kindred with all the living Earth.

It is in You
and through You
and with You
that we have our being, Lord Christ:
we lay bare our hearts before You.

Move over us
as the Spirit moved over the waters at the dawn of time,
and create in us hearts eager to love and serve You.

Amen.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The path to light: Speaking to the Soul, October 26, 2016


“Everything happens for a reason. God never gives you more than you can handle.” 

There it was again, yesterday and then again this morning, those trite phrases that feel like a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. I’ve heard it trotted out at hospital bedsides, at funerals, by well-meaning people, who awkwardly fumble for the two-tap pat on the hand as they address a person who is suffering, and as they try to make meaning of their suffering. Even though well-meaning, does this really help us understand and come to grips with what happens to us? 

When my late mother-in-law was nearing her transition, the only thing that seemed to comfort her when they refused to increase the morphine was the “Hail, Mary.” As we waited for the ambulance to take her to the hospital, we sat with her in our laps, and kept repeating that prayer, over and over and over. When the ambulance came, I rode in the back with her and kept praying with her—and she was praying it, too-- because if we stopped, she was in agony again. Regardless of her pain, though, that lovely old prayer was steeped into her very bones, and she would turn to me and wait to see if I would start again, and then she would pray it with me: 

Hail Mary, full of grace: the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

For hours we prayed that prayer, in the living room and in the back of the ambulance, and in the ER and in the hospital room to which she was admitted. 

As a kid, I certainly never said such a prayer in any of the Protestant churches we attended as I grew up. It was only when I took my first teaching job in a parochial school in St. Louis that I learned that prayer, as hopeful person after hopeful person at that school pressed rosaries and scapulars into my hand in the hopes of my conversion. That never happened, but I did come away from those years with a love of the rosary, and of Mary, and of the prayer reminding us of the bold, audacious young girl who said “Yes!” to the impossible.

Years later, someone told me that I had spent two often-difficult years at that school just so I could learn that prayer just for that moment. “THAT was the reason you had to be at that school,” they told me. 

I don’t know. Maybe. I know in that situation, it’s a rather innocuous comment. But it does make me wince when people suggest that God had a hand in some tragic situation for a “higher purpose.” I don’t think God arranges for people to have cancer, or experience the death of a loved one, just so they can learn something. Bad things don’t happen to us to test us. Frankly, sometimes the reason why something happens is based on human choices, which is a gift and a burden I believe that is inherent in our very natures, part of what makes us creatures in the image and likeness of God. 

I think perhaps it’s more that we are meaning-makers as people. That’s one of the things that all the stories in scripture are really about: trying to make sense of why we are here, what our purpose is, and offering hypotheses for why things happen. Our freedom to act and create can lead to wondrous things—sonnets to sonatas, novels to Nobel prizes—but it can also lead to decisions to treat others as mere objects for our convenience, to cruelty, fear-mongering, and derision. Eventually, at the right time whenever that is, we can choose the path of healing, knowing that the pain like a scar will never completely fade, but can hopefully be borne. I know that, through grace and hope, often we are healed and led to new life after trauma. But I don't think that's the reason why these things happen, because I have also seen times when trauma has never revealed “a good side,” which reminds us that we shouldn’t be so sanguine in believing that terrible human choices don’t really matter. Some traumas leave scars upon us that never fade—a friend of mine told me tonight that with these kinds of experiences, “we can either transform them or we can transmit them onto someone else.” It may be that, down the road, the new person we have become after sorrow or loss will be able to use that time of trial to make sense of some new situation. I think it's a way we heal and grow differently than we might get have, especially in compassion. But always, we carry these pains and sorrows with us, knowing the best we can do is be transformed by them. We can try to find the path toward light in the midst of darkness.

When we are honest with ourselves, we know that sometimes bad things happen, and there is no reason. We live in the midst of uncertainty at times. It can be hard. Nonetheless, we get through it knowing that we are never alone. Through the darkest valley, we hold the hand of a Savior who walks alongside me in times of joy as well as times of sorrow. A Good Shepherd who, in times of darkness, encourages us to dare to hope, and we are inspired by knowing that the Son of God, God Incarnate, Light from Light, himself has walked in our footsteps and has literally shared in all the joys and pain that comes with the beauty and the trials of being human. When bad things happen, we do have that assurance- that God is with us, even to the end of what we think we can bear and beyond. That’s the most comforting reason in the world.

Prayer 1374- Trust and Assurance

Two clematis buds, Kauffman Memorial Gardens, Kansas City.

Lord, we lift up our hearts to You in glory and wonder,
astonished at your imprint in the world around us. 
The love of God is my portion and my cup;
the Almighty is my all in all:
how can I fear any evil?
Today we place our hands in the hand of our Savior;
today we seek the path of peace and mercy. 

Lord Jesus, help us to put aside
our fearful grip on resentment and strife,
on all that blinds us and binds us. 
May our fears fall from us like autumn leaves;
they will dance away from us,
carried by the warm wind of hope.

Let us walk in love and compassion,
seeking reconciliation,
opening our hearts in gentleness.
Merciful One, we know your love never fails:
may the healing wave of love cool our fevered brows.
Send forth your Spirit of Peace, we pray;
shield and comfort all those whom we remember before You.

Amen.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Prayer, day 1373- Being Better Sheep

The Good Shepherd, writer unknown.

Inspired by the 23rd Psalm:
O Lord, You are our shepherd;
help us to be better sheep.
When You give us green pastures,
help us to be grateful and not refuse to eat.
When You lead us beside still waters,
help us quiet our souls and be refreshed.
When our cups run over,
help us not to obsess about the mess
but shout for joy at the abundance you give us always.
When You lead us to right pathways,
help us not to be hardheaded
and go astray.
When we are in the darkest valley,
help us to remember that You are ALWAYS with us.

When you spread a table before us
in the presence of our enemies,
help us invite them to join us,
that their hearts may be turned by love.

Help us to stop bleating long enough

to hear Your voice calling us to You.

May we remember

that your goodness and mercy
follow all of us
all the days of our lives.

Amen.
757, 1181

Monday, October 24, 2016

Prayer 1372- for discernment

A bend in the path- Babler State Park, Wildwood, MO.

Come, let us rise up, and offer thanks and praise to God, who is making the heavens and the earth! 
Loving Savior, take our all we offer to You, for in your mercy you have redeemed us to live in love and in peace. 
Your love, O God, is sweeter than honey: inscribe our hearts with your compassion, that we may always walk in your light. 

May we turn our hands to work that glorifies your Name, O Lord, and turn our hearts to living in love and faithfulness. 
Inspire us to witness in thought, word, and deed to a seeking world, testifying to your goodness and love. 
Look with favor on all your people, O Holy One, and bless and keep within your embrace all those for whom we pray.

Amen.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Prayer 1371- The Twenty-third Sunday After Pentecost

The glory of God sings out from the heavens!

Holy One, your love pours out over the entire earth, and we lift our hands and hearts in praise and joy. We thank You for your abiding tenderness: let us join the song of praise for You, O God, in the company of all creation. 

Forgive us our offenses, even when we stumble from your paths of mercy and justice: may we build up rather than tear down. Help us to stand not in pride against our brothers and sisters, but in humility and compassion with and among them. Help us tend to the sick and the sorrowful, and wipe away the tears of the broken-hearted. 

Instead, let us turn to the Lord of Light and Truth, and bear witness in our joy to the gospel of love. Give us hands and hearts for healing, and make us companions unified by the Bread of Life. 

Hear the prayers of your people, O God, and attend to those whose cry is to You.

Amen.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Prayer, day 1369-- In Praise of Autumn

Sugar maples in my neighborhood.

O God, we thank You for being our companion through the seasons of life, and we praise and bless You forever!

You are our hope, which buds within our hearts like a sapling tree. 
You are the green joy that springs up from the soil of our hearts and takes root, blessing us and holding us fast.
You are the lustrous light of faithfulness: you call us to turn to You as flowers crane their necks to the sun.
You are the song of praise that sings from the symphony of color of autumn forests and fields.
You are our warming fire, that sets our embered souls ablaze through the breath of your Spirit.

Open our eyes to see your glory, O Creator, and open our hearts to nurture your Word and Truth. 
Hear the prayers that tumble from our hearts like fallen leaves, and gather in your arms those we now name.

Amen.
642

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Prayer 1368- a prayer for rising

Morning mist rising like a prayer.

O God, early in the morning we open up our hearts to You;
renew our questing hearts every morning in your love, we pray. 

In stillness, in peace, thankfulness wells up 
like a spring of clear water is absorbed into thirsty ground.

Let your holy wisdom take root within us, Lord Christ:
let us prepare the ground of our hearts to welcome your word. 

Nourished by your grace, restored by your mercy,
lead us into reconciliation with each other.

We pray that all have love enough,
and bread enough,
that all may dwell in peace and plenty in your care,
O Most High.

Forgive us for the hearts we've broken rather than set free,
and the walls we've built up to shut ourselves in.

Look upon us with tenderness, we pray,
and help us cast away our vanity and pride.

Lord Christ, let your prayer of love be prayed within us
and draw us into heaven's banquet of fellowship.

Let your Spirit of healing come down
and give rest to those we remember before You. 

 Amen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Prayer 1367- for discernment and action

Autumn comes to Eden.

Almighty, Life-giving God, You are our help and our salvation: show forth your glory in the world as our song of love rises to You. Let us tend to the earth and to each other with gladness of heart, uplifted by hope.

Pour out your wisdom upon us, Merciful One, and give us the will to plant peace and uproot injustice wherever it springs up. 
Let us feed the hungry, tend the sick, care for the exile, and shelter the homeless, embodying the hands and heart of Jesus. 
Let us resist oppression and cruelty in all its forms, and honor the dignity and worth of all that lives. 
Let us treasure this living Earth You made for us and all your creatures, and join in its song of praise to You. 

Merciful One, your love is from everlasting: send forth your peace upon those for whom we pray.

Amen.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Singing of the Earth- Speaking to the Soul, October 18, 2016

A pollinator in Shepherd Farm garden at Church of the Good Shepherd, Town and Country, MO.


It’s October, so for many of us, besides being either joyfully or grudgingly immersed in the season of Pumpkin Spice Everything, it is the season of baseball playoffs. One of my favorite things during the seventh inning stretch is the renditions of “America the Beautiful” that are often sung. I have always loved the visuals brought to mind in that song as embodying the natural beauty of our country. Along with “Finlandia,” the reminders of the beauty of growing things, of the love we can have for the land, are always so vitally important, especially since it is often so easy to take this abundance for granted.

I thought again of the images in “America the Beautiful” and “Finlandia” as I read this Sunday’s psalm, Psalm 65. Many of the images of Psalm 65 seem like they might have been the inspiration for these two hymns.

The descriptions here of God’s domination of all natural forces and of creating not just order but an abundance of agricultural wealth to not just sustain the people but to demonstrate forcefully that God is not just merciful but mighty. Remember that Israel is an arid environment, and that the people are often at the mercy of extremes in climate and environment. Yet even in difficult paces, God is making the terrain bountiful and rich—notice that the verb tense is not in the past, but in the present. Examine the pregnant imagery employed here: in verse 11, furrows are “drenched” with “heavy rain;” in verses 13-14, a wilderness is instead filled with fields that can sustain and fatten a multitude of flocks. The image of valleys “cloaked with grain” is striking, and so lavish. 

But what I tend to notice is that God is here portrayed as a farmer, as one who makes the earth bring forth both beauty and plenty. Last Sunday was World Food Day, so how wonderful it is to ponder the ways that creation continually renews itself in each growing season. In verses 9 and 10, God tends to the Earth, and waters the plants that grow for food upon it, and then God prepares the grain so that it may be eaten and bless the people. God’s abundance reaches to the round corners of the Earth. Abundance becomes clear when people are fed. 

Psalm 65 also mentions our sins in verse 3—or “our crimes,” as theologian Ellen Davis translates it. It acknowledges the power that sin can have on us— they are “stronger than we are.” Yet the second half of that verse notes God’s astounding grace in forgiveness of those sins, that God will “blot them out.” Even though our misdeeds are strong, we can receive the gift of forgiveness. With that gift, we can attempt to make recompense for our sins, especially those against the Earth and those who share this small planet with us. Dr. Davis notes that God blesses the Earth with growth (verse 11), so that even the valleys join with dawn and dusk in singing out their joy. Yet it is up to us to make sure that that our practices in and on the Earth do not damage it, but tend to it and respect and support its sacred work of sustaining us as God intended. It is up to us to make sure that the abundance of the earth is used righteously, for the good of all who dwell upon it.

Every year, it is estimated that ten million children less than five years old die of hunger and malnutrition. Every year. One in seven people on the planet face daily, persistent hunger. This is why Episcopal Relief and Development seeks to provide tools, seed, and livestock for the creation of sustainable family farms throughout the world. 

Urban gardening at Holy Communion.
But there are concrete actions we can take to help do our part to make sure the bounty of the earth is used for the blessing of all the people of God, no matter their nationality or creed. This is why, this year, nearly two dozen members of the Diocese of Missouri joined dozens of others from around the area to walk in the Crop Walk on September 25 for the benefit of hunger ministries in St. Louis and around the world. This is why the parish I am privileged to serve as intern, the Church of the Good Shepherd, pours its energy into Shepherd Farm, once again giving away 2,000 pounds of food this year to the hungry. This is why my home parish, the Church of the Holy Communion, has sustained and expanded a vegetable and pollinator garden for more than seven years that has also grown thousands of pounds of produce to be given away at the food pantry operated by our sister parish of Trinity Episcopal Church in the city of St. Louis. 
Some of the Episcopal Crop Walk contingent.

And these stories are repeated hundreds of times over across the nation, as more and more religious organizations become involved in cultivating the land that they have to produce abundant harvests of food for the benefit of our brothers and sisters who are hungry. But we know, that with care, as God’s very example shows us, we can also tend to the Earth lovingly, reverently, and in so doing bring forth blessing over all the Earth, from dawn to dusk, from mountain to valley.

In her translation of Psalm 65, especially verses 9- 14, Professor Davis highlights the saturation of goodness that God continues to embed in creation:

You visit the earth and water it;
You abundantly enrich it—
God’s stream, full of water. 
You set their grain—yes, You set it just so.
Drenching its furrows, settling its hillocks,
You soften it with showers; its growth You bless.
You have crowned the year with Your goodness,
and Your wagon-tracks drip richness.

The pastures of the wilderness are dripping, 
and the hills are girdled with rejoicing.
The meadows are clothed with the flocks, 
and the valleys robed with grain.
They shout out; they even sing.

The glory of God is reflected in the song wrung from the hills and valleys, from the first shoots of growth in spring to the heavy branches sighing out their joy as they are covered with juicy, lavish fruit in autumn. Harvest time as well as spring time is the time of the Earth’s singing. It is the time of the seed falling to the receptive earth, to slumber through the winter to be reborn in the spring, reminding us of resurrection and life abundant. May our hearts be fertile soil for the word of God, that they may bring us, singing too, to a holy covenant of life with and for each other, blessed by and inspired by the abundant love of God for us in creation.

Prayer 1366

A bee works ardently on an aster at the Kauffman Memorial Gardens, Kansas City.

Most Merciful God, who gives life to all creation, we offer You worship and thanks as the curtain of the night draws back. Feed our hearts with joy as we study your Word and remember our blessings this day. 

Let us rebuke the forces of fear and darkness, and take the path of wisdom and justice, that peace may flourish through every land. May we love and serve you, Holy One, that all we do may testify to the love we are called to embody as your children. 

Lord, consecrate us to serve each other in joy, and knit us together as one people. Press the kiss of your blessing and seal of your healing on all whose needs we lift before You.

Amen.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Prayer 1365- For compassionate hearts

The "Hunter's Moon" that shone last night truly reminded us of the glory of creation.

Holy One, we bend the knee of our hearts before You in thanksgiving: open our hearts to the balm of your Word. 

Remember us according to your love, O God, for we are prone to wander and fall short of who we are called to be. 
We are too prone to give the hungry a stone instead of bread, and the refugee rejections rather than welcome. 

Yet You are gracious to us, O God, steadfast in kindness, so let us learn from You, who made us in your image. 
Grant us the courage to follow in the path of hope, faith, and compassion through the waste places of fear and doubt. 
Teach us by the example of your saints and apostles to walk in your ways always. 

Give us the will to sing your love boldly and to place healing hands upon the wounded places in the world as we pray.

Amen.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Prayer 1364: Twenty-second Sunday After Pentecost

A Monarch caterpillar finds food because someone deliberately planted milkweed in a garden.
Can we do no less for out brothers and sisters who are hungry?

O Lord, You are the refuge of all who seek justice and peace, our great Advocate: we draw near to give You praise. Inscribe your great commandment on our heart, that we may love and serve You by how we love and serve each other. 

Blessed Jesus, you are our bread and our cup: help us, as your body in the world, to feed the world in love and light. Let us never rest until all are fed in truth and in Spirit, and the hungry are fed and embraced. 

Our hands joined around your altars, let us be filled with the Holy Spirit to sow peace and justice as we go forth in joy. In all things, may we be led by your call to relieve the needy and comfort the afflicted through the power of your grace. 

Holy One, grateful for your abiding care for us, we lift up the needs of those for whom we now pray.

Amen.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Prayer 1363- For Teresa of Avila

A beautiful poem prayer from St. Teresa of Avila.

Most Merciful God, we praise You, and turn our faces toward the rising light of hope that throws off the blanket of night. Guide and direct our hearts to You today, O God, knowing you journey with us in love. 

May we send all our thoughts after You, O God, seeking You with all that we are. May we act out of love in all we do, for love alone is the measure of all things. May we open our hearts that the love of Christ may overflow from us and into the dark corners of the world. Let our hearts in prayer be ever turned to You, Lord Christ, that we be led as children of God through your example. 

All that we are we lay at your feet, O Holy One: bless and sanctify us through our offering of love. Place your hand of blessing upon all who call upon You, especially those for whom we now pray.

Amen.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Prayer 1362

The Yosemite Valley.

Most Merciful One, we bless You, we praise You, we lift our hearts to You in thanksgiving. 
May all the round earth join your chorus, and our hearts resonate to your truth. 

Lord Jesus, you stretched open your arms on Calvary to press us against your sacred heart, and we abide in your embrace. 

Let us stand in faith on your good earth, and work for reconciliation and peace for all beings. 
Let us open ourselves to be infused with the light of wisdom, and seek wholeness and shalom. 

Lord, accept our offered prayer for the healing of the world, and for those whose needs we lift up in love.

Amen.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Prayer 1361- Prayer of Hope


Clematis buds form two hearts. Kauffman Memorial Gardens in Kansas City.

Let us rise from our beds and sing out a song of hope: our hope rests in God, who is making the heavens and the Earth. The steadfast Love of God endures forever: God's heart encompasses us like a cloud rests on the mountains. 

You have kept faith with us when we were faithless, and show us the way of love, made flesh in Jesus your Son. You have called us to remember our true natures as followers of Christ: to serve each other and the cause of justice and peace. 

Holy One, place the kiss of blessing upon us that we may be anointed with your peace, which surpasses understanding. Drive far from us all that leads us from light and life: help us cast off fear, distrust, and division. Guide us with your word of truth that we may carry your light within us for the joy of the world. Place your healing hand upon all whose needs we now remember, and grant them your peace and comfort, we pray.

Amen.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Prayer 1360- Make us fools for Christ

Hundreds of paper cranes hang in St. Augustine's chapel on the campus of Vanderbilt University.

Holy One, we awaken to serve you with joy: against the tides of darkness, let us sing the light into rising. 

Make us fools for Christ, that we may walk in compassion and mindfulness, at one with all creation. 
Let us embrace the foolishness of love and peace against the world's wisdom of fear and violence, and so follow Jesus. 
Let us embrace the foolishness of hope and justice against the world's expectation of contention and partiality. 
Let us hold fast to each other's hand, and see the face of Christ reflected in the tears of the suffering and oppressed. 

In all we do for good, strengthen us, Lord; in all we do in error, correct us and bring us to repentance and reconciliation. 

Lord, send your Spirit to cover and lift up the hearts of all who falter, and encourage those whose needs we remember.

Amen.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Prayer 1359

A bloom faces the morning sun at Kauffman Memorial Gradens in Kansas City.


Lord Jesus Christ, uphold us by your spirit from our rising through our resting, and keep us as the apple of your eye. 

We are created in the likeness of God: let us walk in love as Christ walks alongside us. 
Help us renounce all that leads us to fear and hate, and hold fast instead to the hope and love planted within us at our birth. 
Guide us into paths of compassion, that we may remember your command to love and care for one another. 

Blessed Teacher, take us by the hand and call us to healing in heart, mind, and spirit. 
Let us turn into the embrace of the Holy One, and rejoice in the fellowship of all creation to live in shalom. 
Merciful One, place your hand of blessing upon us, and comfort all who call upon you.

Amen.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Prayer 1358

A blossom from Shepherd Farm at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Town and Country, MO.

Holy One, we rise from our rest to praise you and bless you, giving thanks for all our blessings. 

Preserve us from sin and hatred today, and guide us into paths of peace and justice, Lord Christ, as you taught us. 

From the sun's rising to its setting, under the whirling, dancing stars, let our lives testify to the beauty of the Way of Truth. 

Let us be molded by the command to love with all our hearts, and let go of fear and hatred. 

 Almighty One, surround us in your mercy and sustain us by your grace, and shine your light upon those we now name.

Amen.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Prayer, day 1357

Rainbow, Yosemite Valley.

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, we come before your altars today joyfully singing our praise of your abundant help and grace. 

Let our prayers of thankfulness ring out to all the world, that Christ be known in every heart. 

Let our prayers of hope lift every soul to witness to Your truth, O God, to shine into the corners of every habitation. 

Let our prayers of peace turn our hearts and hands to building your kingdom of heaven here on Earth. 

May our words, our songs, our hearts, and our lives be dedicated to your service, O Holy Lord, our Redeemer and Guide. Loving One, we turn to You in gratitude for your saving help: send now your blessing on all the world.

Amen.
1006

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Prayer 1356

Nothing like a hand to hold, in joy, sorrow, or simply gratitude and love.

Most Merciful God, we lift our hearts to You in wonder, love, and praise. Raise the canopy of your blessing over us, we pray, and gather us to You in love and faithfulness. Help us open our hearts to treasure each other and the world around us. Animate us by your Holy Spirit to walk in your paths of compassion and healing. Press the kiss of your blessing, Blessed Jesus, upon us and those whose needs raise before You.

Amen.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Prayer 1355- Holding Fast in the Storm

This morning's dawn was spectacular.

Most Merciful God,
You are our fortress and stronghold,
and we thank you for lifting us up into wisdom and truth. 

You abide with us always;
You cover us with the strength of your almighty hand,
O Most High. 
You walk beside us
from the dawning to the dimming of the day, and lift us up
when the waters of fear rise up to our necks. 

Let your truth blossom and flourish within us,
that our hearts be good soil
to bear the fruit of justice and peace. 
Give us a spirit of forbearance and mercy, Lord Christ,
honoring your gospel of love and healing. 
Preserve us from the battering winds of enmity and discord,
and guide us into fellowship with all creation. 

Spirit of Peace, rest upon us 
and envelop with gossamer wings 
all those whose hope is in You.

Amen.

Written in response to the ambush-style shooting death of St. Louis County Officer Blake Snyder in St. Louis County on October 6, 2016, as well as the shooting deaths of two police officers in Palm Springs that also left one wounded that same weekend.