Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Prayer 709- New Year's Eve

Let us praise God in the beauty of the morning, and remember God's wondrous love each step of our day! 

Lord Christ, we thank You for bringing us thru this past year, and remember the times You walked beside us. Be our companion on the way as we face the New Year: may we turn again to your service with joy. May we hold fast to your hand as we seek to grow in faithfulness, and keep our feet upon the paths of wisdom and peace. 

Break the bow and shatter the spear, O God, and tear down the walls of suspicion that separate us from You and from each other. Bring us in safety through our trials, and make us instruments of your peace. Extend the shade of your healing hand over the body of your people, especially those we now name.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Prayer 708

We turn to You, O God, with open, longing hearts, seeking You in all we do through the prayers we raise. 

Who are we, that You should take notice of us? We are your beloved children, and You have claimed us as your own. 

You, O God, are the Mother who gives us life; You, O God, are the Father who treasures us. 

Place us within the cleft of the rock, and place your hand behind us and before us, for we depend upon You. Help us to turn aside from our follies, and heal our often self-inflicted wounds; restore us to integrity and peacefulness. 

Holy One, You call us to wholeness and unity in You: hear the prayers of Your people as they seek your grace and mercy.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Prayer 707- Feast of the Holy Innocents

Feast of the Holy Innocents
Almighty, everliving God, let us welcome you into our hearts with joy and humility. Be our companion in each breath we take today, Lord Christ, for in You we seek to live and move. Let us receive You into our hearts with joy, singing praises for your manifold blessings. Help us to acknowledge the times we have acted out of fear, suspicion, anger, or jealousy, and forgive us, Lord. With penitent hearts help us to see and know those we encounter as beloved children of God. Help us to receive your abundant Love as a balm for our sometimes turbulent spirits. Grant us peace, O Source of Our Being, and help us be joyful workers to build your kingdom on Earth. Hear the prayers of all who turn to You for healing, for strength, for courage, especially those we now name.

A Ferguson police sergeant and a protester embrace.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Speaking to the Soul: Living Into the Possibilities

This post originally appeared on Episcopal Cafe's Speaking to the Soul on December 28, 2014.

When my kids were little, their favorite question was “Why?” Why is the sky blue? Why doesn’t the moon fall down? Why can’t we ride our dog Maxie like a pony? Why can’t I go to school with you?

Every Sunday, I facilitate a lectionary Bible study at my parish. It’s discussion- based, which is how I have always preferred to teach, but the rub of this method always is the necessity to be prepared for anything. And that includes, always, some really great questions to which I will never claim that I have the answers.

A couple of Sundays ago was no exception. I had agreed to teach a month-long Advent series for the entire adult education program, rather than just our regular small group, and we were on the fourth and final Sunday. Our texts included the Annunciation narrative from Luke. The Archangel Gabriel appears to Mary, and opens up to her the possibility that she will bear a child, even though she is a “virgin.” And there are some who doubt several aspects of this story.

And that’s okay. In fact, that’s probably why many of us are Episcopalians. We are not afraid to live into the questions. But, I wonder, can we also be unafraid to live into the possibilities?

I wonder if we completely misunderstand the stories we hear during the seasons of Advent and Christmas if we set our focus on them as telling us anything about the “how” of God. A far more interesting question to me is the one my kids favored so much growing up: “Why?” Why was the Son of God sent into the world, born as a tiny baby in a dusty corner of a gigantic empire?  Why do the stories insist that the Son of God was born into an “irregular” family to a teenaged mother without connection or wealth or privilege? Why listen to these stories today?

One of the greatest mysteries in scripture seems to be that the God of Israel delights in those who would be overlooked: the younger child rather than the elder, the shepherd rather than the warrior, the repentant sinner rather than the perfect, the Samaritan who shouldn’t be expected to be compassionate rather than the leaders who should be compassionate but aren’t. Always, always, God encourages us to expand our notions of what is possible, to burst free of expectations based on what is probable, to show us instead the wonders of what can be.

Likewise, in this season of Advent and Christmas, the angle that captures my attention is not who Jesus WAS as much as who Jesus IS for us today. When we try to box Jesus into our scientifically perceived notions of natural law, we lose our grasp of Jesus altogether, much as you can’t hold water in your fist. Unto us is born a child who will be a savior for us right now as well as throughout the past.

This Son of God comes to be Emmanuel, “God With Us.” This Son of God comes to heal the lame and the sick and the outcast—and he continues to heal today, in the frozen, dry fields that lie waiting in the very center of our being. This Son of God comes to us as a humble little baby, whose cry from the manger cracks open our hearts and our spirits, opening us up to what is possible, what can be, through love and trust in both God and each other. He comes to us right now, and we so very much need him. Come, Lord Jesus.

Prayer 706

All creation worships You, O God, in the splendor of your majesty. 

Holy One, You sent your Son into the world for our salvation; make us true disciples of His Way, Truth, and Light. Christ came to remind us that the least shall be the greatest; make us humble servants of those we meet. Give us courage, knowing that our confidence is in You: let our first response always be hope, not fear. 

Lord God, we thank You for bringing us through the trials and tests of these last days, and rejoice at your providence and love for us. Guide, guard, and strengthen all those who turn to You for help or comfort, covering them with your wing.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Prayer 705

Holy One, we come before you, rejoicing in the Spirit. 

Lord, lift us up from the places into which we have wandered, and set our feet upon the path of your wisdom. Carry us in your arms when we feel weak or need rest, and strengthen us for the work into which you call us. We thank You for releasing us from the bonds of fear, and we ask that you set us ablaze with your love. 

Bear up those who seek You with the healing waters of your blessing, we pray, Lord Christ. Soothe the heartache of those who worry or weep. Hear the prayers of those whose hope is not in our own worthiness but in You alone, and your Love.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Prayer 704- St. Stephen's Day

Most merciful God, may we welcome into our arms the newborn Prince of Peace, and cradle him within our hearts. 

Draw us into the light of your wisdom, that we may love one another as You have loved us. Holy One, you looked with compassion on your children, and gave us the most precious gift of all: help us to see in each other the light of your image in every one of us. 

Plant mercy and peace in the winter fields of our hearts, O God, that we may walk in the way of peace. 

May the balm of your healing love fall upon us, to bring us to wholeness and sanctity. Loving One, encircle with your love those we now name, we pray You.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Prayer 703- Christmas Day

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God people on Earth! 

Holy God, we thank you for the greatest gift of all: the birth of your Son, Light from Light, Love Beyond Imagining! We bow before You, singing hymns of praise for all your many blessings: life, and love, and peace, and beauty. 

Come, Emmanuel, and rule in our hearts: guide us in paths of wisdom and peace. Let us fasten our hearts on all that is good and true: that today our Savior is born to us! Alleluia! 

Lord Christ, enfold us within your arms of love, and bring us within the circle of your light that we may shine into the world. Holy One, we ask especially that you place your tender hand of healing and peace on those we now name.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Prayer 702- For peace in our hearts and with each other

O Lord, we thank you for your loving watch over us in our journeys throughout the day and the night. 

Holy One, remind us of the bonds we should have with each other. Help us to live our lives grateful for family, friendship, with good will and kindness toward all. Let us seek out those we have hurt, and seek to turn tears of pain into tears of joy. Heal us of our old wounds, and let us never seek to inflict them on those who've opened their hearts to us. Let us never turn away seeking hearts, but give them a place at the table of fellowship. 

May we carry your command to love in our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts. Make our hearts a worthy home for your light and love, and bless and keep those who cry to you.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Poem: Denise Levertov's "Annunciation"

Denise Levertov

We know the scene: the room, variously furnished,
almost always a lectern, a book; always
the tall lily.
       Arrived on solemn grandeur of great wings,
the angelic ambassador, standing or hovering,
whom she acknowledges, a guest.

But we are told of meek obedience. No one mentions
       The engendering Spirit
did not enter her without consent.
         God waited.

She was free
to accept or to refuse, choice
integral to humanness.


Aren’t there annunciations
of one sort or another
in most lives?
         Some unwillingly
undertake great destinies,
enact them in sullen pride,
More often
those moments
      when roads of light and storm
      open from darkness in a man or woman,
are turned away from

in dread, in a wave of weakness, in despair
and with relief.
Ordinary lives continue.
                                 God does not smite them.
But the gates close, the pathway vanishes.


She had been a child who played, ate, slept
like any other child–but unlike others,
wept only for pity, laughed
in joy not triumph.
Compassion and intelligence
fused in her, indivisible.

Called to a destiny more momentous
than any in all of Time,
she did not quail,
  only asked
a simple, ‘How can this be?’
and gravely, courteously,
took to heart the angel’s reply,
the astounding ministry she was offered:

to bear in her womb
Infinite weight and lightness; to carry
in hidden, finite inwardness,
nine months of Eternity; to contain
in slender vase of being,
the sum of power–
in narrow flesh,
the sum of light.
                     Then bring to birth,
push out into air, a Man-child
needing, like any other,
milk and love–

but who was God.

This was the moment no one speaks of,
when she could still refuse.

A breath unbreathed,


She did not cry, ‘I cannot. I am not worthy,’
Nor, ‘I have not the strength.’
She did not submit with gritted teeth,
                                                       raging, coerced.
Bravest of all humans,
                                  consent illumined her.
The room filled with its light,
the lily glowed in it,
                               and the iridescent wings.
              courage unparalleled,
opened her utterly.

Prayer 701

Come, Most Holy One, come into our hearts and make them your home. Kindle a fire within our hearts that we may blaze with Christ's love, sending forth his light in the world. 

Help us to perceive the light of Christ in others, and dry the tears of those who weep or worry. 
Help us, O God, to treasure those who are in our lives as friends and companions on your Way of justice and peace. 
Help us, O Spirit of Peace, to build the kingdom of God within our hearts and within our lives. 

Give your holy angels charge over those who turn their faces to heaven in praise or in need. Send the light of hope to shine forth over those who seek You, Love Incarnate, Holy God, drawing into your arms those we now name.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Prayer 700

Come, Lord Christ, and fill our hearts. Let us raise up our praises to the Coming One, who was and is and is to come, Love Eternal, Anointed King. Let us worship the One who births us into new life and hope, God Who Is With Us. Holy One, extend your canopy of blessing over us, and root us in your peace. Bring us together as one people, consecrated to your service. Dry the tears of those who weep, and let the light of your love lengthen in their hearts as the days grow longer. Bless and preserve your beloveds, and seal with the oil of blessing those we now name.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Prayer 699

Most Holy God, we gather around your altar today, drawing strength from your goodness and mercy. Fill our hearts and minds with your praise today as we recount all our blessings. Lead us as we emerge from the night watches, and guide us in pathways of peace. We thank You for bringing us through the trials and cares of our lives, and upholding us in the palm of your hand. Send your angels to comfort those who mourn and those who weep. Help us to say "Yes" to You today, and may we always seek to be your servants. Turn the light of your countenance upon those who call out to You.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Prayer 698

Loving One, we thank and bless You for this precious moment to come before You, hearing your voice within our hearts. Thank You, Almighty Father, for your strong arm of protection that has held us throughout the night. Thank You, O Tender Mother, for drawing us within Your embrace, and giving us the nourishment of your wisdom. All that we are and all that we hope to be is grounded in your love, and our spirits are filled with wonder, O Holy One. Guard us and protect us as we prepare ourselves to come before your altars. Shield us and comfort us when we fall into trials or anxiety. Extend the tent of your blessing over us, and place your hand upon those we now name.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Prayer 696

O God, awaken your people to the dawn of a new day, and accept their offered praises and petitions. 

May justice and peace kiss each other, and may we embody their wisdom in our hearts. May we act with mercy and gentleness, remembering how often You, O Lord, have reached out to us when we've strayed. May we dedicate ourselves to building a table of brotherhood where we find division. Let us commit ourselves to acting in love and caritas where we find enmity and bitterness. 

O Holy One, make us worthy servants in your household, and give us healing hands to do your work. Bless us and keep us as the apple of your eye, and send your blessing over those whose cares we bring before You.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Prayer 695

O God, we cast our cares before you and kneel before you in silence. For a moment, let us just abide with You and draw strength from You. We thank You for true friends, and for loving hearts that give us support. We praise You for this new day that gives us the chance to worship You in thought, word, and deed. We rest within Your embrace, O Holy One, like a child seeks her mother. We ask your aid for these beloved children of God for whom we pray.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Prayer 694

Holy God, You encircle us with your love and mercy: hear the prayers of your people that we offer to You today. 

Blessed Savior, we pray that we cling to your ways and wisdom more tightly, listening for your call to us in each moment. 

We pray that those unquiet in spirit be gentled, and that empathy and compassion for themselves and others bloom in their hearts. 

We pray that all who are hurting- from sorrow, from contempt, from pain- be soothed in your loving embrace, and know your blessing. 

We pray that all who seek a deeper knowledge of You may be led to the living water of your peace and wisdom. 

We pray that we heal the divisions that tear apart our communities and our hearts. 

Holy One, call down your angels upon us, and send a Spirit of Peace to those we now name.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Prayer 693- Cultivate Peace

We kneel before You, O Holy One, in gratitude for your protection and love. O God, You not only shelter us from the storm, but give us strength to confront the winds that swirl about us. May all our ways be blameless before You, and may we seek to repent of our folly. 

May the balm of your love pour down like oil from the crown of our heads: may we be anointed to your service today. May your wisdom take up a home in our souls, and may your compassion fill our hearts to overflowing. May we treasure those that love us, and never cast aside those who are kind to us. May we hold fast to your promise of mercy, and encompass the cares of others within our own hearts. 

We place our prayers within your hands, O Savior: breathe your Spirit of Peace upon those we place before You.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Prayer 692- Our spirits rejoice in God

(Inspired by the Magnificat, the Song of Mary)
Holy One, shine the light of your countenance upon us, and lift us up in righteousness and strength. Let our spirits rejoice in God, our souls proclaim God's goodness and favor: for indeed, we have been blessed! There is no Rock like our God: Christ is our sure foundation, the cornerstone of our lives. You have shown the strength of your protection over us: You alone are God our Savior. Extend your favor upon the lowly and humble in heart, O God: let us boast only of your love and faithfulness. Fill those who seek You, soothe the suffering, comfort the afflicted, O Holy One: You are our strength and our succor. Gather our prayers to You, O Lover of Souls, and tend to those who call upon You.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Prayer 691

Each day is a precious gift, O God: Let our praise rise to You, as hope lifts the hearts of your people. Here in Your embrace we have rested, O Loving One. Now we go out to the harvest fields we are blessed to tend, knit together in holy love. Let the roots of hope grow deep. Let compassion overflow into the spaces where hearts are hollow. Let us be drawn into the embrace of the One who knows all our needs. Let those who are troubled be restored and renewed, filled with the strength of God's grace. Here we offer our prayers to You, O God.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Prayer 689- for repentance and reconciliation

Holy God, we thank You for guarding us through the night: we come before You in humility and repentance. Forgive us for straying from your pastures into the wilderness of our own making, and then wondering where You are. Too often You have called to us, but we have stopped our ears and stubbornly continued on. Too often have we derided the sins of our neighbors, yet continued in our own pettiness and disregard. Too often have we turned away from those seeking help, yet forgotten our own answered prayers in times of need. Too often we have asked for forgiveness, yet been unwilling, ourselves, to forgive.

Holy One, move us from tolerance to acceptance to affirmation to celebration of those who are different from us. Help us turn again to your never-failing embrace, O Lord, and help us to embrace others, even those who oppose us. Let us remember that God's compassion never fails; let us remember your unmerited grace in our lives. Let us be inspired by your Spirit to newness of life as the year draws to an end, and choose this moment to begin anew. Now, we pray, send your angels to guard and guide those who seek You, and bend near those who need You
, especially those we now name.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Prayer 688- for wisdom and righteousness

Loving God, You know our inmost thoughts: consecrate our hearts for your service today. May all our words be straight and true; may they tell of the wonders of our God. May we seek wisdom and truth with our whole heart; may we walk in our Savior's healing ways. May all our journeys be in paths of peace; may we sow compassion like seed in a spring field. May we not only study your truth but live in discipleship with each other all the days of our lives. May our tongues and spirits give you honor and worship, and our lives be a testimony to your mercy and grace. Holy One, watch over all whose hope is in their cry to You, and place those in need in the hollow of your hand.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Prayer 687- on having trust

Lord Christ, may we always remember You are with us, and make our hearts your home.
May we remember that You, our God, are our shield in times of fear and anxiety, and lay our fears before You.
May we remember that You, our God, are our portion and our cup, and rest within the shelter of your arms.
May we remember that You, our God, are the source of our Being, and give a shout of joy that we are your beloved children.
May we remember that You, our God, are our shepherd and Savior, who knows us from our birth and calls us by name.
Holy One, gather all who call upon You under the tent of your blessing, and send your Spirit to descend upon them.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Prayer 686

Holy One, we draw near You with the rising sun, offering up our selves before You. 
Mist rises from the lake during morning prayer at Camp Phoenix, July, 2014.

May we tell out God's truth from the depths of our souls, and may we testify to God's great loving-kindness. May we embody peace, a peace established upon the foundation of empathy, righteousness, justice, and mercy. May we listen to God's call within our hearts, and walk the pilgrim path of discipleship, rejoicing and being filled with hope. 

May we seek reconciliation, and root ourselves in humility and love for our God and for our neighbor. 

May your peace and anointing descend upon those whose prayer rises to you as the morning mist.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Responding to the Voice in the Wilderness (Speaking to the Soul)

(Also posted at's Speaking to the Soul for December 7, 2014)

Members of Metropolitan Clergy United in the St. Louis region debrief after participating in protests the morning after the grand juries declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Mike Brown.

The Christmas season is fully upon us, coming at us from all directions, and yet many of us practice a kind of resistance—a time of watching, and waiting, a time of settling in that resists the pull of Christmas commerce just a bit, and recognizes that there is something beautiful and complex in waiting and listening. The incessant drum-beat of consumerism is difficult to ignore. We are led to believe that our possessions proclaim who we are, and always seek to acquire more, and often we are urged to acquire these things without really thinking. Yet the story of Advent counters that message, lifting up waiting as not a time of deprivation but as a time of fulfillment and of purposefulness.

And within this context, there is yet another narrative of resistance that is pressing upon the consciousness of many in our country right now. On the streets of Ferguson, and St. Louis, Cleveland, Staten Island, and New York, and hundreds of other cities around the nation and around the globe, there have been other drumbeats as well: the drumbeats of marching feet, and the voices of those who cry out from a wilderness of deep lamentation, a wilderness of anger, of injustice, of mourning. There seems to be a resistance on some corners to acknowledging the legitimacy of that deep pain and suffering, a desire to seal ourselves off from the reality of that pain by judging those who suffer it. There is a wilderness within our own hearts, a hedge of brambles that too often separates us into opposing camps and allows us to justify casting off and discarding each other. Is there any hope, as the shadows lengthen in these days of early nightfall and late sunrise? Can we hear a call to us within our reading from Isaiah that speaks to us today?

Our passage from Isaiah (also referenced in Mark’s gospel for today) speaks to us to respond to a voice of one in the wilderness.  That voice in the wilderness could also have been a voice of lamentation, a voice mourning for the trauma and the struggles that beset the people. In Jeremiah 31:15, we hear what that voice could have been– the voice of Rachel crying out for her children, filled with deep anguish and bitter weeping. When considering the protests that have broken out all across America and across the world in the last few months in particular, can we get to a place where we can consider the anguish and the mourning not just the anger from which that deep sense of suffering springs? Can we also draw hope from that voice?

Our UCC colleagues pose before their banner on October 11.
However, look closer. The voice we hear of in Isaiah chapter 40, and echoed in Mark, is a voice shaped by its sojourn in the trackless wastes of deprivation and suffering, but it is nonetheless a voice of that is refreshed by hope. Its first word to us is “comfort.” It calls to us while we are still mired within our pain, but provides us with a hope of a highway made straight through the desert of that suffering, a hope that sprouts up even in the midst of our pain and helps those marching feet to keep moving, one step after the other. That voice from the wilderness is also brought forth by the hope that we see ourselves anew, and, in seeing ourselves anew, see each other anew.

We hear the sound of lamentation and mourning in the streets of our cities—our modern version of the wilderness, even within the noise and neon glare that surrounds us. We hear the voice of lamentation within our own hearts, as we consider lives lost and other lives changed forever by that loss. Yet God is with us, even here. Especially here. And that voice recalls us to that truth. The story of Advent is a story of waiting- waiting for judgment as well as waiting for a new creation to be set in motion. Can we hear the voice of one who reminds us of what it really should mean when that voice proclaims, “Here is your God!”

Our Advent narrative seeks to remind us of the both the joy and the judgment that will come with the new dawn. After we have lived Advent, we can see that the message of the approaching Christmas is not just to have the wise bring gifts to the Christ child, but to have the strength and the wisdom to open our hearts to Christ’s message of empathy and justice as the necessary foundation to peace. In John’s gospel, Jesus tells us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” Peace is Christ’s greatest gift to us, as we should remember in this season of giving. Yet it is up to us to nurture that peace.

As we wait this Advent, are we waiting for Christmas, or are we waiting for Christ? Are we preparing not just for the newborn Jesus, but for the return of Christ who calls us to be purified, to love our neighbors as we love ourselves? Are we waiting for that voice to call out from the wilderness? God is still speaking to us. Let us seek to prepare a way for the Lord into our own hearts, now more than ever.

Prayer 685

Most Merciful God, help us to be with You this day, for we know You are our Companion and Protector. 

Let us ask forgiveness from all we have wronged, and for the times we have not lived according to your love. Let us give thanks before You for all the gifts we have received from your hand. 

Let us sing out songs of praise before your altar, and join hands around your table. Let us be fed in heart, soul, and mind by your word and sacraments. 

Holy One, let us rest within You, and be strengthened to do your work in the world. Bless and guide all those who seek You, and hear our prayers as we lift them to You.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Prayer 684

We gather in prayer before the Lord our Maker, who counts us as precious and knows the innermost depths of our hearts. May God watch over us as we travel throughout our day, and keep us safe within storms and rain. 

May God prosper our actions that they may give glory to God and testify to God's love and mercy. May God accept our sacrifices of our hearts and minds, that they be guided by God's wisdom. 

May God forgive us all our sins, known or unknown, and lead us into right relationship with God and with each other. May God be the bond that unites us, by whatever Name we call upon, remembering that we are all God's children, each and every one. 

May the God who loves us without limit call us into unity and compassion, guiding our steps in empathy and humility. May the shield of God go before us, and may God's hand be extended over us in blessing, especially those we name.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Prayer 683 (the 59th anniversary of the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott)

On the 59th anniversary of the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (inspired by Psalm 17)

Beloved God, you have held us under the shadow of your wing throughout the night: we emerge strengthened to do your will. 

Holy One, You have laid out a path for us founded upon love and charity: let us seek to build your kingdom today. Let us walk in equality with our brothers and sisters; for all are precious in your sight.  

Divine Light, let us never be silent in the face of injustice, but be empowered by love to sing forth freedom into the world. Let our eyes be fixed upon justice; let us uphold each other as fellow children of You, our Savior and our God. 

May we never forget the loving-kindness You have showered upon us, for your mercy and grace know no bounds. Let us seek to be instruments of peace before those who brandish the sword, and practice soul force in the face of oppression. 

Let the light of your countenance shine upon us; keep us as the apple of your eye. Anoint us with your blessing and benediction, O God, and grant your peace to those we now name.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Prayer 682

Merciful One, may we open our selves to You this day knowing that You stand at the door of our hearts and call us each by name. 

Send your blessing as we meditate upon your word and seek to root it within our lives. May our lives be a witness to your command to build justice and peace in our communities. Guide our words and actions that they tell out your glory to all the world. 

Deliver us from justifying the oppression of others based upon our own comfort. Make us truly loving to all we meet, including those with whom we disagree. Forgive us for our sins, for what we have done, and what we have left undone, that have harmed our relationship with You or with others. 

Grant your peace and grace, O Holy One, upon those for whom we pray.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Prayer 681- for peace and unity

Teach us your ways, O God, that we may turn aside from all that divides us from each other, and from You.

Too long have we held fast to old wounds and wrongs; help us to open our hearts, forgive those who hurt us, and fill our hearts with peace.
Too long have we learned war, and equated peace with weakness; help us unchain ourselves from fear, and free ourselves from bondage.
Too long have we wandered the paths of blindness and stereotyping: open our eyes to see our neighbors as the faces of Christ.
Too long have we eaten the ashes of rancor and bitterness; fill our mouths with words of love and brotherhood, sweeter than honey in the comb.

Almighty One, we ask your mercy for those who are in pain: for the sick, the sorrowing, and those who mourn. Abide with us, Spirit of Compassion, and in your mercy forgive us and make us whole. Draw into your light all those who cry out to you, and hear the whispered prayers of your people.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Prayer 680

For the Images of Advent project, day 3, I chose this image for "Imagine." Imagine and see beauty in overlooked things.

Let us come before our God and Comforter, who nurses us and tends us in all our ways. Holy One, our hearts are bowls shaped by your hands: fill them with your spirit of love, truth, and compassion. 

Show us the light of your countenance, O Lover of Souls, for the times we feel we are stumbling in the dark. Drive far from us all the winter chill of fear or hardness of heart: gather us under your wing, O Lord. 

Bring us through the time of trial, O God, and strengthen our hearts for our journey today. Still our clamoring minds that we may hear You as You call us each by name, for we know that we are yours. 

Receive our offered prayers, O Savior, and bless and keep those we now name.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Prayer 679

Guide us in the paths of wisdom, O Lord, and make us like little children in our eagerness to come to You. Teach us your statutes; infuse us with a desire to know the way we should go and to follow it. Let us seek the way of righteousness and truth; inspire us with the desire to know, and know fully at last. Watch over and guard us this day, and every day, O Lover of Souls. Give your Spirit to those who call upon You, and rest your hand upon those whom we now name.