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Loving God, who is the giver of abundance, who blesses us all,
For the earth, her beauty and her bounty, thanks be to you, our Creator.
For time spent being held in your Presence, thanks be to your Spirit.
We enter into your life, Holy One, and find you deep within ours.
With joy and thanksgiving, direct us each day toward every opportunity to love,
through our work and our play.
Make all that we offer, be for the sake of another. Amen.
The prevalence of violence in our communities concerns me deeply. We respond with medical care, social services and legal advice. Perhaps we have missed the most important source of healing; caring for the spirit.
After losing my partner of 34 years in a traumatic event, these prayers emerged over the course of a year as I identified movements (in bold) in my own spirit.
Spiritual Care after Trauma
Healing One, who moves slowly in all that is eternal,It takes days for grief to unfold, and so often we try to escape it. Use these silent moments to let the light of God’s presence shine into our depths. Whether we find confusion or anger or perhaps a firm resolve for living, it is better for these to come forth than to remain hidden. Make each slow breath an opening to remove our inner division and reunite our being. Grief is not taken away but is relieved when shared, and transformed through relationship in community. Help us to find one another in the sharing and unfolding. And, then, when we reach the heart of our experience, find there the power of Loving Presence that holds us all. Amen.
Staying Present to What Is
Unknown Being, who creates and gives life,How is it that the dawn’s last deep sigh opens this morning’s light? There is no pausing to take a breath, no learning to breathe, nor forgetting to breathe, only the constancy of the One giving and receiving breath. Just wait, just watch for it. When it seems there is no hope, there is in reality more Presence than we can take in. The shattering of our hearts is not to be feared. Those deep sighs coming from our depths, are already initiating the opening for the new day. Just wait, just watch for it. Amen.
Slowing Down in Grief
Creator of All, who gives us life beyond our knowing,
Open us to the steadiness of your Presence, breathe in us a sense of strength and peace, for we trust your ways are good and your love is unending. In all that is ahead, slow us down, slow us down, slow us down that we might notice you first and allow you to guide our hearts and minds. Grow your love in us anew. This is the day the Lord has made, let us wait in hope, have patience in trouble and pray at all times.[i]Amen.
Loss of Confidence in God’s Love for Us
Oh God, Unknown One, whose creation desperately needs redemption
Nothing makes any sense. We are not taking a breath, every cell in our bodies anxious with furious vibration, broken bones and torn flesh, every thought numbed. Lead us through this arid wilderness. Can the lost be found? Can the afflicted be comforted or the proud be convicted? Can we be sustained by your promise?
Redeem the images seared in our memories. Create in us new space to be filled by your love alone. Embroider the names of victims on our hearts and in our minds until compassion brings us to new places of hope. Amen.
Loss of Confidence in Our Love for God
Eternal Companion, who is somehow amongst and within me,
I wake with a sense of dread, and walk through the day with the sense of being devoured by cruel currents. I admit that I am unsure if I can love you. Guide me in this struggle. Help me admit that I am empty and unfinished. Rather than allowing my circumstances to build walls, break down my resistance until understanding widens into ways of deliverance and peace. Remind me to persevere in the one relationship that helps me to navigate all the rest. Amen.
Willingness to Accept the Unknown
I will lead the blind
by a road they do not know,
by paths they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I will do,
and I will not forsake them.
Loving God, who calls us to follow in faith,
We pause to breathe in your limitless beauty offered in this day, and are reminded of the ways you provide for our comfort and peace. Keep us from complacency and give us courage to follow you, in all times and places, places of joy and light as well as places of darkness and challenge. Knowing that we don’t travel alone, help us realize that each faithful step takes us to our true home, where our meaning and purpose for living is revealed. Amen.
Author of Beauty, who colors beyond the lines with blooms out of season,
Changes happen in rhythmic response to rotations of the earth. New light comes in through open spaces and dark nights blanket us in. Teach us to accept and adapt to both. Expose these life-giving patterns and designs in our relationship with you until the colors of your mercy extend grace-filled clarity and hope. Then together, we can breathe in thanksgiving. Amen.
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Luke 12:27
Creator of Life, who calls us all toward a relationship of grace,
A new day yawns, opening its emptiness before us. Before our steps take us to people and places, we turn to the Holy One, to gaze upon wonder and mystery finding fullness of Presence in silence. When we hear our hearts catch, perhaps that is where we are supposed to go next. When our memories capture our attention, perhaps we find what we thought was lost. And when our mindful, chatter clears, perhaps we notice the Other in whose life and death we are inextricably joined. Take into our day, these glimpses of grace that move our lives with gentle strength and joy filled love. Remind us to take into our world, only ourselves.
Holy God, who enlivens each new beginning,
Soak in the stillness of this summer morning. Listen and learn from the choir of crickets, or one gentle birdsong or the growing hum of vehicles. As your gaze swallows in the loveliness around you, remember that the unseen stars still exist. Simply wait for Oneness, then fully entrained with all that is, go out and saturate our world with your creative ways of peace. Amen.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone. Hebrews 12:14
Gardener of Glory, who allows the weeds to grow alongside the fruit,
Return us to the earth. Remind us through your silent Presence that we work alongside you. Use our bare hands to till the soil of our hearts. Give us courage and strength to remove the weeds that keep us from maturity. Help us to cultivate what you are growing anew in us. Take us to the deep, dark, rich places where we find our fears transformed into branches for our future. As we labor together, bring into focus the beauty of all that you are creating. Amen.
God of Mystery and Wonder, who brings the morning light to awaken us to something new each and every day,
We don’t want to miss a thing and yet our distractions prevent us from receiving your fullness, our boredom is a door that shuts our ears and our eyes. Often, our lack of faith in something beyond, keeps us from moving forward. Inspire us again with the precious light you place behind every child’s eyes. Produce the kind of creativity in our lives that you designed in each plant, bird and living creature. No matter where we find ourselves, direct us to see your astonishing holiness, surprise us again this day, like all the ones before. Amen.
Revealer of Souls, who places unfurls and unfolds each living thing,
For the morning air that beckons fresh and new filling us with a sense of anticipation, we breathe deeply and give our thanks. Make us aware of being held in your love. Help us live into the mystery of your Presence taking time to wait for you to send to the surface sparkles of light from the deep rivers of our souls. Through these quiet moments, produce in us gentleness, peace and a song of joy to carry forth to share with one another. Amen.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:20-21 (The Message)
Guider of Souls, who leads us to strength,
Like the ancients, who ventured out into the world solely to encounter You, may this day be for us a pilgrimage where we recognize how you meet us along the way. Give our thoughts a single direction even as our paths turn and twirl with light and shadow. Open us to the Holy given in each person we come across. Remind us to build altars of remembrance in our hearts. Renew us as we gather your Love. Amen
“You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.” Psalm 18:36