We are almost always counting, Precious Lord. Teach us soon to count our blessings. We are in a terrible hurry. Put something in the way of our rushing about and let us trip over it, finding a new appreciation for interruptions. Amen
We pray, O God, for that thing called integrity, that exciting marriage between our inner and outer lives. Help us to pay attention to our own nourishment and what we put into our bodies, our arms and our hearts. Help us find energy, to know that health is not so much the absence or disease as the presence or vitality. Make us into inner-actives; people who move with grace from the inside out and the outside back again. Help us to be both morally nimble and morally solid. Let us not be afraid of our confusion but rather embrace it with the power of wisdom in you. Amen
Shekinah, Spirit, draw near and dwell among us. Settle us down and when we have come out of BUSYNESS as usual, change us. Animate us. Brace us. Mystify us. Change us. God you come into our life to change us and to be yourself be changed. Like a parent is changed by a child, you are also changed by us. Show us how much you love the world, so much that you are willing to be changed by it and us. Show us how much we matter to all others and to you. AmenI pray for the skill to solve problems thrice my size. I pray to be able to bite off a piece of them every day. To chew on them, to enjoy them, to resolve. I pray to be done with my problems, and to move on. Amen
I carry too much baggage around with me. I am spiritually cluttered. Help me to move beyond the past, beyond revenge. Let me not become the monster I am destroying in my so-called enemy. Let me find the higher revenge and not become like the ones who hurt me. Amen
Why am others and I so lucky not? Grace me with an explanation or two, Blessed One. Point me in luck’s deeper direction, that road called gratitude. Amen
I didn’t do enough for the world yet. I didn’t pay attention to your plans for peace and justice. I got lost in my own little world. Now that I am awakened to my mortality, refocus me on your plans. And give me a chance to be part of them. Amen
Everywhere I look I see unfinished work, unfolded laundry, unbuilt additions, unraised children and unpaid bills. You, who have gotten my attention and stopped me in my tracks, draw near. Show me the difference between the urgent and the important. Show me the difference between the urgent and the important. Show me what really matters. Amen.
For risks not taken,
For fears that paralyze us,
For living shallow when the times are deep,
For forgettin how much you love us, Mighty Sea worth God,
Grant us that rare kind of courage that Jesus knew and showed. Amen
Let us be eager for the deep water, more afraid of silence than we are of speech, more afraid of risks refused than risks taken. Teach us to be chaos tolerant. And let our witness keep another from drowning. In the name of Spirited People everywhere, who plumb the depths so that we would know the way, Amen.
You assure us that the darkness is a place for germination. Let us be comfortable in the dark and refuse to put up the sign on our door that we are “Closed after Dark.” Let us learn to love night thoughts, the way we love stars. Come to us when we think we have been abandoned. Show us how the seeds germinate. Amen
Release me from the confederacy of the mind that issues in internal exile. Bring me out of the places of hiding and fear into the great light of day.
Let us be the people who do know what we have when we have it. Let us not be the other kind of people, those who don’t know what they have when we have it. Amen.
Let the last words on my lips at the end of every day and at the end of my life be “Thanks be to God.” Amen
Grace my table with prayers of grace, over and over again. Let me learn to pray when I eat out. Let me learn to pray when I eat in. Let me learn to really mean the prayers I make. Amen
O God of success and failure, joy and sorrow, giving up and hanging on, come with me to the meeting today. I keep hoping I’ll get sick enough to cancel but so far I am just sick about going. I hope I won’t make a bad situation worse. I hope I can find some purpose in repeating the same arguments, engaging the same resistance, fighting the same old tired battles in an increasingly fatigued way. Surprise me with some imaginative behavior, both from me and towards me. Let me try a new path to the old destination. Increase my respect for the difficult. Increase my commitment to these people, this community, and our joint enterprise. If you have anything left to offer, let me learn to love my enemies or at least not insult them. Let me be good to those who hurt me. Amen
As we go into an important meeting this day or this week, O God, improvise us. Blend our many notes into one harmonious whole. Let there be many variations and only one theme, your love for us and therefore our love for you and for each other. Don’t take away the simple, basic beats, but instead direct us to full orchestration of your many themes.
The Walking ATM, a Meditation on an Immigrant
He worked easy 50 hours for the $300 in his pocket.
On his way home, on Friday night,
Tired but not exhausted,
The thieves chanted “Juanie, Juanie, Juanie,”
And then robbed him as if they had a right to his money.
And his name.
He had no cop, no wife, no country to call.
His children were waiting at the Western Union in Chiapas.
He trudged to the place he calls home, now exhausted
My country is the thief.
I am a part of the rip off.
First we steal dignity and them we take the money.
His name was Juan.
For a way to sing a strange song in a strange land, and not to care who is listening, I pray. Amen
Prayers to Try in March
When I die let the work that I’ve done speak for me. Let the friends I’ve loved speak for me. Make sure my best suit is laid out for my final days, and let me go out not with a whimper or a whine but with a winsome interest in what if anything is next. Amen
OMG, THX, come in on my text from time to time. I wonder if God is listening.
You promise, O god, prophets and seers. You promise a cold cup of water to the straggler on a hot summer day. You promise that we can lose to gain and have what we can let go of. We thank you for your promises. Amen
Surely our days are numbered – by birth, baptism, confirmation marriage, death, and all the birthdays in between. Surely, our breaths are numbered by what moments we allow ourselves breathtaking experiences. Thanks be to you, Great Numberer, for the days we have. Amen
Timeless God who became time in Jesus, draw near and rest our alarms. Let them go off at the right times, to you. And also, if it pleases you, let us rest. Amen
Help us to open the doors that we think are closed.
Help us to do more and more with less and less.
Economize us, O God – not to be cheat, but to find feast in the small.
Let a new perspective enlighten our days.
Help us to get over our sense that the party is over and to start a new one, O God. Let us feast as often as possible and every now and then let it not cost a lot of time or money. Amen
For Spiritual Cartilage On Mortgage Loss
Our hears are scabbed; our knees have lost their cartilage, we’re not sure we can take much more and yet we know more may come. Why we lost our mortgage and others did not is something we cannot understand. Give us enough healing to go on – and encourage us in small simple ways.
Prayers for Calm
When I ask for transformation from a monkey mind, one that jumps from tree to tree and subject-to-subject, I am not asking for pamper camp. I am asking for a discipline, not from the outside, but from the outside. I don’t need spiritual S and M. Let me be a person who can focus on one thing at a time and is in charge of myself.
When I listen to the whispered longing of my own heart in my own ear, I hear my heartbeat for justice and fairness, my soul crying out for liberty and joy. Give me permission to really feel and want these things. Thank you.
William Buttler Yeats argued that we can “live with a clearer and fiercer life because of our own quiet.” Grant me ferocity, clarity and quiet. Amen
I wake up every morning trying to fix things. Please help me learn to live with things that can’t be fixed, with things that are truly broken, and let me live there with some kind of hope.
Thoreau wanted to live deliberately the way I want to be fully awake. Deliberately awake. That is my goal. Is it all right if I meet the goal slightly, every few days? Or is something more complete demanded of me? Amen
Tranquility: what the hell is that? I have a feeling someone somewhere knows what it si. I’d love to find out. Can you teach me, O God, or must I be my own teacher? Amen
The chaplain in the oncology ward said that the best prayer was “to meet with dignity and grace whatever comes my way.” May that prayer be mine if I ever have cancer, during cancer, and anything else that comes my way. Let me practice that prayer when all else fails so that it stills and sustains me. Amen