Saturday, May 16, 2015

Prayer for Commencement 2015

An Embodied prayer for Commencement 2015

Today I invite us to pray not only with our hearts and minds, but with our bodies as well.

Take a slow deep breath
Let it out slowly.
Again slowly in.
And slowly out.
Breathe in the mercies of God
Breathe out the mercies of God to others.

By your Spirit, O God,
you breathe life into us.
As we breathe deeply of your Spirit,
filling our lungs from our bellies to our chest
make us mindful that each breath is a gift of life from you.
As we feel your breath across our lips,
We open our lips and offer our praise to you.

We praise you O God for we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
From the tips of our toes
To the hair on our heads
You know us completely.

As you are comfortable,
I invite you to raise one hand to heaven.
Lord your thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
As high as the heavens are above the earth.

And now I invite you to raise the other hand to heaven
Ask God to fill you.
Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
That we may proclaim your praise in voice and action.
Fill us, O Spirit, to serve you, your church, and your people in the world.

And now slowly bring your hands down.
And rest them openly on your lap ready to receive
whatever gift God has to give you today.
Lord you are the giver of every good and perfect gift.
Today we thank you for so many gifts:
Hear us as we thank you
For those men and women of faith who first taught us about your love (silence)
for the gift of family who have supported us through our studies and work (silence)
For those who are confirming your call in our lives (silence)

for the companionship of friends and colleagues who have challenged us and encouraged us along the way (silence)
for the mentorship of faculty who have sought to draw out the best from us and equip us for ministry in the church (silence)
for the gift of Columbia Theological Seminary (silence)

Lord today, we are mindful of the daily bread, the daily sustenance,
the daily needs of our world.
Hear us as we pray…
for places where violence tears us apart in our world, in our streets, in our families, in our hearts. (silence)
For those hurting in mind, body, and spirit. (silence)
For those still unclear about your call for their lives (silence)
For your church’s witness both here and around the world. (silence)

Now I again invite you to lift your hands to heaven.
O God, to you we lift our prayers to you.
O Holy Spirit, embolden us to be the hands and feet of Christ
Making your love a real and tangible felt presence in the world
O Christ, when we end our prayers and
open our eyes may it not be to end our devotion
but rather to watch for your kingdom coming and your will being done.
Hear us as now we united our voices as one praying…
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 debts
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory

Today I will lead this prayer during the commencement service of Columbia Theological Seminary. I will be receiving my doctor of ministry degree. It is the culmination of six years of study. I am very grateful to many for their prayers and support.

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