Prayers for Transitions and New Beginnings

Time of Transition and New Beginnings


Change is the Only Constant

Our lives and our work are a constant series of endings and beginnings. Some of these endings come suddenly or unexpectedly.  Others are planned and come more gradually. Some are happy.  Some are sad.  But each ending gives us the opportunity for a new beginning.  As is said, “When one door closes, another door opens.”

As I thought about some of these recent endings and beginnings, what we have been through these past fifteen months, and the general pace of our lives in the 21st century, I stepped back to assess some of the things that I have found helpful to make these transitions.  Hopefully some of them will resonate with you.

  • Make time to reflect and be thankful for what is ending.  Be grateful for what was learned and what was accomplished.
  • Make time to celebrate the new beginning and what we have to look forward to.
  • Recognize there are things about endings and beginnings that we do not control. Act on what we can control, but recognize and move on from what we can’t control.
  • Pause to reflect and refresh.  The pace, chaos, and emotion of change can be stressful; make time to take care of ourselves and each other.
  • Be grateful for what we have and for those around us with whom we share these changes.
  • Remain optimistic and hopeful for what is yet to come and the new relationships that new beginnings may bring.
  • And finally, take time to remember that God is with us through all the events of our lives, and that these endings and beginnings are no different.

I am not a regular reader of the Bible, but one of my favorite set of verses can be found in Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, verses 1 and 11.  1There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven.  11All that He does is apt for its time; but although He has given us an awareness of the passage of time, we can grasp neither the beginning nor the end of what God does.

Let us ask for God’s grace and help as we pursue these endings and these beginnings together with patience, perseverance, and trust in what He has planned for us.

- Written and offered by Phil Chick on 5/17/21 post-pandemic


Drenched in Holiness: Prayer for a New Year

Dear God,
On this day I ask You to grant this request?
May I know who I am and what I am,
Every moment of every day.
May I be a catalyst for light and love,
And bring inspiration to those whose eyes I meet.
May I have the strength to stand tall in the face of conflict,
And the courage to speak my voice, even when I'm scared.
May I have the humility to follow my heart,
And the passion to live my soul's desires.
May I seek to know the highest truth
And dismiss the gravitational pull of my lower self.
May I embrace and love the totality of myself?
My darkness as well as my light.
May I be brave enough to hear my heart?
To let it soften so that I may gracefully
Choose faith over fear.
Today is my day to surrender anything that stands
Between the sacredness of my humanity and my divinity.
May I be drenched in my Holiness
And engulfed by Your love.
May all else melt away.
And so it is.

- Debbie Ford

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For Times of Transition

God of Love,
You are with us in every transition and change.
As we enter into this new era with excitement and even some anxiety,
we recall your deep compassion, presence, and abounding love.
We thank you for the gifts, talents and skills with which you have blessed us.
We thank you for the experiences that have brought us to this moment.
We thank you for the work of others that gives breadth and depth to our own work.
Be with us as we move forward, rejoicing with you and supporting one another.
We ask this in your Holy Name.

- Joseph P. Shadle

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The Prayer of Oscar Romero

It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
It is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete,
Which is another way of saying that
The Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that should be said.
No prayer fully expressed our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
Knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produced effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything,
And there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
A step along the way,
An opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
But that is the difference
Between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
Ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future that is not our own.

- Archbishop Oscar Romero

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A Prayer of Hope 

There are ChristiansXavier Student Doing Volunteer Work
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?

Jesus Christ,
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.

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You Are With Us


God of Love,
You are with us in every transition and change,
As we enter into this new era with excitement and even some anxiety,
We recall you deep compassion, presence, and abounding love.
We thank you for the gifts, talents and skills with which you have blessed us.
We thank you for the experiences that have brought us to this moment.
We thank you for the work of others that gives breadth and depth to our own work.
Be with us as we move forward, rejoicing with you and supporting one another.
We ask this in your Holy Name.
Amen.

- Author Unknown

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