Monday, June 30, 2014

Prayer 525

Yosemite Valley

We worship You, O God. Our strength comes from Your abundant Love, that gives us hope to press on toward our goal. 

You call us to faithfulness: let us always trust in Your abounding grace. 
You call us to compassion: let us always love one another. 
You call us to action: let us work for justice and peace as love made manifest. 

Give us eyes to see clearly, minds to discern justly, hearts to love freely, and hands to work unceasingly. Give hope to those who are troubled, wisdom to those who seek a path, and comfort to those who suffer, especially those we now name.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Prayer 524

Rainbow falls, Yosemite.

We praise your Wisdom, O God, that sings to us in creation! We thank You for this world in all its beauty and wonder. 

Teach us to be trustworthy stewards of your living Earth, to walk gently and humbly upon it. 

Give us faith that grows as the grass in the meadows. 

Teach us to care for each other as brothers and sisters, making each others’ burdens our own. Let us rejoice together, work together, pray together, and mourn together. 

Send your healing Spirit upon these for whom we now pray.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Prayer 523- for the Unity of Faithful People

Violet flower, Osage Forest of Peace

(On the beginning of Ramadan)
God of peace, let us waken the dawn with our prayers and praises, illumined by your love. May our faith in You unite us in holiness and mutual respect, driving away all rancor or contention. May we be drawn into brotherhood with all who serve You, and call upon You by many names. May we speak to each other in love, and pray together for peace and amity. O Blessed One, bring us within your embrace, and look with favor upon those we now name.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Prayer 522- the Beauty of Creation

Pink wildflower, Osage Forest of Peace, Sand Springs, OK

Creator God, we come before You in awe for the works of Your Hands which sustain us in each moment and breath. You set the stars in their courses- help us follow the paths of peace and justice this day. You clothe the lilies of the field in beauty-- help us to put on the raiment of righteousness and walk humbly with our companions. Your eye is on the sparrow- watch over those who are in need, sorrow, or pain, especially these we now name.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Prayer 521

Wildflower, Osage Forest of Peace, Sand Springs, OK

O God, we bless and thank you for guiding us through the watches of the night. O Lord, help us to bloom where we are planted today. Help us to seek to serve You in serving others. Help us to love others and treasure them without wanting to fix them. Help us to be grateful for all that we receive, and open our hearts to your Spirit. Casting ourselves upon your mercy and benevolence, we lay before You our prayers and thanksgivings.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Prayer 520

Mission window, Trinity Church, Tulsa

O God, look with favor upon your servants today. 

Let us turn our hearts toward those who, in the midst of plenty, are in want in body or soul. Let us hunger for justice and redemption as much as we hunger for nourishment. 

Let us remember how love has blessed us in our lives, and let go of discontent and rancor. Help us to stop building a mountain of our resentments, and dwell instead within the mansion of our blessings. 

Give your protection to those who are in danger from the heat this day, and let us work to give them shelter as our own. Comfort those whose needs we bring before You.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Prayer 519- Feast of the Nativity of St. John

Along the path- Osage Forest of Peace, Sand Springs, OK

(Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist)
Lord, open our ears to hear your Good News, that we may act upon it. May we trust your promises always, remembering your power and goodness. May we hear the voice from the wilderness, especially when we are the ones who have gone astray. Let us repent and turn from our sins and hardness of heart. Let us sing out our blessings and bear witness to God's grace in sending us God's Son. O God, lift us up before You and in your mercy hear our prayers, especially for those we now name.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Letting God Open Our Eyes: Speaking to the Soul, June 23, 2014

A beautiful little wildflower at Osage Forest of Peace in Sand Springs, OK.

Genesis 21:8-21
Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17
Matthew 10:24-39
I spent several days last week at a lovely retreat center called the Osage Forest of Peace near my hometown of Tulsa. One of the favorite things to do there during the early morning hours is to walk over the hiking trails that wind behind the retreat center over nearly forty acres.
Now, given that this was during the very end of spring in Oklahoma, it is also copperhead season, so I had a tendency to look at the ground often to see if any dangers lurked along the path ahead of me. I was working on notes for the lectionary readings for Sunday so they could be sent to the members of the group that meets each week to discuss them on Sunday during Christian education. But also, I’ll be honest, I was lost in thought about a problem. And strangely, I began to notice all kinds of beautiful tiny wild flowers, almost all of them varying shades of purple, all of them no longer than two inches. They were easily missed, and seemingly insignificant. But they were also amazing. And to see them, I had to open my eyes.
That same phrase was used in one of the readings in the lectionary from yesterday. Hagar and her son Ishmael have been cast out into the wilderness, despairing, thinking that she and her child were about to die of thirst. And yet, God opens her eyes: and there is a well. In fact, both of Abraham’s sons are saved at the brink of disaster when someone’s eyes are opened: in a couple of chapters, Abraham will be on the brink of sacrificing Isaac, only to look up and see a ram caught nearby, ready to take Isaac’s place as the sacrifice.
I was thinking about Hagar’s story, and Jesus’s reminder in Sunday’s gospel that sparrows were sold two for a penny, yet even they would not fall to the ground without the notice of God. While I had been looking for danger, and probably not doing that very well because I was also distracted, my eyes were opened to all kinds of miracles along a dry and rocky path.
Sometimes, we focus on the problems, and forget about the blessings. Sometimes we feel insignificant, and that our needs or concerns are being overlooked. And then, God provides us something to remind us that God is listening, and that we shouldn’t be so preoccupied with concerns that we forget to look around us and really see the hand of God in our lives. Sometimes miracles are more showy: the well of water is right there, another sacrifice is found, yes, but also the baby leaves the NICU, the car wheels find purchase as they spin on the rain-slicked curve, the surgery turns out well.
It’s often that way. We go about our business, plugging along and not paying much attention to what is going on around us. And smaller miracles appear, but still important: here are tiny flowers, blooming where no one might ever see them, yet they bloom anyway. Yet there are often hidden miracles—we only have to look up and open our eyes.

(This was first posted at the Episcopal Cafe's Speaking to the Soul on June 23, 2014.)

Prayer 518

Web, Osage Forest of Peace, Sand Springs, OK

Abundant One: we rise from our rest with our faces set toward this day you have made: illuminate our spirits with your truth and beauty. May we always sing out our joy for the wonders of the Lord, whose mercy extends forever. Bring us to reconciliation with all those whom we have wronged, and help us to walk blamelessly from this moment. Help us to rid ourselves of all that keeps us from following You, Blessed Savior, for your way is the way of abundance. Make us grateful and grace-filled disciples, that our lives might sing out your goodness and be a testimony of praise. Enfold us within your Love, O Blessed Trinity, and comfort to all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Prayer 517- for true worship and service

Cross, Osage Forest of Peace, Sand Springs, OK

All-Merciful God, we come into your sanctuary today, praising your Name with angels and saints: guide us forth to do your will. 

May we come before your altar reconciled and at peace with all in our lives, forgiving and forgiven. 

May we hear your Word with joy and in the Spirit of Truth. 

May we join hands around your table, remembering our Savior, determined to gain solace and strength to take up our work with joy. 

May we make building your kingdom in the hearts of all our sole occupation. 

Help us to open our hearts to the abundant love and grace that flows from You, O Lover of Souls. Bless all who call out to You, and bear up the faithful and the seeking upon angels’ wings.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Prayer 516

Mission window, Trinity Tulsa

O God, You designed all of creation to live in community and mutual dependence with one another. Thank You for the sure foundation of love and companionship that reminds us of Your unfailing love for us. Thank You for friendship and harmony that uplifts us in times of joy and in times of trial. Help us to walk together in mutual love and support, depending always upon your providence. Help us treat each other with grace, with gratitude, and with generosity each day of our lives. Help us to strengthen each other as You strengthen these for whom we pray today.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Prayer 515

Window at Trinity Church, Tulsa

Inspired by Matthew 18: 21-35
Almighty God, let our praises and thanksgiving ring out to the hills and fill the valleys, for You are our God. We praise You and bless You, O Merciful One, for your forgiveness that washes over our spirits. We humbly beg your pardon, and the pardon of those we have hurt or wronged. Teach us to love You, and each other, without limit, without fear or rancor. Teach us to root ourselves in kindness, to transcend our pettiness and selfishness. Forgive us our manifold sins and failures, and may forgiveness and healing well up within us. May we forgive as You have loved us. From the desert of our pain, fear, or uncertainty, may we seek the oasis of your love and healing.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Prayer 514

The Good Shepherd- Trinity Tulsa

(Inspired by Matthew 18:10-20)
O Shepherd, we give thanks that You call us each by name: help us to turn to You in faithfulness when You call. Guard us from the wolf at the door and the wolf within our hearts. All like sheep we have gone astray, yet You have brought us through the perils of the bramble and the snare. Hear us when we cry to You, and lift us upon your shoulders when we grow weary. Bring us to the day when we sing out our joy at the recovery of the lost, for You are ever seeking us out in steadfast love. Enfold us within your arms, O Loving One, and with a word banish all our cares and pain, for our trust is in You. Hear the concerns of our hearts.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Prayer 513

O Sheltering God, we are your children: may we draw near to You to receive your blessing and benediction. Let us examine all our actions, that they may not cause any of your beloved children to stumble or lose their way. We cast ourselves upon your arms of forgiveness, Blessed Savior, and humbly as pardon for all our faults. 

May we always remember that we proclaim ourselves your people, and we are the face of Christ in the world. Give us the open-heartedness of children, and let us always seek to learn and be guided by your Holy Spirit. Give us the wisdom of children, and let us always act out of love and generosity of spirit. May we love and treasure each other in Your Name, O God: Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. 

Have mercy upon us as we walk our pilgrim path, O God, and hear the prayers of your people as we remember the needs of our brothers and sisters, and all our fellow-creatures.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Prayer 512

Petunia detail

Merciful God, we come before You, humbled by your gifts of love and mercy. We thank You for the blessing of friends and companions, part of the Love with which You encircle us. Make us seekers of wisdom, and let that wisdom take root in our hearts as love and service to your Truth. Let us always put our trust in God, whose mercy endures forever. Guide us into righteousness and hope, Loving One, especially those who earnestly seek a deeper knowledge of You. Extend your hand of blessing over those we now name.


Monday, June 16, 2014

From Speaking to the Soul: Singing Creation into Being

Glory to God, who is making the heavens and the earth:

Prayer 511

Almighty, Most-High, Redeeming God, we sing out our praise for your faithfulness, and our gratitude for your mercy. Gather to You all who wander, for You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life. 

Make our souls like well-watered gardens, bearing fruit of the spirit to nourish us in our quest to be your disciples in word and deed. For You are the Ground of our Being, O Savior, and we find our rest and our strength within your arms of healing and forgiveness. 
Drive far from us all pettiness and anger; let us do what we can to be a blessing to others and to your Name. 

May our thanksgivings reach to the heavens; may our thoughts be on your abundant grace as we go about our day. Spread your canopy of love and comfort over all who are in the shadow of hopelessness or despair, and soothe those who cry to You, especially those we now name.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Prayer 510- Trinity Sunday and Father's Day

Trinity Window from Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis

Holy God, Father of us all, we ask you to purify us that we may serve you before your altar today. Cast your arms of love and reconciliation around us, that we remember our place within your heavenly family. Guide us by your Spirit to walk the ways of truth, justice and love through the example of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Help us to embrace the fathers of our own families who are with us today, and remember those who are gone from us. Give us strength and courage to love and serve You in each moment of our lives, and the wisdom to act in the name of Christ. Shield the joyous and bless the suffering, Lord Christ, and extend your hand of healing over those we now name.


A Prayer for Fathers- Father's Day

My father, whose nickname was "Short" for obvious reasons, is on the right, with his twin brother on the left.

Prayer for fathers 

Loving God, we thank you for fathers. We thank you for biological fathers, adopted fathers, and fathers in spirit. We thank you for fathers who work hard every day to help fulfill the needs of their families, who fix broken things and teach us how to do it ourselves, who embrace us and guide us, who love us even when they don't understand us. We know they reflect and embody your love for us as our heavenly Father. Comfort those of us who miss our fathers this day, and strengthen and bless those fathers who work so hard to love, protect, and nurture their families this day and every day. Amen.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Prayer 509- For Transformation

Preparing for confirmation, May 17, 2014

(inspired by Matthew 17:1-13)
O God, You reveal yourself to us again and again: come rest in our hearts and set them aflame for your service. Transform our hearts that they may lead us into deeper discipleship and worship. Send us out to honor and care for all within your creation: may we join with all living things in worshiping your Holy Name. Let us not just seek to remain on holy ground, but go forth, to proclaim the love of God in every act. Spread your mantle over those who are suffering in body, mind, or spirit, O Loving One. Grant your benediction and guidance for all who seek a clearer path through today.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Prayer 508

Detail from a window at Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis

Almighty One, we sing out our thanksgiving of your saving work in our lives. We seek out your guidance in our words and actions, opening ourselves to the counsel of the Spirit within our hearts. Let us always seek to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with You, Our God and Redeemer. Let us go forth into your vineyard with joy, working for the glory of your mercy and loving-kindness. Give us the strength to sing out your Truth to all the world, to the just and unjust alike. May we always remember and marvel at your traveling mercies and unlimited grace. Uphold us, Loving God, in the paths of righteousness and compassion, that we set our minds upon your kingdom. Let our prayers like incense ascend to You, the All-Beneficent and Merciful One.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Prayer 507- for Trust and Faith

Window at Christ Church Cathedral

Inspired by Psalm 71
O God, You have been our constant companion since before we drew breath: may we abide in your presence forever. 

You called us into the light of wisdom and sustained us with your grace as we grew and learned: your hand rests upon us. 
In our rejoicing we give You thanks; in our trials we cry out to You as a babe call for his mother in the night: in darkness and light, You are there. 
Soothe our minds and souls that we may remember your steadfastness and devotion. 
May we know we are never abandoned or forsaken, even when doubt and pain prowl and circle around us in the night. 
You are our salvation and our shield, our rock and our tower, our Friend and Guide who upholds us always. 

Set ablaze the hearts of those who call on You, Beloved Savior, especially those we hold within our hearts today.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Prayer 506

Pistil of a hibiscus blooming in my mother's yard, Tulsa, June, 2014

Loving God, all creation sings out its praises to our God and Ground of All Being. Let us raise over ourselves the banner of Love Incarnate, and embody and empower that Love in all we do. We give you thanks for all the gifts You continue to shower upon us. Be with us and guide us in the work of healing and restoration of our souls and bodies. Help us examine our hearts, and purify ourselves for your service. Guide us into all honesty and truth, and let all we do be for the glory and strengthening of the kingdom of heaven on earth. Extend your hand of blessing, O Earth-maker, Pain bearer, Life-giver, over those for whom we now pray.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Prayer 505- Depend upon God

Hibiscus blooming in my mother's yard, Tulsa, June 2014

Holy Redeemer, we lift our voices in praise of your sheltering canopy of love, which You spread above us as deep and as broad as the night sky.
You have carried us through the darkness to deliver us safely upon the shore of hope and faith.
Set us firmly upon your path of holiness and justice; make your way broad and clear before our eyes that we may not stray from You.
Renew our souls that we may be truly one in your Spirit of wisdom and truth.
Bend near, O Holy One; for while there is breath we will sing out our thanksgivings for your mercy and loving-kindness.
Hold us within the palm of your hand, O Love Eternal; especially those we now name. 


Monday, June 9, 2014

Prayer 504

Hibiscus blooming in my mother's yard, Tulsa, June, 2014

Love Divine, extend your gracious hand over us in our praises and our petitions, and place us firmly within your embrace, we pray. 
Holy Spirit, give us hearts of flesh and spirit in place of our hearts of stone, and let our words and actions find favor in your sight. 
We thank You for the gift of friends and companions who walk with us through life. Bless especially the hands of doctors, nurses, and caretakers, that those who suffer pain or illness may be restored to joy. Bless those who suffer in spirit or who have lost their way, Gentle Shepherd, that we hear your call to return and rest in your love. Inspire those who guide your Church, Lord Christ, that it always be a blazing sign of love and truth. 

Send your angels to guard those who call upon you, and hear our prayers as we place them at your feet, O Loving One.


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Prayer 503- Pentecost

The West Cupola in the Basilica di San Marco in Venice depicts Pentecost (mosaic, 1100CE). Photo from the Web Gallery of Art.

For Pentecost
Almighty God, You give us a Spirit of Wisdom, Power, Healing, & Truth: guide and inspire us by your Spirit in all we do. May we as your people sing out the glory of your Name and all your wondrous works, and give thanks for the bounty you provide. Enflame us by your Love, that our lives may be a testimony to your saving power and abundant grace. Let us always turn to your Advocate and seek to be led by Holy Wisdom, that we may be open and forthright in all we do. Knit us together in faithfulness, that we may be able to speak the Truth and live the Love for which all hearts thirst. Strengthen your faithful people to be your hands, heart, and hope in the world, to bring your good news to the wide world. By your Spirit, bestow your grace, blessing, and benediction upon those for whom we pray.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Prayer 502- for healing

Statue at the Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo, California, 2011.

Merciful One, we lift up our hearts to the glory of your radiant love, and give praise that we dwell in your presence forever. Lord Jesus, in your ministry among us you were a healer: may we reach out to you now to heal us. Heal us of our anger and thirst for vengeance, remembering all the times we ourselves have received mercy. Heal our wounded spirits, that the pain of the past does not cripple us today. Heal our mourning hearts, as we remember those who have died and what they meant for us. Heal us of our distracted ways, that we may remember your mercy and dwell in your presence in each moment. O Guardian of Our Souls, seal us as your own forever, and renew and revive our strength through your compassion.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Prayer 501- in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion

AP photo from June 6, 1944
In honor of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion:

Almighty God, You are our strength and our shield: hear our prayers. You fill our hearts with courage when fear closes over our head like a tide. You place our feet upon the strand and carry us through the breach. You bear us up like a gentle wave, and catch us when we fall. You shelter us from tempests and tumult, and bring us through fire and withering heat. You guide us through trials and shield us from storms, for your love is everlasting. You enclose us in your embrace when night falls; our final thought is of your wondrous love. Gather to You all the fallen who have sacrificed in the name of peace, for You are our home. We place our hearts, hopes, and fears in your hands, O Loving One, especially for these we now name.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Prayer 500

Loving God, we praise you in chorus with heaven, for You are steadfast and compassionate, blessing us with each breath we take.
We lift up your Church, that it be filled with holiness, charity and unity.
We lift up our gratitude to You, for your boundless grace cast below us like a net when we stumble.
We lift up our hearts to You, that they be filled with your Holy Spirit.
We lift up our hopes to You, that we be inspired to seek out your will in our lives.
We lift up our wounds to You, for your indomitable Love calls us to seek health and wholeness.
We lift up our fears to You, for You rest us upon your breast with a mother's strength.
Guide us, guard us, and keep us, O Shepherd, for we know You watch over us in mercy. Grant your blessing and benediction to those for whom we pray.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Prayer 499

Loving Creator, draw us to you in hope and faithfulness, hear our prayers. We thank You for protecting us through the storms of the night: give shelter to those who have no place to lay their heads. We thank You for the Spirit of truth and love that draws us together: remind us that we love You only as much as we love the person we love least. Guide us in doing right, especially when doing wrong is so easily justified. Help us to always act in the name of justice and compassion, as we are a flock ransomed through the call of the Good Shepherd. Place those who are lost or suffering upon your shoulders, Blessed One, giving them respite and consolation.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Prayer 498

St. Michel fountain, Left Bank, Paris, 2012

Loving One, we praise You for your steadfast love: may we abide in the spirit of truth and hope. You have given us a home within your embrace, and have blessed us abundantly through limitless grace: hear our prayer. 

We give You thanks for loving, steadfast hearts who have filled our days with friendship: may we never take love for granted. We give You thanks for work, and the strength to do it, that satisfies our minds and spirits: may all we do be to the glory of your kingdom. We give You thanks for healing and comfort for those who have been ill or in distress: your love, O God, is from everlasting. 

Send your angels to spread their sheltering wings over those who call out to You.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Prayer 497- On Beginnings and Endings

Winged Victory, the Louvre, Paris, 2012

Blessed Lord Jesus, you are the Alpha and the Omega: remind us that each ending is a new beginning. All things come from the bountiful Love of our Creator: let us rejoice in God's mercy and abundant grace. 

Make us worthy to bear the banner of Christ into the world, and guide us in the paths of wisdom and peace. Let all we do be done in love and charity, for the eyes of the world know You, Almighty God, through our actions and words. Drive far from us all bitterness and enmity, O Savior, for we know how much forgiveness we ourselves need yet are given freely. 

Guide the hands of doctors and nurses, that their patients flourish and gain strength and healing under their care. Place your hand of healing over the hearts, minds, and spirits of those who call upon You, O God, and bless those whose needs we lift before you.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Prayer 496- Ascension Sunday

Holy One, Blessed Redeemer, we praise You, we bless You, and we worship You in chorus with angels and archangels. We thank You for the beauty of the earth, for love and friendship, for your guidance and care for us. Make of us a witness and testimony to the mighty Love, Wisdom, and Spirit of God. Open our ears to hear your guidance, and strengthen our hearts and hands as we give them to You. Bring us before your altar that we may go from it nourished in spirit and body for the joyful task of building your kingdom. We place our hearts, our hopes, our dreams, and our concerns before You, Loving One, and ask your blessing upon those we now name.