Designer of Hope, who embraces all those with tear-filled eyes,
Turn our tears of joy into courage, and our tears of sorrow into compassion; for in this new day lie all the possibilities for tomorrow. Steer us toward the roads of the future with those close enough to hold our hands. Surprise us again with eternal treasure as we give away that which sustains another. Remind us that we don’t travel through this day alone, the arms of your love holds us all. Amen.
“…. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
Holy God, who holds us in arms of love,
We come to be purified in this full and holy season, to be quieted long enough to take in your goodness of all that has come and will be. We long for your plan to be revealed and yet, we refuse to wait, grasping instead at lesser things. We long to be chosen and favored, to be part of your family and yet, we reject our brothers and sisters. Help us to have courage when our souls are pierced and remind us in this new year that you will raise us after each fall. Move us by your Spirit to follow in the ways of Christ. Amen.
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. Embroider the names of victims on our hearts and in our minds until compassion brings us to new places of hope. Amen.
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 when we reach the heart of our experience, find there the power of Loving Presence that holds us all. Amen.
Merciful One, who hears the cries of our suffering creation,
There are no words, only deep sighs. (deep sigh) We breathe in your loving power that overcomes all fear. (deep sigh) We breathe in your Self-giving nature that transforms all disorder. (deep sigh) We breathe in your redeeming Presence now. Soak our hearts and minds with all that establishes sincere communities ready to seriously look to the needs of others rather than striving after our own security and desire. Remind us once again that we live under your cross, not above it. Amen.
Tree of Life, who draws us to gather in all kinds of sanctuaries,
Guide us toward you in this silence. Encompass us with your gracious Love and unending mercy. Lessen our resistence to the unknown and loosen our tight grip on certainty. Help us to see the reality of our humanity and open us to the possibilities that exist in your Presence. Make the evidence of our prayer be realized as we come closer to you, finding ourselves closer to one another. Amen.
God of Day and Night,
whose wisdom invites us into divine collaboration,
We are grateful every day begins with change, for this new day is different from the last. Yet, in these silent moments, our breath in yours, assures us of the constancy of your loving Presence. Steady our souls to meet the challenges ahead. Guide our steps to gently transform hardened paths with peace. You have made this day different than the last, and have given us freedom in how to live it. Deepen us through experiences that move our minds toward our hearts. Help us to learn we are most free when we are bound with you and one another. Amen.