- A Blessing Prayer
- Dear God
- Sarum Primer Prayer
- Make Us Servants
- The Fragrance of Christ
- The Breton
- If I Can Stop One Heart
- A Chinese Woman's Prayer
- Patience with Our Failings
- Slow Me Down, Lord
- Disturb Us, Lord
- Prayer for Life
- Grama Geeta (India)
- Universal Prayer
- Let Us Be United
- Traditional Buddhist Prayer
- Reverence for Life
- Taoist Tradition
- The Slow Work of God
- Jericho Road
- A Prayer of Hope
- May What I Do Flow from Me
Like a River
- A Living Sacrifice
- Darkness and Light
- Prayer to an Evolutionary God
- For Veterans of Foreign Wars
- A Prayer for the Anniversary of 9/11
A Blessing Prayer
May the God of strength be with us,
holding us in strong and loving hands,
May we be the sacrament of God’s strength
to those whose hands we hold,
May the blessing of strength be with us.
May the God of gentleness be with us,
caressing us with sunlight and rain and wind.
May God’s tenderness shine through us
to warm all who are hurt and lonely.
May the blessing of gentles be with us.
May the God of wonder be with us,
delighting us with sunrise and sunset, enchanting our
senses, filling our hearts, giving us wide-open eyes
that we may see the splendor in both the humble and majestic.
May we open the eyes and hands and hearts of the blind and deaf and the insensitive.
May the blessing of wonder be with us.
May the God of compassion be with us,
holding us close when we are weary and hurt and alone.
And may we be the warm hands and eyes of compassion
for our sisters and brothers when they reach out to us.
May the blessing of compassion be on us.
May the God of simplicity be with us, opening us to a clear vision of what is real and true,
Leading us deeply into the mystery of childhood.
And may our dealings with others be marked by honesty, which is simplicity.
May the blessing of simplicity be on us.
May the God of joy be with us, thrilling us with God’s nearness,
filling our hearts to fullness, and filling our throats with laughter and song.
May our joy bring life and joy to others.
May the blessing of joy be with us always.
May the God of love be with us.
May our lives be continual giving and receiving of love with our God,
our friends, and with all whose lives we touch.
May God’s love in us light fires of faith and hope,
and may the fire grow and burn deeply and enflame the earth.
May the blessing of love and friendship be with us always.
please reveal to us your sublime beauty
that is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere,
so that we will never again feel frightened.
My divine love, my love,
please let us touch
-St. Francis of Assisi
Sarum Primer Prayer
God be in my head
and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes
and in my looking;
God be in my mouth
and in my speaking;
God be in my heart
and in my thinking;
God be in my end
and at my departing.
Make Us Servants
you remain, unseen,
at our side,
present like a poor man
who washes the feet of his friends.
to follow in your footsteps,
we are here, waiting for you
to suggest signs of sharing
to make us into servants
of your Gospel.
-Brother Roger, Taize Community
The Fragrance of Christ
Help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go - let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by my example - by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to you.
-John Henry Newman
The Breton Fisherman's Prayer
If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
A Chinese Woman's Prayer
(after learning to read)
Patience with Our Failings
Be patient with everyone, but above all with yourself. Do not be disheartened by your imperfections but always rise up with fresh courage. There is no better means of attaining to the spiritual life than by continually beginning again. How are we to be patient in bearing with our neighbor's faults if we are impatient in bearing with our own?
-St. Frances de Sales
Slow Me Down, Lord
Slow me down, Lord. Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind. Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time. Give me, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the everlasting hills. Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of the singing streams that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical, restoring power of sleep. Teach me the art of taking minute vacations - of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines from a good book.
Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.
Disturb Us, Lord
Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
Prayer for Life
Our old women gods, we ask you!
Our old women gods, we ask you!
Then give us long life together,
May we live until our frosted hair is white;
May we live till then.
This life that now we know!
-Tewa (North American Indian) Traditional Prayer
Grama Geeta (India)
O Adorable Lord of Mercy and Love!
Salutations and prostrations unto Thee.
Thou art Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient.
Thou art Satchidananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute).
Thou art the Indweller of all beings.
Grant us an understanding heart,
Equal vision, balanced mind,
Faith, devotion and wisdom.
Grant us inner spiritual strength
To resist temptations and to control the mind.
Free us from egoism, lust, greed, hatred, anger and jealousy.
Fill our hearts with divine virtues.
Let us behold Thee in all these names and forms.
Let us serve Thee in all these names and forms.
Let us ever remember Thee.
Let us ever sing Thy glories.
Let Thy Name be ever on our lips.
Let us abide in Thee for ever and ever.
-Sri Swami Sivananda
Let Us Be United
Let us be united;
Let us speak in harmony;
Let our minds apprehend alike.
Common be our prayer,
Common be the end of our assembly;
Common be our resolution;
Common be our deliberations.
Alike be our feelings;
Unified be our hearts;
Common be our intentions;
Perfect be our unity.
-from the Rig Veda
Traditional Buddhist Prayer
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;
May all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow;
May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless;
And may all live in equanimity, without too much attachment and too much aversion,
And live believing in the equality of all that lives.
Dear God, protect and bless all living beings.
Keep them from evil and let them sleep in peace.
“We are born gentle and weak. At death we are hard and stiff. Green plants are tender and filled with sap. When they die they are withered and dry. Therefore the stiff and unbending are the disciples of death. The gentle and yielding are the disciples of life.” –Lao Tzu from the Tao Te Ching
Save your servant, O Sustainer of Life,
From too early a death.
Free me of that affliction of believers
Who so easily become rigid of heart
In their journeys to you.
Make my heart like the green willow tree
That easily bends in the wind,
That bows gracefully before the storm
Only to raise its head again with renewed life
When the angry clouds have moved on.
Fill me this day, I pray,
With the strength of your Spirit,
The strength to be flexible and ever-green.
Create within me the heart
Of a disciple of life,
A heart that is gentle and meek.
Let me learn a lesson from your daughter water
Who seeks the lowest path,
Ever yielding and humble,
Yet wears down the strongest stones into sand.
In her I see the wisdom of the Tao:
“The hard and strong will fall;
The soft and meek shall overcome.”
The Slow Work of God
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are, quite naturally, impatient in everything to reach the end
We should like to skip
The intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on
The way to something unknown,
And yet it is the law of all progress
That it is made by passing through
Some stages of instability ---
And that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you.
Your ideas mature gradually ---
Let them grow,
Let them shape themselves,
Without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
As though you could be today
What time will make you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
Gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
That his hand is leading you,
And accept the anxiety of
Feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. We are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's road side, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. Compassion sees that an edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth.
Let us pray:
Ever present God, you called us to be in relationship with one another and promised to dwell wherever two or three are gathered. In our community, we are many different people; we come from many different places, have many different cultures. Open our hearts that we may be bold in finding the riches of inclusion and the treasures of diversity among us. We pray in faith.
-Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
A Prayer of Hope
There are Christians
Who have hysterical reactions
As if the world had slipped out of God’s hands.
They are violent
As if they were risking everything.
But we believe in history.
The world is not a roll of the dice
On its way toward chaos.
A new world has begun to happen
Since Christ has risen…
We rejoice in your definitive triumph
With our bodies still in the breach,
Our souls in tension;
We cry our first “Hurrah!”
Till eternity unfolds itself.
Your sorrow now has passed.
Your enemies have failed.
You are the definitive smile for humankind.
What matter the wait now for us?
We accept the struggle and the death,
Because you, our love, will not die!
We march behind you on the road to the future.
You are with us. You are our immortality…
Take away the sadness from our faces;
We are not in a game of chance…
You have the last word!
Beyond the crushing of our bones,
Now has begun the eternal “Alleluia!”
From the thousands of openings
In our wounded bodies and souls,
There now arises a triumphal song!
So teach us to give voice
To your new life throughout the world,
Because you dry the tears of the oppressed forever…
And death will disappear.
-Luis Espinal, S.J.
May What I Do Flow from Me Like a River
I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what awaits within me
So that what no one has dared to wish for
May for once spring clear
Without my contriving.
If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
But this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
No forcing and no holding back,
The way it is with children.
Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
These deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,
Streaming through widening channels
Into the open sea.
-Rainer Maria Rilke
A Living Sacrifice
God, we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to You.
If it is our call to lead,
help us to lead with wisdom.
If it is our call to serve,
help us to serve with joy.
If it is our call to teach,
help us to teach with truth.
If it is our call to listen,
help us to listen with sensitivity.
If it is our call to encourage others,
help us to do so with kindess and gentleness.
Help us to share our gifts generously;
to be sincere in our love,
cheerful in our labor,
and patient in our troubles.
when I overbook -
get lost in compulsive
my own limitations -
become too important -
in the universe -
I lose God
where I am
in the resources
to handle it all -
I am alone...
when I come back to
the real world -
where God is creator
am only called upon
to be a
but not responsible
for it all -
Then I am freed
from the intolerable
of my own yoke -
hitch up as
with Jesus -
where He pulls
most of the weight
and I am
not alone -
Then the yoke
the burden light -
and there is space
for love and joy and
and hope -
since He will be there
when my own strength fails
can put the yoke aside
Prayer to an Evolutionary God
You accept us – at times of self-doubt
Thank you, God of all,
Co-creator of our world,
For allowing us to be imperfectly made –
Because it makes us, if we are wise, forgiving.
Do you accept us as we are?
We condemn people too quickly:
We judge them for flawed thinking, disguised egotism,
Unworthy acquisitiveness, or skewed opinions.
But we can forgive them once we accept our own shadow,
And realize how well we ourselves fit
Into the ranks of a less than perfect human race.
You, Holy God, accept each of us,
Prophets tell us, just as we are –
Provided our moral judgments of others
Are reciprocally generous and compassionate.
Imperfection fits this evolving reality,
For the universe thrives on diversity,
Including random failure,
One of the very preconditions for the unfolding advances.
May it be so.
For Veterans of Foreign Wars
Loving God,we remember those who have served our nation
and died to protect
and defend our freedom.
Help us never to forget them
and their efforts to keep us safe.
We honor those who were in combat,
and returned home safely.
May they know our thankfulness.
We honor those in the service who supported
our military behind the front lines.
May they know our gratitude.
We pray for those whose bodies and spirits
are ravaged by war,
whose memories cannot forget the
brutality war inflicts upon others,
whose pain is too deep for others to touch.
Help us find ways to reach out
to our brothers and sisters who have returned from war
and are in psychic pain
so they may know they are important to us.
May we come to know their pain
and be in solidarity with them so
they will not take their own lives.
We pray for those who are in combat today.
Shield them from danger
and bring them home safely and soon.
May we all work to end all wars
and establish a lasting peace
that is built on justice, charity, and mutual understanding.
Help us to live in hope
that your kingdom of heaven
can reign here on earth.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for the Anniversary of 9/11
O God, our hope and refuge,
in our distress we come quickly to you.
Shock and horror of that tragic day have subsided,
replaced now with an emptiness,
a longing for an innocence lost.
We come remembering those who lost their lives
in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania.
We are mindful of the sacrifice of public servants
who demonstrated the greatest love of all
by laying down their lives for friends.
We commit their souls to your eternal care
and celebrate their gifts to a fallen humanity.
We come remembering
and we come in hope,
not in ourselves, but in you.
As foundations we once thought secure have been shaken,
we are reminded of the illusion of security.
In commemorating this tragedy,
we give you thanks for your presence
in our time of need
and we seek to worship you in Spirit and in truth,
our guide and our guardian. Amen.
-Rev. Jeremy Pridgeon