Each week, Union Church Berea joins to worship and pray together, because the demands of love mean that we need each other. Prayers are published in our bulletin, and we offer them here, as well, to be easily accessed at any time you need them. We also participate in the World Council of Churches Ecumenical prayer cycle, praying for God’s people around the world. Click the link below for prayers, inspiration, and worship from people from the week’s countries.
Prayers Around the World
Prayers of the People From Weekly Worship
Unless otherwise noted, prayers have been written by Rev. Kent Gilbert and are made freely available. Every effort has been made to give credit to sources of inspiration and other authors, but where inadvertently omitted, we regret the error and hope for grace!
Oct. 1, 2023
One: Eternal and Gracious one, though we live in a world of need,
All: Here we have tasted your goodness and hungered for a world more just.
One: Though afflicted by brokenness and division,
All: Here we have heard your call to be a people of healing community.
One: Though daily we touch our limits,
All: Here we have received the fullness of your grace.
One: Send us forth, O God,
All: In faith, in hope, and in love. Amen.
Sept. 24, 2023 – 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Sanctuary Building
God of all Saints, who yet dost bend
To fan the sparks of feeble fires,
Thou who art called the sinner’s friend,
Kindle in us some great desires.
God of our fathers, teach us now
To frame a dedication vow.
Those who before us tented here
Were called to task that wrung the heart;
But mighty love expelled their fear;
In simple faith they played their part.
God of our fathers, grant that we
Some tasks of hero size may see.
Lord, what to thee is utmost cost,
Or gift of ornament or art?
Thy passion is to save the lost,
Thy dwelling is the contrite heart.
God of our fathers, grant that here
Some contrite hearts may still draw near.
O may the sheep no shepherd tends
Here find a fold; be sweetly led;
Here youth be shown life’s nobler ends;
Here prophet’s thunders wake the dead.
Lord, let each selfish prayer be dumb –
Thy will be done, thy Kingdom come.
~ Church House Dedication, AE Thompson
Sept. 17, 2023
Lord save us from mercurial mercy, the kind that slips from our minds, that slides off our back, skitters away from others as we try to hoard it to ourselves. Grant that we might make the time, and hold the memory of what your grace has meant, and, in knowing, make mercy from our hands known to others. In as much as it depends on us, help us make the peace and find the forgiveness, even when it is hidden deep in our hearts. We, who have been blessed, would be a blessing: so that all bodies, all souls, all minds and all hearts can finally sing the songs of the world you dream for us. This we ask in Christ’s name that we might all be free, and praying the way he taught us, reaching to you…
Sept. 10, 2023
Holy one, holder of our hearts, you know that we are bound up and sometimes twisted in chains. And we confess that to feel more free, we have bound others to feel higher and mightier by comparison. Instead of preparing everyone to make a break for freedom, too often we taint your gifts by trying to get out alone, or worse trying to call a prison a palace, thinking slavery more certain than your unimaginable liberation.
We ask therefore, to help us take in the love you intend for all of us and the freedom it delivers. Help us not to hoard such a gift or rest, until the last lock is picked, and the last chain broken. Lend your strength to us, no matter how weak we might be, so that we can lend our strength to those around us in their weakness and worries, and thus live your word out loud. Your love is stronger than our limitations; our release more precious to you than ransom!
By the love shown in your Christ, show us how to unlock the chains and step in ever closer to your will and your way.
Sept. 3, 2023
In the flaming bush you proclaimed liberation to your people, Lord. On a cross you showed us the greater power of costly love, stronger than the misery and death around us. You have shown us holy ground and called us to holy work, holy love for you, for each other, for all creation.
Thank you for the blessing of this meal shared together and for communion with everything holy that you have made. By it we pray to sharpen our sight to see the world alight with your liberating fires! Find in us and magnify the strength we need to carry each cross that leads to lives of justice and joy for ourselves, those who oppose us, and those we do not yet know. We live by such light.
We are sustained by such love. Help show that we have been changed by what we know.
August 27, 2023
Hear us, Lord of difference and delight: we labor too much for what satisfies too little. We ask for help to discern the gifts we carry and the good ways to offer them. Grant that we may be midwives of your coming kin-dom; that with sharp minds and open hearts we can subvert all that is harmful and heal all that is broken.
We need this for the world, but also for our own divided spirits. We pray comfort for those who are ill and those whose hearts are heavy. We pray for healing, and we pray to have wisdom to love and courage to reconceive old ways into new life. Build in us and on us your greater vision, however small or humble our part may be.
We offer our gifts as we pray the way Jesus, our brother taught us.
August 20, 2023
O Christ, we bow before you in this shelter-house of prayer once more to give you thanks. Together we gather, celebrating your presence in creation around us, in the flowing air, the fertile earth, the open hearts, and creative minds that fill our lives.
Here, our lives have crossed with yours. On this road, may all guests and family be fed, and may all find shelter this night. May you teach us to tend the sick and give comfort to all who are ill in body, mind or spirit. Help us turn back to the work of healing our families and our land from all that harms, and keep our vision clean and clear on the world of peace you call us to make.
Intersection of human and divine, cross-road of love, may we know your presence amidst all we do, and in knowing allow the knowledge to shape our deeds in ways pleasing to you. This we ask in your name and reaching to you now as you taught us.
August 13, 2023
Without your help, our fears will sink us. Without your compassion, our hearts of stone will crack the world we love. Without your reminder that some are not “better than”, “more deserving than,” we will slip beneath the waves of fear and hate. Lord save us by helping us save ourselves. You have given us all we need: to endure hardship, to resist evil, to soften hearts, to love enemies, to release privilege, to act and sacrifice for the love you intend for all people. Call us out of the boats, Lord, onto the waves. Calm the winds of the world but stir up that mighty tempest in our hearts to believe, to care, to act like children of a living God as your love demands. Hear us as we pray, reaching to you.
August 6, 2023
Lord our life with you, comprised of nothing but the basic elements, rises like bread to feed our souls. We see more of you when we see more of each other; we find more of your hope and true peace when we engage in deeper compassion. By this meal, we stand and sit with Christ beside the sea of our worries and ignorance. We have nothing but everything. Help us give and take, break and share, lift and serve even in our frailty, and receive from us our living thanks for the reminder that you are multiplying our every gift for the care of all. Thank you, Lord of multitudes, maker of wilderness feasts. Live in us that we may live in your way. This we pray in the name of Jesus, the Christ, who taught us to reach to you in prayer.
July 30, 2023
God of wonder, God of awe, God of the temporary and the everlasting, we thank you for this moment. We thank you that this moment is a culmination of the intentional, subtle, and present process of your love. We thank you that your love has never left, nor will it ever leave and is always engaged. Through your love we choose to trust the process that was, the process that is and the process that will be. In your creative love we rest, and from our rest we pray…
July 23, 2023
Lord of the harvest and of the chaff, help us know the when and the where of our zeal. Teach us the tender touch and the wise gaze, lest we painstakingly kill that which you lovingly tend. We confess we know only in part and our own hearts are mingled with wheat and tares, the roots knit tight and deep and hard to tell apart. Help us know the when and the where; help us know the how and why. In tending and rending, inspire us to seek the greatest good in the right time. When patience is our tedious task, or when pruning is the needed work, give us the strength to act and forebear in right measure for the sake of the good you intend.
The field of our lives is mixed, Great Gardener. Cultivate in your people the health and joy, the justice and strength that we may embody your hopes and serve your will, as Love demands.
Hear us as we pray together the prayer Jesus taught, reaching to you…
July 16, 2023
Soul-planter, Life-gardener, Scatter the seeds of your blessing on our waiting hearts. Let mercy sprout, let joy weigh down the branches, let sprigs of green growing goodness poke out of every ear! We would be fertile ground for all you plant, Lord.
Don’t stop until we are bursting with buds and flowering in love. Tend us and our needs as a good gardener tends each precious seedling, and give us what we need to thrive. We will take what you throw at us, rooting deep and sprouting as we can. We pray for the wisdom and grace to then throw wide the love we have been given and prosper the healing of the broken earth, the broken bodies, the broken hearts. Help the small starts grow strong, Lord of the harvest.
Help all who reach for the light, we pray in the name of the one who taught us to reach to you
July 9, 2023
Lord of this and every table, we thank you for holding us up in the knowing and in the unknowing of our lives. You are present to us in every time and place, coaxing out of our chaos, the indelible grace, mercy, and healing of your promise. Thank you for the reminders in this meal we have shared.
Thank you for cup of spirit that enlivens our hearts, and for the sustaining loaf of work and wonder kneaded together. May these gifts help us rest and rise as we share with one another the further gifts of welcome, hospitality, and life known to us by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, our brother.
And through your Holy Spirit may all who seek hope, and meaning, and forgiveness, and healing, and the power of Love never be disappointed. Help us, Lord. Then help us help.
We pray in the name of the one who taught us to reach to you.
July 2, 2023
God, friend of those in need, Jesus has untied our burdens, and healed our spirits. We lift up the prayers of our hearts for those still burdened, those seeking healing, those in need within the church and the world. Hear our prayers, day by day, that we may love you with our whole being and willingly share the concerns of our neighbors.
Hear us as we pray as we were taught.
June 25, 2023
God of the Sparrow and numbered hairs, help us when cruelties and division drive us to the wilderness of loss. Help us find the deep wells of compassion to reshape and sustain our future. Stand beside us in our fear and strengthen us in our commitment to a loving justice, even when it may disturb the peace for a greater good. In the palm of your hand are we all held. Every day we pray to lose those parts of our lives that are killing us. Stay the forces of violence and protect us from harm, the harm we do and the harm done by others. May we lose ourselves in loving you, and gain the grace you intend for all as your greater love demands.
June 18, 2023
Master of peace, keeper of justice, father and mother of the wise, help us be worthy of your way, and help us be healed and whole in the process. Our character is so often forged in the fire of our tribulations. Too often we harden to sharp edges failing to temper our hurts. Called to be gentle as doves, we try to out-wolf the world, and are too often too cruel to fly.
This week we pray that when tested, we might fill our mouths with the words that heal. We pray that you might strengthen our hearts for the deep peace we can barely understand now, and bring us improbable joy, impossible to resist, and that we might be heirs of character, practitioners in the harvest fields of grace, bearers of hope within and to the world. Sent to bless, give each one of us all that we need to laugh in the face of anxiety and hold love in the midst of fear.
This we pray in the name of Jesus, our brother, who taught us to reach to you…
June 11, 2023
Healer of ills, breaker of rules, maker of mercy: we return to you now in this moment of quiet seeking peace. Heal and bind our broken places, our distracted minds, our fractured relations with each other and with you. Like the woman touching the hem of Christ’s robe, we fear to ask but have no less need. And you have no less mercy. Thank you for your care even in the midst of trial. As we seek to be ambassadors of your grace, give us yet a little strength to see others with the eye of your heart. Call us like Matthew, to drop what is harmful and follow you to towards a “kin-dom come” of right relationship, just mercy, and loving joy. Healer of ills, breaker of rules, maker of mercy, in all the journeys we take from here go with your people and show us the way.
This we pray as Jesus taught.
June 4, 2023
Just as we have known your presence and love in the gift of Father and Son, so, O God, reveal yourself to us in the wonder and power of your Holy Spirit. Pour out this Spirit of love and hope, that we might rise from this holy meal to love and serve in your world.
Keep us faithful in our service to you, that we might give you glory and honor and praise forevermore, we pray, reaching out to you as …
May 28, 2023, Pentecost
May 21, 2023
Dear Lord, in our myriad misunderstandings and misinterpretations, lift us beyond our unknowing, beyond the convoluted controversies, and into the very heart of loving. Help us love what you love. Help us act on that love. Help us help others to love well and often. When we are earthbound, mired in sorrows, and eating only the bread of anxiety, we are no good servants to you or the love you intended for us. Lift your people, Lord, take us just high enough to see beyond the ridges of this world to the light that breaks beyond. We do not even know what we don’t know, but the light of your love guides us upward and we ask your help to follow. As we lift our eyes, so we lift our hearts and pray in way of Jesus, reaching to you…
May 14, 2023
May 7, 2023
Lord, we have truly tasted the goodness of your care: in this meal, in this work, you take the ordinary and make the miraculous. You take what we are tempted to reject and make living stones of hope and challenge. As you do for the world, we humbly ask you to do for each of us: unsure and unwise though we may be, take our broken pieces and help us make them foundations of a greater peace and a deeper love.
May no stumbling block keep us from Love’s demands. May no failure or fear of ours become a stumbling block for others. In all that is before us, known and unknown, help us and heal us again if it be your will. Prepare for us a place and a purpose, even when we don’t know where we are headed or how to get there. We offer you our hearts to serve and our hands to work as we pray in the name of your son, Jesus, who taught us to reach to you…
April 30, 2023
God of grass, grow up under our feet.
God of still water and water still pure, quench the fires of our fears and fury.
God of restoration, restore to us the path to goodness and mercy for ourselves and for those seeking it in us. Restore to us the commitment to never walk that path for just ourselves, but to bring ALL the sheep we know along that road. Help us pave it straight and strong, through every danger.
For it is in company that we seek and find your banquet; by feeding all are we fed.
Anoint us, God of overflowing cups and vanquished valleys, that we may live and move and weave our very being into your vision for the household of God. We know your voice, Lord. We know it is you calling us. Help us never stray even as we reach to you again…
April 23, 2023
Sower of life, tiller of grace, we have been born anew from imperishable seed. Through your eyes we see clearly; through your teaching we act rightly; through your sacrificial love we know dearly and truly that love is stronger than death. In the breaking open of our routines, in the disruption of our patterns, reveal your greater light and knowledge to us. In any sadness, depression, and despair of ours, or anyone who is listening, reveal again your hope and your strength.
For those ill in our families, and those who are walking lonely roads, let your touch be gentle and loving. Heal them and us of anything that harms. For you have said we are not destined for calamity, but for an inheritance of mercy and life. Be known to us in the breaking of our bread, and the sharing of our love, and in this moment of prayer. This is our walking prayer; this is our traveling hope: that you will share the road with us, and open our eyes. Aware of your presence everywhere, we pray as in the way Jesus taught us to reach to you.
April 16, 2023 Prayer Poem by Maurice Manning
April 9, 2023 – Easter!!
Prayers of the Community
One: Creator of mists and mystery: you roll away the stones to open us to your life, to let your story shine out to all the world. Give us hope, Living God—hope in our hands to open doors; hope in our eyes to see possibilities; hope in our heart of hearts to live by faith; for in hope, you roll away stones.
One: Gracious God, you are the source of all our hope.
All: In the times when we confront despair that deadens, you come alive!
One: In the times we refuse to bend to injustice, you come alive!
All: In the times we choose to bear pain to keep our conscience clear, you come alive!
One: In the times we glimpse the willingness of a faithful community to work joyfully in your name, you come alive! In this place we name in our hearts the gifts of grace we have received, and those places where your resurrection power is most needed.
[silence is kept]
One: We have felt the sustaining power of your presence, Living God; the peace and grace you give.
All: Holy One, we give our thanks and praise:
Our Lord’s Prayer ad. Jim Cotter, the New Zealand Prayer Book
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, Source of all that is and that shall be; Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe! The way of your justice be followed by peoples of the world! Your heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us. In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and test, strengthen us. From trials too great to endure, spare us. From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen.
April 2, 2023
One: Let us pray: Holy and Merciful One, in this season of discernment we have come bringing our deepest longings, and our failed attempts at satisfying them. We have confessed that we often looked for love, for acceptance and security, in the spectacular and mighty of this world, while denigrating the common and simple ways we could love more fully.
All: We yearn for lives that matter, we desire relationships that thrive, we want less regret.
One: At times we fail to see that you have already given us what really matters: your love and acceptance. You provide opportunities all around us to make a difference in the lives of others. You give us a fresh start each day, inviting us to do better. And yet, despite our shouts and protestations, we have too often failed too many. In this silence, we bring to you our pleas for openness to a different way of living.
[Silence is observed for personal confessions]
One: Great God of change and hope, open our hearts, our minds, our souls, our vision to the ways of love created by you and embodied in Jesus. Already moving in us by the Spirit, we ask to be forgiven and set right.
All: In this holy week, may we be holier people. Free us to serve, O Lord.
March 26, 2023
Loving Creator, we ask for strength to work for the liberation of all that binds bodies, lives, and hearts, and keeps so many from freedom and full life. Death comes in many forms, choking out flourishing. We grieve what seems at times like the death of hope. Show us how to love in liberating ways that create more freedom and hope. As we pray for all your people in a cycle of care, we pray this day for the peoples of the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia; locally we lift to you the people of First Faith Independent Church and every house of worship: that you may liberate in
them and in us, all the grace and service you relish. In these places and so many more your grace and service are needed. May we be your willing servants to a world not yet made whole or healthy. God have mercy. We lift up this world to you with our love:
All: Kyrie Eleison (please sing)
Loving Sovereign, we ask for strength to work for the liberation of our communities. Show us how to love in ways that heal and comfort. We pray this day for our elected leaders, that they may remember to serve and protect all whom they serve, and turn away from the bondage to their greed and will to power. Protect the members of our families who are now under attack and help liberate just and loving treatment for them. In the difficulties of managing our earthly affairs, may we never fail to hear the call of your Christ. May we all exit the tomb of “division for profit” and order our government, our church, our families, our lives with in the bright light of wise compassion… God have mercy. We lift up this community to you with our love:
All: Christe Eleison (please sing)
Lover of Our Souls, we ask for strength to work for our own liberation. We create our own tombs as we cling to things that can’t give us life. Help us shed the burial cloths of past mistakes and regrets. Help us to be your love in this world and in our communities every day. Free us from that which is dead and deadly within us and call us ever closer to you. God have mercy. We open ourselves to your love:
All: Kyrie Eleison (please sing)
Our Lord’s Prayer
And so, as your people following in the ways of your Son, Jesus, who set the pattern of love as liberation from the death, we pray with confidence the prayer that he taught us:
All: Our Maker, Our Mother, and Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
March 19, 2023
Loving Creator, we ask for the power of love found in deep care and attention to matters of the world. Show us how to love like a shepherd, offering respite as we are able, without judgement of those who need love the most. We pray this day for the peoples of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania as we pray for each country over the year. We lift those who are rebuilding from the rubble of natural disaster and those caught in the grip of war and violence. Shepherd and shield them, we pray…… God have mercy. We lift up this world to you with our love:
All: Kyrie Eleison (please sing)
Loving Sovereign, we ask for the power of love found in deep care and attention to matters in our communities. Open our hearts to our common humanity so that we might build up, not break down. We pray this day for those who have been told they are “less than,” who are being cut from the flock of your love, and who are being offered like lambs to the slaughter for the sake of greed, or power, or hate. Protect them, find them, gather us all in to the fold of a better way. There is better out there than what they are getting. Help us all get better: God have mercy.
All: Christe Eleison (please sing)
Lover of Our Souls, we ask for the power of love found in deep care and attention to matters in our own hearts. Open our eyes and help us see your invitation to more abundant life and more abundant love in this world and in our communities. In our work may we preach a gospel of love with only our loving actions. In our families, we pray for the healing of torn bodies, torn souls, ragged hearts. Be with those who suffering in body and those who suffer mental and spiritual illness of all kinds. God have mercy. We open ourselves to your love:
All: Kyrie Eleison (please sing)
We see how Jesus set the pattern of love as shepherding and gathering and healing, and so, as he taught us to pray, we reach to you…
March 12, 2023
Loving Creator, we ask for your living water of life for this planet and all its living creatures. Show us how to love and flourish when there seems to be so much to fear. We pray this day for Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden; in hopes of their well being and for those places in the world where violence predominates and wounds the people of your love… God have mercy. We lift up this world to you with our love:
All: Kyrie Eleison (please sing)
Loving Sovereign, we ask for your living water to flow in and through our communities. Show us how our love can flow in care and kindness to all, especially those who are in need. We pray this day for those who have lost loved ones, and those who wait with worry; For those making their way to and through recovery; and for those who are spending their lives to comfort others… God have mercy. We lift up this community to you with our love:
All: Christe Eleison (please sing)
Lover of Our Souls, we ask for your living water in our own lives. When we are tempted to search for love in things that cannot love us in return, help us to let go, making room for that which matters. Help us be your love in this world, in our communities, and in the lives with whom we intersect each day. God have mercy. We open ourselves to your love:
All: Kyrie Eleison (please sing)
March 5, 2023: Second Sunday of Lent Prayers and Kyrie
Loving Creator, we ask for the strength of your help in this world. We find so much to be chaotic and overwhelming. Help us trust your presence in the midst of all we do not understand. Show us how to love, especially when all is not within our control. We pray this day for those recovering from disaster and the calamities of war and famine. God have mercy. In this singing we lift up this world to you with our love:
All: Kyrie Eleison (please sing)
Loving Sovereign, we ask for the strength of your help in our communities. We do not see things from the same perspective, and it is causing divisions among us. Show us how to love across these divides. We pray this day for families seeking the best for their children and loved ones, and for all those with the power to affect the lives of millions. May your wisdom and compassion guide them and keep them from doing harm, intended and unintended. God have mercy. In this singing we lift up this community to you with our love:
All: Christe Eleison (please sing)
Lover of Our Souls, we ask for the strength of your help to love ourselves. Help us break out of the prisons we make for ourselves, believing we have to work our way into love and acceptance. Help us know deep in our hearts that your ever-present love is the bedrock of our lives. Help us amplify this love in our communities, in the lives we touch each day. God have mercy. In this singing we open ourselves to your love:
All: Kyrie Eleison (please sing)
February 26, 2023: The First Sunday of Lent. Community Prayers and Kyrie
Loving Creator, we come to you asking for strength to resist injustice in this world. You have created a world in which we are a global community, connected and interdependent. Show us how to love so that when one part of the human family is affected by hate, war, hunger, or disaster, we will move to right any wrongs and alleviate suffering for the sake of all. You have created a planet full of such wonder and diversity. Show us how to love this planet home as our precious dwelling, assuring the flourishing of all living things. We pray this day for our sisters and brothers in the earthquakes, and those too long at war in Ukraine, in Palestine, and all places were violence seems to prevail… God have mercy. In this singing we lift up this world to you with our love:
Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison
Loving Sovereign, we come to you asking for strength to make a difference in our communities and to be full and whole in our relationships. You created us for beloved community, bringing what we can offer and honoring others as living words of grace. Show us how to love more widely, more deeply, in our hurts and to those in need. You showed us what love looks like in the companionship of Jesus who invited all to his table, touched the untouchables with healing, spoke with, and drew close, those shunned by others. Open us more completely than we can imagine so that our love may break through the most difficult of situations. We pause in silence as we each lift up in our hearts the relationships that need your love
[Silence for personal prayers]…
God have mercy. In this singing we lift up each other to you with our love:
Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison
Lover of Our Souls, we come to you asking for strength to love ourselves and to look for love in the right places. In the beginning you created us in your own image, giving us life and breath and the ability to love. And yet we find it difficult sometimes to love what you have created–to believe that you called us “good.” Help us know the lure of your love for us, so that we may be your love in this world, in our communities, and in the lives with whom we intersect each day. God have mercy. In this singing we open ourselves to your love:
Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison
February 19, 2023
Maker of light, lighten our hearts. Mover of mountains, help us transcend ours. Sender of prophets, help us speak your truth. Helper of the fearful, remind us of your presence and protection. Builder of beloved communities, set us to work. Your vision and your care change us every day, Lord. As Christ was renewed for his purpose, so renew the light inside each one here. Build in our hearts the resolve to build the relationships that would make your beloved community a reality. When we cannot see the way, take us up the mountain. And when we have seen the way, send us down to walk the walk with your Christ. This we pray in the name of the Beloved, your Christ, sent to be Jesus our brother, who taught us to reach to you.
February 12, 2023
Lord of ties and binds, you weave us into your intricate webs of relation and care. We are bound to each other and to you by a thousand threads, supported by a thousand lines of grace, taught and challenged by a thousand draw strings on our lives. With you, we weave by the choices we make: the threads we tie and the ones we cut. Help us choose well, so the beauty and strength in the lace of your grace is never concealed. Help us weave with you for the well-being of all your creation. When we are tripped up, in trouble, tied too tightly to the wrong things, in your mercy help us unknot the tangles we make of our choices, and re-tie our hearts to your greater pattern of Love. Help us love what you love. Help us be connected rightly to healing and helping others and the deep places within ourselves. We ask so that the fabric of this life might be woven through with the care, the vision, the service and the hope you sent your son Jesus to proclaim.
February 5, 2023
Great restorer, we feel your blessing in the permanent blessing of impermanent and improbable collaborations: the blessing of bread and wine in communion with strangers made friends, the crocus breaching snow and ice to pierce winter with hope, the apology that melts enmity, the love that heals nations. They, and this, are but a moment in the lives you give us, but the light of such blessings cannot be hid. We pause to thank you for this meal, this salt, this light, this company, this work. We remember those who are not with us, not eating, not safe, not well, and not at peace and ask that our blessings might help repair the breach. May this meal and every meal strengthen us for such work. May this meal and every meal be a chance to welcome the stranger. May this moment and every moment fulfill your hope in us, Lord. May we be strong to serve, and joyful to be just, rejoicing in all you have given. In great thanksgiving we pray in the name of Jesus, who taught us to reach to you
January 29, 2023
God of all the wise that ever were, hear our prayer to be more foolish and less correct. Hear our pleas to be O so much more loving, and O so much less peevish. Help us take more risks on blessing, on kindness, on your just and counter-cultural love. For we have been fools trying our own wisdom, and we have failed to drink from your everflowing streams. We pray to walk more humbly and to flow more easily in the ways of your heart, not our own alone. We pray that we could be wise to heal, to help, to unburden, to redistribute.
Help us to release all who are caught in the impossible snares of our pretensions and prisons of poor thinking and impoverished faith. For you are the God of extravagant generosity, and foolish blessings, and you are the maker of ways shunned by the worldly-wise!
Flowing like justice, loving like Jesus, and living the blessings you have placed in and around us, we ask you to make us fools for this life you intend, and crazy for the power of your love. In walking with you, humbly here and now, may we find all the wisdom needed to bear the world in blessings untold. This we ask in the name of Jesus, our brother, who taught us to pray to you.
January 22, 2023
Giver of all gifts, maker of all the bodies, and holder of every heart, hold us now: connected and whole in your mercy. Help us each in our way proclaim good news. Heal our blindnesses, and break our chains that we may free others from all that binds and oppresses. We who are often weak, are strong united in you. Bless us in our efforts, as we reach to you with the words Jesus taught us
January 15, 2023
Lord of all light and love, you know the places we are fractured and fraught, the ways we are tangled in convoluted complexities, and you know our yearning to unknot the binding snares that tie your people. We would point to the light, walk closer in the light, go where you are staying, show insight and wisdom borne of your light, and follow you in all we do. We humbly pray for such grace as we come to you now.
Heal us now of the warring madness that creates enemies of family. Restore our bodies and broken minds with gentle healing, and open our eyes to see the light in our midst. Cover those who are ill with your care and call them close to you for the comfort only you can offer. In the complex work of unthreading injustice, please help us find persistence: When the work is hard, when the days are long, when the mountain seems too high.
Help us move the mountain, hew the stone, and plant the seeds that others may shelter under in the days to come. You call us, Lord. You walk with us in the word and work of Jesus, whom you sent to be Emmanuel, God with us. Hold us close, then send us forth great God of arcing justice, as Love Demands.
January 8, 2023
God who brings the water to earth and causes rivers of grace to flow, wear away all our hardness. Make supple our dry souls and quench our thirsty greed. With the resistless power of these drops unleash the torrent of remembrance and promise in your people.
Remind us of what Love demands. Rinse us free of what has kept us stuck where no love lies. Lift us body and mind and soul on waves of hope and healing and carry it quickly to those who hurt so deeply and need your touch so much. Like water, help us fill every crevice with your compassion, to channel your relentless flow to shape the world like justice.
Like water let us be incompressible;yet gentle as quiet peace in wearing down the rough places: never stopping, never relenting in these holy tasks. You, O, God came to us in our brother, Jesus, and watched as he washed and made covenant with you.
Watch with us, too, that you might also be well-pleased when like waters of love, we rise to serve your kin-dom.
January 1, 2023
All: In your service we arise and shine, O Lord of light and truth. We thank you for this meal together, for the light we follow, for the new beginning afforded to each and every one of us in each and every day. In all that we seek, in all that we share, may the star of your Christ be our guide.
May we show up shining at the bedsides and stables, in the halls of pretense and power, in the long marches to freedom and quiet silences of need. Help your people shine for the sake of a better world and a clearer vision this year. In humility we walk one more step toward you: alight with gratitude, ever seeking, bearing gifts for a kingdom yet unseen.
Walking toward Jesus and with your Christ, we enter this new year praying as he showed us, reaching to you.
December 25, 2022 Prayer Poem
Let these words pass your strongest defenses, the walls you have built to prevent another hurt, let them slip into the hidden chambers of your heart, let them whisper clearly into your watchful mind. Do not worry, the words say, do not be afraid. The good in you is stronger than any wall will ever be. The kindness in your soul is a river that will carry you forever. Your wisdom will not die. Your love will not end. I hope you will receive these words and use them like a key.
December 18, 2022 Sarah Are
When people talk about love
They talk about heartbreak.
They talk about the love that got away,
And the love that left them longing.
When people talk about love
Rarely do they say, “be brave.”
I wish they would.
To love is to pull the oxygen from your lungs
and to say,
“Here, take a breath.”
To love is to come out from hiding,
To allow the light to shine on you.
To love is to wear your heart outside of
Fingers crossed that the holder handles it with care.
To love is to trust that sometimes hurt and pain
come with the territory,
But you’re going to love anyway.
So love anyway.
Love like there’s no tomorrow.
Love as if love is not a scarcity.
Love like Mary, who cradled a baby amidst the
threat of being stoned.
And love like Joseph, who took a child in that he
knew was not his own.
Of course I say all of this because I need
to hear it too.
There are dusty corners of my heart that
I still protect—
Love stored up like grain
While the world is in famine.
So the next time you see me,
Remind me to be brave.
The next time you see me,
Invite me to stand in the light with you.
The next time you see me,
Handle with care and maybe,
We’ll find a holy and wild
Love that won’t wait.
When people talk about love
They talk about heartbreak.
Rarely do they say, “be brave.”
I wish they would.
December 11, 2022 “Delight Can’t Wait” Sarah Are
I have seen Joy face to face.
She was dancing.
She took my arm in the crook of hers
And spun me around until I couldn’t help but laugh.
We met in the kitchen with Motown
And then again at your wedding.
And I ran into Joy in my mother’s recipe box.
Her handwriting looked like my grandmother’s.
And she smelled like our famous chocolate cake.
Once I saw Joy in the street.
She was at the parade.
There was glitter in the air
And a father hugged his son.
Joy cried happy tears.
And I have seen Joy on the loose,
Running to keep up with you as you go.
Did you know that Joy is looking for you?
I know that your heart hurts,
And that you’re not sure if you like yourself.
I know that this world is scary
And I know that love can feel fleeting.
But Joy told me to tell you—she’s at the door.
She delights in who you are.
She’s inviting you to dance.
I pray and pray you’ll let her in.
I pray, and pray, and pray.
December 4, 2022
Community Prayer in Poetry by Sarah Are
While the sky is still dark,
I slip sock feet into tennis shoes and go for
Step by step
I ask my deepest questions,
While the sky lets go of its deepest dark blue.
Am I doing enough?
Ink to indigo.
Does my brother know how much I love him?
Indigo to navy.
Will my friends keep showing up?
Navy to royal blue.
Will we ever know peace?
Royal blue to gold.
And after a while, my pilgrimage must end,
So I turn apologetic feet toward home
And walk my repentance back toward the sun.
And once again, while I stand in sock feet and
God takes my breath away.
For once again,
The sky’s deepest void is now a watercolor
And I am reminded
That like the sky,
God touches everything.
And I am reminded,
That like the sky,
Nothing is so broken that it can’t be
In the morning light, there is peace.
Nov. 27, 2022
Someone once told me that hope was naive—
A foolish game that children play
When they pray that summer won’t end,
And bedtime won’t come.
Someone once told me that hope was naive as they
Cradled pessimism in their lap like a sleeping cat,
Stroking their ego while they stoked a fire within me.
Unfortunately for them, I’m allergic to cats.
And unfortunately for them, those who deny hope
Will never know vulnerability;
For hope requires us to believe in a better day—
Even when this one is falling apart.
Hope looks the 24-hour news cycle in the face,
Hope looks our broken relationships in the face,
Hope looks our low self-esteem in the face,
And declares at low tide that the water will return.
Hope is exhaling, trusting that your body will
Hope is watching the sunset and setting an alarm.
Hope is planting seeds in the winter, assuming
summer will come.
I never said it would be easy.
The ground is frozen, you are thirsty,
and the night is long.
But I will say this—
I have found hope to be the rhythm of love and
the fiber of faith;
For to hope is to believe in God’s ability to bring
about a better day,
And like a child with an Advent calendar,
I will always be counting down the days.
So to those who cradle pessimism and fear,
You can find me outside—with the kids—wishing
Praying to the God of today
That tomorrow will be just as beautiful.
Set your alarm.
We’d like for you to join us.
The sunrise won’t wait.
Nov. 20, 2022
God of past glories and present grace, we praise you for your presence and your power in our lives. You live and move through your creation planting love like seeds, and rooting hope deep into all the earth. On the many paths that will take us from this place, go before us and prepare the road. In the many relationships we will engage this week, show us how we can be swift to show love, and hasten the mercy in our power to grant.
Heal our hearts of sorrow and our bodies of pain: not for our sake, but so we might become better healers in your service. By what you teach and what we have learned; by all that you have given, and helped us to create for the living of these days, may your holy vision and sacred work flow through us for the blessing of all creation.
Let us go forth rejoicing in all you are doing, and help us make you proud to call us your own. In the name of Christ, our brother and teacher, we pray: Amen.
Nov. 13, 2022
In every hollow, in every city, on every mountain, on every beach, under every sea, in the farthest reach of the oldest light from the most distant star: there is one love, there is one heart. So we give thanks and praise to you, Lord of creation. When aligned with you, we find our place in wave after wave of your continuous creation: called and changed by all you set around us; fed and strengthened by gifts differing, and co-creating with you, a kin-dom of intricate relation and common blessing. Neither victims of circumstance, nor masters of your world, help us find the harmony of heart. Raise within our diversity a singular clamor for good, for hope, for common cause with your grace. Help us heal and be healers in all we do, each an “ace in our place,” and caring for the graces found in every corner of your making. May all of creation—from quagmire to quasar— grow lovely and be cared for in our sacred work… as love demands. Amen.
Nov. 6, 2022
One: Like fresh rain in a drought,
like sunshine breaking through clouds,
like morning dew after a long night,
pour out your Spirit upon us gathered here
and on these gifts of bread and fruit of the vine.
Make them be for us the manna we need to feed a hungry world
and the salve we require to heal a hurting planet.
a shoulder, holding hands, making eye contact across a distance, or simply holding their image in your heart and mind, whatever is comfortable to you.
Challenge us, Spirit. Nudge us to reach out,
to touch your holiness in all things
and be changed by our encounters.
Show us our oneness, our connections,
always and already there.
Open our eyes and once we see it,
let us never un-see it.
Let us know it.
Let us live it.
Let us share it.
All: We pray this in the name of your holy dancing three-in-one, Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer of all! Amen!
Oct 30, 2022
Community Prayer on Confirmation Sunday
One: Starting and stopping and starting again, we are always in your hand great God of all that is. Thank you for this gift of life for the living of it.
Two: Ever different, changing each day, growing and deepening, you reveal yourself in every act of compassion, in every dance of joy. Thank you for the gift of others and for the loving of them.
Three: In the Spirit of Compassion, we hope your mercy will find us when we need it. We hope our mercy will rise to meet the needs of those around us who are suffering. Heal swiftly those who are broken in body or spirit, and make whole everything in your creation.
Four: Being and Becoming, we come before you reformed and ever reforming. Help us see and seek you in ever new ways. Help us never be stuck on anything but what Love Demands, and may light of your love dance in our eyes and guide our steps.
All: This we pray in the name of our brother, Jesus, healer of the world. Amen.
October 23, 2022
Everywhere, all around, behind us and under our feet, your blessing immerses, envelops, sustains and provokes your people to love and serve. God of swirling planets, and ageless geology; Lord of mustard seeds and great whales and diatoms and sparrows: take us once more under your wing. With your blessing, wrestle our fears. With your creation heal our hearts. In your Mercy wake your people to new love. We were created as a blessing, and we pray now for the strength and grace to co-create with you the joy-in-balance and the justice-with-lovingkindness you know we need. Your Christ is lord of all creation, and we try to walk in the way he taught. Help take the next step as we praise you for all you have wrought, Great lord of everything everywhere all together in love. Amen.
October 16, 2022
Maker of all, Lover of Creation, Healer of Worlds, you have trusted us with an obstinate grace. Wearing away the stones of hatred and hurt, your persistent love everflowing channels hope and erodes every obstacle. Our praise is never-ending for your never-ending care, and now we beg your help for when our spirit lags, and the way seems closed. For all who are facing intractable difficulty, lend your resistless hope that they may carry forward. For all who are sick and tired of being sick and tired, keep alive in them the flame of right and light, and the promise of joy. For all who fear for the future, send us the persistence of righteous women to inhabit our very bones. May we never, never, never, never, never cease from serving the gospel of Jesus the Christ, who taught us to pray and act for a beloved kin-dom in your name. This we pray as he taught us, reaching to you as….
October 9, 2022
Healer and author of our salvation,
Help us build a house of peace.
Help us build houses of thanksgiving where we can all shelter.
Help us build houses of hope in weary lands, and troublous times, where the music of dancing hearts shall keep the night at bay and invite others to the dawn.
We stop and turn toward you now with all praise for what you are doing in our midst, for you are tending the sick! You are crying for hope in the streets of injustice! You are raising up young leaders and strengthening those with age in their bones! The evergreen love for your creation has not ceased, and your vision for a kin-dom in shalom has not dimmed! We praise you for all this, and we know that our help is coming from you! Help us build such houses, O lord, and dwell with us there. Wherever you are, we will call our home, and it will be our refuge. All this we pray with the hope and assurance of Jesus, your Christ, who taught us to reach to you.
October 2, 2022
September 25, 2022
Giver of all Light, vision-holder, and sight-bringer: when you wake us each morning to the sun, awaken your heart within us, as well. As sleep is wiped from our eyes, wipe away the blindness that curdles our spirit and sours the world. Grant that all who feel outside the gates, stepped over or stepped on, may know your many graces in this world by virtue of our better sight, and your welcome and love at every table of Christ’s deeper, wider love in this world and the next. We see too much, Lord, and not at all. Wounded, we seek you so we can once again hold the vision of your world where all are fed. Heal every trauma here, Lord. Heal our hurts and hold our sorrows. And through our fellowship together, help us to boldly and creatively embody the life and ministry of Jesus, as love demands.
September 18, 2022
Source of irrepressible life, fount of possible impossibles, giver of joy and healing of harm, we come to you in those moments when the world stills and words fail. You know the burdens we carry, and you know the wit and wile we will need to help build a kin-dom here on earth. Help us then, once again, holiest of holy dreamers. Be our balm in the Gilead of greeds and needs. Turn our acumen for gain to advances for those left behind. Rearrange, reverse, reveal our expectations and our priorities, and by your grace heal the broken places in ourselves, in our lives and work, and in the way we treat one another. You who seeks the shalom of all, come. Rest in and on your people that we might no that in you, there is no end to extravagant generosity, nor any limit to love. We are full of your grace and we humbly lift those who can’t feel it yet to your tender care. In Christ’s name we pray and in the way he taught us to reach to you
September 11, 2022
God we’re tired! And oh, how we’re lost most days: Surrounded in the corners of your kingdom, but far from the light and living in the dust. And if it’s not us, it’s those we love, those we know and care for. Lost, we are losing. Losing ourselves, and our best vision and intent; losing our will to change or be changed. But you hunt the lost, you find the broken, you mend the wounds, you lift the soul and bring out joy from dusty domains! YOU know the consequences and YOU know we have helped and hidden and hindered, but YOU will not give up. Hound and Heal us, O amazing grace! Renew us heart, body and soul, that with you we may string a necklace of joy from the found coins of lost justice. You are the seeker. Find us! We pray in the name and manner of Jesus, calling on you
September 4, 2022
Lord, by this meal we remember that we are so deeply attached to you. Your loving-kindness and Shalom are embedded in our best lives and finest hours. We hope you will make possible the feeding of all who are starving both for love and for food, and we pray that our gratitudes may transform into actions to see your will done. With this daily bread, with those who have labored for our benefit, and for the day when none shall have want or need, we offer ourselves to the work. Help us and heal us all, holy one. All this we ask in the name of the one who taught us to pray
August 28, 2022
Mighty host of the mighty feast, help us see where all those who are invited. Relax in us the tension of our apprehensions, the bind of our egos and insecurities. We are thankful to be at the table, and wherever we are seated we will give you the glory and accept the grace as a gift. Help us find the right seat, making room for all the guests and enjoying the company of sister and brother whatever end of the table you invite us to inhabit. Feed all with the daily bread we need. We come to your house some wounded and broken; some weighed by unspeakable burdens. Please feed and heal those who worries only you know. Strengthen them with caring family and ease them with healing of heart, body, and soul. You are the healer, and we humbly ask to help. You set the table, and we only hope to serve and love. In the way of your son Jesus we ask these things, and pray as he taught us, reaching to you.
August 21, 2022
One: That the barriers that divide us may be broken down,
All: Lord have mercy.
One: That we may live by the law of love in unity, peace and concord
All: Lord send grace.
One: That we may come to mutual understanding and care,
All: Lord help us persevere.
One: Upon all who are torn apart by war and by violence
All: Christ have mercy.
One: Upon all who suffer from dissensions and quarrels,
All: Christ send grace.
One: Upon all who are divided in their loyalty and love,
All: Christ help us persevere.
One: That all who work for unity and in the spirit of hospitality may be blessed
All: Lord have mercy.
One: That all who seek to heal divisions between peoples may have hope
All: Lord send grace.
One: That all who lead nations, may seek peace with justice for all people.
All: Lord help us persevere.
One: These things we ask in the name of the one who sets the table where peace and righteousness break bread, the one who taught us to reach to you.
August 14, 2022
God of justice, your word is light and truth. Let your face shine on us to restore us, that we may walk in your way, seeking justice and doing good. Open our ears to hear your word and draw us closer to you, that the whole world may be one with you as you are one with us. Hear us as we pray.
August 7, 2022
Creator God, you call us to love and serve you with body, mind, and spirit through loving your creation and our sisters and brothers. Open our hearts in compassion and hear us as we pray the words Jesus taught us.
July 31, 2022
Maker of all that is good and sweet, holder of our hearts, be with us now and in the week to come. When we are tempted to that think that ‘too much’ is not enough, enfold us in the power of your lavish love. When the ways of the world reach for our well-being, draw close around all who need you. Shield us from what would harm us and open us to what you would have us do. Hear the cries of those who have been flooded. Send relief to those who hunger and thirst. Help us give and receive in right measure so that we might be in right relationship with all you have made. In the living of these days, and for those who will come after us into your creation, give us your true Shalom and an abundance of your mercy and love. We pray this in the name of the one who embodied your shalom, Jesus the Christ, and pray as he taught us
July 24, 2022
God who is always at home for us, always comes to the door, always has the table set— we stand at the threshold and knock. When we come in, help us find the courage to speak our truth with you. When we sit down, overlook the dust of our absence, the tears in our travel clothes, and speak your truth to us. When we hear, help us to live out that truth with love. We come to you with news of your world even as you whisper to us of the kin-dom come. So,in each holy conversation be present to us in all our hurts, and multiply our joys in healings, hopes, and help. We enter the door lord, and we pray as Jesus taught us.
July 17, 2022
In your mercy, Lord, look upon all our work and help us sort out what is most important, most needed. Help us in disease or distress to sit at your feet, relying on your wisdom and strength when our own fail. We pray to see in each face the countenance of Christ, and welcome all as we would hope you would welcome us. For ourselves, for our families and for our world, we ask your help to work for the things that cannot be taken away, that are worthy of the love you have invested in us and in all creation. Holy one, we are worried about so many things. Help us choose the better part. As Jesus taught us this, so he taught us to reach to you
July 10, 2022
Sojourning God, God of the road, the home, the heart: your Spirit exists everywhere, on every path, inviting us to move with curiosity and compassion toward each other. May we see that our home paths are the unfamiliar paths for someone else. With renewed compassion, open our hearts for hospitality, so that in our welcoming, we will grow together in peace, expand our chances for love, and deepen understanding right where we are. Nudge and guide us, we pray. Tear down and build up, if you must, and remodel us be a home not made with hands, but living disciples of the Way. To you we come, to you we return. With you we live and move and have our being and are so grateful. We pray for ourselves and our world the way Jesus taught us to reach to you.
July 3, 2022
For all the places we have traveled and all the tables where we sit, it is with you, Lord of the Table, with whom we are at home. As we pray for those around your world we remember the peoples of Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda, all of whom are part of your magnificent tapestry of ministry and hope. We hold in your light, the faith communities we know in all places, the ones we drive by and have not connected to, and those who challenge us. We lift to you our neighbors, family and friends at Wallaceton Baptist Church here in Berea, and the communities around the world named now in our hearts…[silence observed]. We reflect in order that we might transform. You have fed us with more than bread in order that might be ONE, rising to justice and joy for all your women, all your men, all your children, all your creatures, all your creation. Send us, in retreat or advance, to be your agents of grace, as love demands. This we pray in the name of the one who taught us to reach out to you
June 26, 2022
God of journeys and pilgrims, as we encounter others, especially those not in our immediate circles, remind us that they as much as any place are our destination. May each encounter be a spiritual act expanding our horizon, traveling beyond our preconceptions, and embracing the infinite delight you have in this earth and its beings. Creator, continue our unfolding. For those on a journey with illness and heartbreak sustain them with your word, give them strength both for holding on and letting go. Surround those we know who are troubled, hurting, bereft not only with your divine care, and also those who travel with them: that we may follow you well, travelers together on a pilgrimage of grace.
Christ, accompany our deeper knowing. Spirit, enliven our growing, until one day we all gather in the Kin-dom of Love. We pray all of this in your name, speaking the words you taught us…
June 19, 2022
As we step out of this door, and any other door, this week, may we be aware of your very movement as a spiritual act of expanding our horizon, traveling beyond our preconceptions, and embracing the infinite delight of this earth and its beings. May the Creator continue our unfolding, the Christ accompany our deeper knowing, and the Spirit enliven our growing, until one day we all gather in the Kin-dom of Love, praying as Jesus taught us: June 12, 2022
Wisdom calls. The Spirit of Truth comes. May we have ears to hear and hearts to discern. May we draw from the wisdom and truth that are woven into the fabric of being and may our actions reflect the spirit of each. May we walk with this spirit, delight in it daily, and rejoice in all creation, always remembering the words we’ve been taught.
June 5, 2022
With the violent rushing of so many winds these days, we call out for the Spirit. May it be a real presence for us. May we know it in the people who encourage us and share our challenges and joys. May we reflect it in our actions and share it when we reach out to others. May the Spirit of Love be multiplied, as one candle lighting another, spreading light without diminishing the source. May we receive and reflect the light, grow in the light, and ponder the mystery of the Spirit and the light as we pray the words Jesus taught us.
May 29, 2022
The brokenness of the world we have made is much with us this morning, Lord of all. We confess our hearts can scarcely hold the hurt or find the way despite all we know and all Jesus has taught. Great God of resurrected hope and builder of a new kin-dom, come to us. Wipe the blood from our hands and the greed from our hearts. Dry both our tears and our tolerance for what rips away life and love. Heal the wounds we have, and the ones we have caused and forgive us the wrongs we have done in your name. We would be one with you, ONE in holding creation dear, ONE in loving until all the hurt is drained and stilled. ONE in the love you have sent us. Dear God, help us all be ONE, that none shall hurt or destroy on all your holy mountain. This we pray in the name of the one you loved and sent to love us, Jesus, our brother.
May 22, 2022
God of journeys and tender of the tree of life, we are lost in you and fully found. Standing still and moving on, you illumine our lives in dazzling love. Ever-changing, ever-growing, ever-greening we thrive in the peace you offer in every age of our lives. We lift to you today those who have grown among us and who now branch out in new ways. Bless all those who cross thresholds; who step from the “what was” to the “what next.” Prosper the work of their hearts and hands; guide them, and all who seek, to communities of care and work that matters. Coming and going, leaving and staying, center in them and in all your deep peace, your deep compassion, and your deep love for both being and becoming in full measure.
Never-leaving Spirit, your love never-changing, ever-flowing, always renewing, make new the lives of your servants that the tree of life may be for the healing of every ill in every land. This we pray…
May 15, 2022
How can we deny you anything, Lord? You have seen through us TO us, and know the heart of our hearts. Open us fully to embrace all that you call good. Open to us the doors of your healing. Reconcile us to the work that must be done to heal the broken relationships we have made; grant us strength for the work that we might love one another and love WELL, for your sake and in the name of the one who taught us to reach to you as… Our Maker, Our Mother and Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
May 8, 2022
“Prayer” by George Ella Lyon
Our Mother Who Art
in the kitchen
cooking us up
hallowed may we see
all that is
Your kingdom here
delivered into our hands
Your will in children
and trees leaping out
as if it were Heaven.
Give us this day
bread we could feed
and snatch us bald-headed
if we try to swallow it all.
Don’t forgive us
till we learn it is all for giving.
That salve you’ve got in a pot
on the back of the stove
only heals when everybody has some.
And heed us not
if we believe You look like us
and love us best
and gave us the True Truth
with a license to kill Others
Deliver us from this evil.
for it is Yours,
this kitchen we call Universe
where you stir up our favorite treat,
the Milky Way,
folding deep into sweet
our little sphere
with its powerful glory
of rainforests and oceans and mountains
in feather-boa mist
if we don’t blow it up
if we don’t tear it down
Ah reckon She’s about fed up.
We better make room at the table
before She yells – OUT!
and turns our table over,
before She calls it off
this banquet we’ve been hoarding
we aim to save
May 1, 2022
With 153 reasons to bless you, we thank you for the gift of this meal, this time, this company, this Word, this work. Thank you for opening us to what is around us already, and keeping us ready for what is yet to come. May every table in every house be so rich, and may every child know the spring of life, of enough to eat, of a safe place to sleep. By this meal, we pledge like Peter to feed your lambs. This, this is what Love Demands, lord, and we are humbled to be of service.
April 24, 2022
Every day we reach to touch something of your essence, to know again that you are close; that we are not alone. We touch the wounded earth, our wounded hearts weary with the weight of a thousand unbearable burdens, and pray to hear you call our name, laugh, and gently prove your peace once again. Stand among us still, Lord. In all our worries, in all our fears, remind us that seen and unseen your presence is power. Help us laugh to banish the shadows. Show to all in need the reminders of such love, healing us body, mind, and soul. All of creation sustains us and calls us to live light, laugh loud, to love bold. May we be your emissaries of such grace to one another and to all in need. Fill us with the resurrecting power of deep joy that each one of us may lift the life you intend into the light of this day.
April 17, 2022, Easter Sunday!
Litany for Easter Sunday
One: Lord Jesus, here are your disciples. We meet you even in the midst of confusion. Help us live into those questions for which there are no easy answers. Feed our faith with the assurance of your presence.
All: May we hear your voice in and through all the other voices we hear. May we find life even in our questions; blossom, even in our uncertainty.
One: Lord Jesus, here are your disciples. We meet you even amidst the tombs and stony places. Bring new life where we are worn and tired. Bring new love where we have turned hard-hearted. Bring forgiveness where we feel hurt and where we have wounded others. Bring joy and release where we are prisoners of ourselves.
All: May we let go of fear and embrace hope. Heal our broken places that we may share your resurrection joy.
One: Lord Jesus, here are your disciples, the body of Christ, your Church. We pray for your Church throughout the world and for that part to which we belong: that we may find both wisdom and strength to be your hands of mercy, of compassion, and right-relation.
All: Help us rise free of all that binds us; of all that divides us from one another. May we be liberated and united by the love of the resurrected one.
Our Lord’s Prayer adapted for the New Zealand Prayer Book by Jim Cotter (1988)
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver, Source of all that is and that shall be; Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven: The hallowing of your name echo through the universe! The way of your justice be followed by peoples of the world! Your heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth. With the bread we need for today, feed us. In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and test, strengthen us. From trials too great to endure, spare us. From the grip of all that is evil, free us. For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen.
April 10, 2022
Bless us this day, this week, Lord.
Bless us with agitation and anger: at what is that should never be.
Bless us with silence and isolation: from the voices that tempt us to trials.
Bless us with shouts of Love and shows of value: for all those who have been stepped over and stepped on like paving stones to someone else’s good fortune.
Bless us this day, this week, this Holy Week: that we might rise and remember what it is to overflow with love.
April 3, 2022
Holy One, maker of us all, your grace to us is a brazen act of beauty, an overflowing embrace of love and hope. We pray that we might rise to such extravagance, that we might pay forward such a flood as to give glory and show our true heritage as children of a loving God. For this meal and every meal we are grateful. Strengthen every hand and heart, Lord. Pour out a blessing on every table that every child may have enough and the tears of every parent are dried. With power lead your people to extravagant generosity to bring about your kin-dom, and may you be known in the beauty of our actions, offered in thanks for all you have done.
We have too often been resigned, Holy One, to the worst that we or others can offer. We pre-judge then pre-punish ourselves and those around us. We pray you might heal our hearts with your mercy. Give us all we need to change our resentments into reconciled reminders that Love does not sleep and pain is not etched in stone. Where we need to forgive, help us unclench our fists. Where we have wronged others help us turn from harm and in sorrow turn to each other for the better way. You have loved us and love us still, we know. Teach us this strength that we may be your agents of grace in our time.
March 20, 2022
Lord of the vineyard and lord of the fig, come to us in every barrenness. When we have no water to our roots, come to us. When no shoots of growth, or buds of abundance are in evidence, come to us. When the soil in which we have always grown is arid and sterile now, come to us and tend us, we pray, for the greening of our very soul. Lord of the labor and lord of the fruit, come to us in every blindness. Where we see only dry branches and wasted space, teach us to season the soil; send us to touch the roots with kindness. Where we see only the lack of profit or pride, send us with new eyes to perceive the power of communion. For all that grows in the fields of the Lord are worthy of care, and all who tend God’s garden come close to the Kin-dom of all.
March 13, 2022
Hope beyond all human hope, shelter us under the shadow of your wing, even as you weep over our cities, over our hearts. We pray that you would gather us to yourself in tenderness and transformation. We pray that we might claim our faith in you with bold joy, with subversive hope, the kind that is overflowing in the service of compassion and a Kin-dom united for the good of all. But when we cannot, and do not, heed or act or even open our ears, have mercy on us and all who feel weak and lost. Teach us to live confident in your promise and as proclaimers of your grace. As once you made covenant with your servants Abram and Sarai, make new the covenant that will sustain the well-being of all your created beings.
March 6, 2022
God who knows us, we are amazed by you. Your love never runs out, your hope never runs dry, your joy never gives up. We wish that we could be more like you in that way.
In a world that loves scarcity, your abundance is shocking.
In a world that knows fear, your joy is compelling.
In a world that knows anxiety, your peace is captivating.
We long for these things.
So today we ask you—be with us on the hamster wheel.
Be with us when compassion fatigue rears her head.
Be with us when stress makes it hard to breathe.
Be with us when self-doubt pushes in close.
Be with us when exhaustion becomes constant or when loneliness becomes our
Be with us, and show us the way to the life you long for us.
Show us a life of expansive faith.
Show us a life of overflowing joy.
Show us a life of absorbing beauty.
Show us a life of engrossing purpose.
Show us a life that is as honest, and rich, and meaningful as the one Jesus led.
And until that expansive and holy day, we will continue to gather at this Table.
Until that day we will continue to look for you in our midst.
So pour out a double portion of yourself onto this bread and cup so that we might
catch a glimpse of your goodness.
God, we are amazed by you. Your love never runs out, so bring that never-ending love here.
February 27, 2022
Maker of light, lighten our hearts in our moments of despair. Overshadow our plotting and planning with your greater wisdom and deeper concern. In the veils that cloud our vision, tempted too far to either complacence or elation, call again that we might listen, listen, listen to the one you have sent for our saving. Where we have disfigured your grace, transfigure every aspect of our hearts. Help us be healers. Help us be whole. Help us walk the path to shalom for all created beings as Jesus himself gave his life to do.
February 20, 2022
Dear Guardian of our Hearts and Lord of all life, we confess we are quick to pray for self and some, but slow to bless those whom we would rather curse. So this day we pray “help” for ourselves, and “righteousness” for our enemies: Help us see the Godly in all, no matter how small we perceive it; Help us heal our own wounds that we not wound others from our pain; Help us be sheltered from the ravages of enemies within and without who seek to damage that which you love. For those who oppose us, who confront us, who make our lives terrible: give them what will heal them of harming self or others. Give to them also your daily bread, that out of sufficiency charity might grow a deep root. And grant to us all the courage, the will, the wily, subversive faith of Jesus to resist evil with good, and to stop cycles of violence all our power. We are weak in this, O Lord, but we are strong in you. Lend us your blessing that we might learn to be a blessing to others.
February 13, 2022
Blessings and damnations fly around us like leaves before a mighty wind. But like a tree we stand rooted in your everlasting streams of mercy and justice and we shall not be moved. Nurture us in our present soil with the deep blessings and ancient wisdom of your way. Turn us from the barriers of our own blind pride and temptation to isolation. With living water, heal our wounds and change our minds and open our hearts that we may both receive your blessing and boldly embody your hope and vision. Help us be oaks of righteousness, and a sheltering forest of compassion and grace.
February 6, 2022
When into deep waters your Spirit drives us; when futility more than fish is our catch; when words that must be said are heavy and choke us; come then, Holy One. In those moments, bind our hearts and minds, our frailties and fears to you and your Greater Love. Set us to your Holy Work, and point us to all we need to do it. For without your guidance and grace our efforts are incomplete; the fear of our weaknesses our only guide. But you hold your people in the grip of something better. In the midst of want you establish the bounty and fill our nets. When into the deep waters you call us, aid us so we may say “Here I am, Send me” in the sure and certain knowledge that we will not cast our nets in vain.
January 30, 2022
Through all the clanging and misunderstanding, despite our meanness of spirit and duplicity of thought, you, Greatest Love, never fail to seek our hearts. Your way is often obscured to us. We see but dimly the power and vision, and too quickly forget that love is not a word, but a work. Help us work such love as could bind up all our broken places. Help us bear every challenge to bring every grace to every heart. For the sick among us, we ask the touch of your love for swift healing. For those who mourn loss this day, the comfort of your holy embrace. For those whose despair is great and their joys too few, guide our paths together that might be bearers of burdens for each other. Make glad our hearts and make meaningful our lives. Our faith, our Hope and our Love is in you. Be in us that we might be a light of kindness in a world of need.
January 23, 2022
Giver of all gifts, maker of all the bodies, and holder of every heart, hold us now: connected and whole in your mercy. Help us each in our way proclaim good news. Heal our blindnesses, and break our chains that we may free others from all that binds and oppresses. We who are often weak, are strong united in you. Bless all those seeking the year of your favor and liberate all people for the sake of your Christ who taught us to reach to you as…
Our Maker, Our Mother and Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
January 16, 2022
For all our common trials and everyday afflictions give us yet the strength for joy and transformation. The six jars of our diluted anxieties? Make them into the overflowing blessing you would have us carry to the world. With gifts differing you bless us. Convert our languishing to laughter in the face of challenge. Unite us across division with the feast of your Holy Spirit set for all, and strengthen every weary heart for changes yet to come. Our joy is in you. Our strength is in you. Bless again; change us again, save and challenge us again that justice may roll down like mighty waters, waters to be the healing of us all.