Monday, June 1, 2020

A Pentecost Prayer


Come, O Spirit, 
blow into our locked away, 
shut away rooms.

Ignite the fire of 
our passion for you, 
our love for you, 
our longing for you. 

Rekindle in our bodies your desire 
to help, 
to heal, 
to serve, 
to share, 
to give.

Set ablaze our compassion for 
your world, 
your people, 
your broken and hurting ones.

Make us 
a steady flame, 
a fire of warmth, 
a beacon of hope, 
a guiding light to all who
are weak, hurting, lonely, despairing, and lost.

Burn away our impurities 
so that we may shine brightly for you. 
Amen.


_________
I wrote the above prayer for Pentecost Sunday 2020 during the Coronavirus Pandemic, the protests and riots following the murder of George Floyd.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Ventures of which we cannot see the ending

The Covid-19 crisis has called me back to an old prayer. When I first ran across it in 2003, I found it deeply meaningful and moving.


Lord God,
you have called your servants 
to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, 
by paths as yet untrodden, 
through perils unknown. 
Give us faith to go out with courage, 
not knowing where we go, 
but only that your hand is leading us 
and your love supporting us; 
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

This prayer was written by Eric Milner-White (1884-1963), an Anglican clergyman in his book, “Daily Prayer” (1941, 1959). It is now widely used by various churches and groups. 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Let us Remember... the least of these... Lord, in your mercy...

Lord, in your mercy,
as we remind folks
(as well we should)
to stay at home,

let us remember those
who do not have the resources,
financial, storage, people
to stockpile 2/4/6/8 weeks
of groceries, meds, cleaning supplies,
as so many of us do;
Lord, in your mercy . . .

let us remember those
who do not have the devices,
the smart TVs, the computers,
the wherewithal, or even access
to binge watch movies and TV shows,
download games, books, and videos,
as so many of us do;
Lord, in your mercy . . .

let us remember those
who have lived paycheck to paycheck
all their lives, all their working days,
not because they are lazy or don't care,
but haven't had the access to training,
to education, to mentors, to families
who cared about them, encouraged them,
as so many of us did;
Lord, in your mercy . . .

let us remember those
who have no pension plans,
no social security, no health care,
no stock options, no 6+ months of savings,
no relatives to call on or move in with,
no support group, no safety net,
as so many of us do;
Lord, in your mercy . . .

let us remember those,
who in these times of confusion,
of fear, of lives and futures unraveling,
are not privileged enough
to have access to every media platform,
to be able to find a virtual community,
to have those who don't even know
them personally, but support them,
as we are;
Lord, in your mercy . . .

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayers.

(c) 2020 Thom M. Shuman


_____
The above prayer was written by Rev. Thom M. Shuman. I am often inspired by his writing.
Shared from:

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Prayer for Healthcare Workers

Prayer for Healthcare Workerswritten by Rev. Jill Duffield

Lord, 
you came to the world healing,
touching those considered 
dangerous, unsafe and unclean. 
You entered into suffering, 
never turning away 
from those in need of mercy.

We think of you, 
your compassion and kindness, 
your stalwart love and 
your selfless courage, 
because we see these traits 
in those on the front lines, 
combating this pandemic.

We see you in the bruised faces 
of nurses after hours and hours 
wearing facemasks and tending to the sick.

We see you in the pain of parents 
unable to hug their own children 
for fear of infecting them 
after working shift after shift 
with contagious patients.

We see you, tired, putting yourself at risk 
for the sake of strangers.

We see you in gloves and gowns, 
not knowing when this scourge will end, 
but bringing healing, comfort and hope 
despite your own fears and fatigue.

Lord God, 
bringer of wholeness, giver of peace, 
strengthen your servants 
who are putting themselves on the line, 
pouring themselves out, 
looking to the interests of others 
in order to heal the sick and tend to the suffering. 

Help them to know they are seen and valued, 
not only by you, but by all of us 
who are grateful for their sacrifices 
and awed by their tenacity, commitment, skill and care.

Grant them rest, 
give them fortitude, 
guide our collective will, 
shape all our actions, 
unite us in upholding one another 
in this extraordinary time 
and always. 
Amen.


_________
The above prayer was written by Rev. Jill Duffield. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Why Me?

Judges 6:13 
“If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?”

Dear Lord, 
In the midst of the coronovirus pandemic one might ask…
why is this happening? 

But the answer is as elusive as the problem of suffering…
we don’t know. 

But rather than focusing on fear and “why me”, 
maybe we should see this pandemic as a wake-up call…
not just for us, 
but for our country and 
indeed the entire world. 

Is this a time to ask 
the really important questions like: 
What is my purpose in life? 
What is the purpose of being a parent? 
What part does my faith play in my attitude towards my daily actions?

Can this pause of social distancing 
be an opportunity to write a personal letter of appreciation 
to a parent, a grandparent, a child or a sick friend? 

Could this be a time to deal with anger and 
do away with the “pernicious contempt for others” 
that divides people, political parties and countries?

Can this be a time of prayer, 
a time of forgiveness and 
a time of healing the very fabric of our society?

This is our prayer to You O Lord...
but what is OUR response? 

Amen


________
The above prayer was written by my father-in-law, Rev. Dr. Francis Burriss.
Dr. Burriss serves as the Chaplain of the Senate of South Carolina.
This prayer is shared with his permission and was prayed as the opening of regular session of the Senate on March 17, 2020.




Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Just Breathe ... Breath Prayers during Anxious Times

Breath Prayers for Anxious Times
How to do Breath Prayers:

Inhale. Fill your whole self with breath.
Feel air in your lungs. And then in your mind say the first line of the prayer.
... then Exhale slowly and fully as say the 2nd line.

(From Matthew 11:28-30)
Inhale: Humble and gentle One,
Exhale: you are rest for my soul.

(From John 15)
Inhale: True Vine and Gardener,
Exhale: I abide in You.

(From Romans 8:38-39)
Inhale: Nothing can separate me,
Exhale: from the love of God.

(From Psalm 46:10)
Inhale: Be still
Exhale: and know you are God.

(From Matt. 6:10)
Inhale: On earth
Exhale: as it is in heaven.

(From 2 Cor. 12:9)
Inhale: Your grace
Exhale: is enough for me.

(From 1 John)
Inhale: There is no fear
Exhale: in your Love.

(From Psalm 23)
Inhale: I will not be afraid
Exhale: for You are with me.

(From Psalm 46:1)
Inhale: You are our refuge
Exhale: and our strength.

(From Psalm 74:16)
Inhale: Both day and night
Exhale: belong to You.

(From Psalm 91:1)
Inhale: I find rest
Exhale: in Your shelter.

(From Psalm 103: 4-5)
Inhale: You surround me with love
Exhale: and tender mercies.
Inhale: You fill my life
Exhale: with good things.

(From Philippians 4:7)
Inhale: Peace of Christ,
Exhale: guard my heart and mind.


________
The above prayers shared from:
https://sarahbessey.substack.com/p/breath-prayers-for-anxious-times

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Prayer During A Pandemic

Prayer During A Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between preserving
their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those who have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money
In the tumult of economic markets
Remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country,
Let us choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically
Wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace
Of God to our neighbors.

AMEN.


__________
the above prayer written by Cameron Bellm.
https://www.instagram.com/p/B9r5sDIDOWR/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

View this post on Instagram

Here in Seattle, there’s talk of little else besides the coronavirus. As the situation continues to unfold in our country, I’ve been trying to take a step back and consider all the ways it is affecting people, beyond the obvious disruptions of work and travel. We have a very human instinct to draw into ourselves when threatened, to claw madly for the last bottle of hand sanitizer. In my own effort to overcome that instinct, I wrote this prayer for us (in my wonky sharpie, on the kitchen floor). I was thinking that maybe one nice way to open our hearts to each other would be to gather all the money we are saving by staying home (work transportation, meals out, trips canceled) and donate it to organizations that are helping provide care to the most vulnerable. Let us love one another. ❤️ #coronavirus

A post shared by Cameron Bellm (@krugthethinker) on


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Prayer When I Can't Sleep

Lord,
Here we are again... 3am.
The house is quiet.
My family is asleep.
I'm awake......

I'm awake with you.
I'm glad you are here.
I'm glad you hear
me in the night.

Thoughts run through my mind...
To do lists,
People,
Worries,
Problems,
Wonders,
News...

I try not to look at my phone,
but sometimes a quiet song helps. (https://echoesblue.com/releases/meditations-vol-3/)
Sometimes a podcast.
Sometimes a prayer app. (https://pray-as-you-go.org/)

Sometimes a verse helps: (Psalm 46:10)
Be still and know that I am God...
Be still and know that I am...
Be still and know...
Be still...
Be...

Lord,
Thanks for being here.
Thanks for listening.
I ask for your rest.
Amen.

____________
I especially find this prayer for Insomnia helpful:

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Rest as Resistance

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Lord,
Thank you for the invitation to rest.
Thank you for the promise of rest.
Thank you for creating space for rest, the 7th day, Sabbath.

Everyday contains a little Sabbath, 
a rest, a resistance to the enslavement of pharaoh,
the enslavement to produce brick upon brick
for my worth to be determined by how much I produce.

Rest, a nap, a night's sleep, a daily moment of Sabbath,
is a reminder that my worth is defined by you, O God,
who made me a masterpiece (from the Greek poema, in Ephesians 2:10).

So Lord, for the next few minutes,
I accept your invitation to
"Come away... and rest a while.” (see Mark 6:31)
I welcome your rest for my mind, body, and soul.
Amen.


_________________
The above prayer was inspired by:

The Nap Ministry Manifesto (see: https://thenapministry.wordpress.com/)

The doors of the Nap Temple are open.
Won’t you come?

This is an invitation for weary souls to rest.
This is a resistance.
This is a protest.
This is counter narrative to the lie that we all aren’t doing enough.
We are enough.

The doors of the Nap Temple are open.
Won’t you come?

This is counter narrative to the lie that our worth is tied to the grind of capitalism.
You are enough simply by being alive.
Thank you for living.
Thank you for resisting.
Thank you for creating.
Thank you for loving

The doors of the Nap Temple are open.
Won’t you come?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Dark Nights of the Soul

Psalm 13

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;
my foes will rejoice because I am shaken. 
But I trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.


Lord,
over and over in the scriptures
I hear your servants pray, 
"How long, O Lord?!"

In the dark nights of my soul,
I join my voice in this plea,
"How long, O Lord!?"

The feelings of inadequacy.
The desire to get it right, 
and the falling short.
The longing to make a difference, 
but the inability to see if any difference has been made.
Teaching and preaching with passion,
but does it change anybody's thinking, or way of living.
The gifts of a emphatic compassionate heart 
willing and able to hear the burdens of others, 
to pray with the burdened other, 
and yet too often feeling the burden as my own.

All this continues to be a place 
of much need and much prayer
not just for me, but also for many of your servants.

I read an article today (linked below) that reminded me:
I'm not the only one who feels this way.
It also reminded me of your word of encouragement to Elijah.
The prophet is scared and alone on the mountain running from Jezebel:
A voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” Then the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus... I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 
-- I Kings 19:13-18
In other words, Lord,
you encouraged Elijah saying
you still had work for him to do,
and that he is not the only one left.
Indeed, there are 7,000 whom you have kept for yourself,
so keep going.

Lord,
because you are with me,
I'll keep going, keep listening, keep serving,
keep teaching, keep preaching...
Who knows how many you have kept for yourself?!
Thanks be to God!
Amen.

____________
The above prayer inspired by a post I resonated with entitled: "WHY CHRISTIAN LEADERS STRUGGLE WITH “DARK NIGHTS OF THE SOUL" By Chuck Lawless