• "BROKEN BODIES, BROKEN LIVES"

    “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not.”


    We join Jesus’ lament, keening at the brokenness—broken bodies, broken lives, broken systems. We plead for God to gather all people and all systems under her wings, empowering us in the hard work of justice and transformation.


    By your Holy Wings, Mothering God ...

    • Enfold and comfort all who grieve the murder of George Floyd
    • Tenderly care for those who’ve been traumatized once again by this death
    • Spread your protection over all who tirelessly give themselves to provide care and comfort
    • Sweep out the racism in our criminal justice system
    • Uncover the sin of white supremacy that has plagued our [cities, states,] country, and our individual lives
    • Move us all to repentance, to radical change – joining hands with all to rebuild our communities in the way of justice
    • Hover continuously over [our country], inspire us with vision to imagine a new way of being community; and a new resolve to work toward that vision.


    "[America, America,] O how Jesus longs for us to wake up, to name our sin, to see our complicity, to recognize every single person as a beloved sibling. The time is now."


    —adapted from Bishop Ann Svennungsen's Prayer for Minneapolis, Minneapolis Area Synod, ELCA, May 29, 2020


  • NEIGHBORHOOD PRAYER WALK

    Many of us are walking around our neighborhoods to get out of the house and get some exercise. This is a great opportunity for a “neighborhood prayer walk.” As you walk by each house, consider who lives there. Even if you don’t know them, you can pray for them. 


    Here's a suggestion for your prayers, based on the lines of The Lord's Prayer:


    Our Father in heaven … 

    “Lord, I know you love each and every person in this neighborhood, and I want each of them to know how much they are loved. Speak your comfort and peace to them.”


    hallowed be your name …

    “Lord, even in the ordinariness of this neighborhood, you are present in mysterious ways. Come to this community in a special way. I claim this territory as a part of your Kingdom and declare every place that the soles of my feet tread as belonging to you.”


    your kingdom come …

    “Lord, I want everyone in this neighborhood to share in your care and kingdom. They are made in your image and are precious in your sight!”


    your will be done on earth as in heaven …

    “Lord, I ask for your guidance. Is there anyone in this neighborhood whom you want me to reach out to? How can I pray for my neighbors?”


    Give us today our daily bread …

    “Lord, if there are people in this neighborhood who are worried about not having enough food or income, or are suffering physically, emotionally, or spiritually, I pray for your care. Help them find help. And if that help includes me, I am willing.”


    Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us …

    “Lord, you know how human we all are. Please continue to teach me and my neighbors in this community how important each person is. Forgive us the times when we fall short of true caring.”


    Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil …

    “Lord, bring these special people in this neighborhood to a knowledge of the spiritual resource they have in you. Help all of us to stop blaming and to start loving in radically different ways.”


    For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen

    “Lord, I trust in your far-reaching power, and I ask that your kingdom come alive—even today— in this neighborhood. You know each person and their needs, and I trust you to be with each of us on this day.”


    Now to [the One] who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to [our God] be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.—Ephesians 3;20-21 (NRSV)


    —inspired by Neighbourhood Prayer Walks by Roy Schulz


    If you want to take a copy of these prayer on your walk, click here for a print-friendly version.


  • 3 PRAYERS FOR WHOLENESS

    A Prayer for Wholeness with God

    O God, who knows every burden I bear, draw me close to your heart. May every breath I take place me in your arms more securely so that I will know that your love makes my brokenness whole again. Amen. 


    A Prayer for Wholeness with Neighbor

    O God, open my eyes so that I see the people you put in my path with your eyes of love. Slow me down enough to know what it means be the neighbor who stops to help, who listens to the nudge of your Spirit, who offers my hand in generosity of health. Amen.


    A Prayer for Wholeness with Self

    O God, fill me with thanks that when I think so little of myself you remind me I am your treasure. Fill me with gladness that you created me and receive me with rejoicing. Fill me confidence to understand myself and find greater health in the path where you lead. Amen.


    - from Church Health


  • A PRAYER OF JOY

    Dear God,


    We confess our need for you, for your Spirit to fill our lives afresh with great joy and strength. The hard times can often leave us feeling dry and defeated. We’ve been weary and burdened. We’ve struggled through for so long, at times, it’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel. In this season of Spring, you give us a glimpse of your goodness again, reminding us that you have never left us and that you have promised to see us through.


    Thank you for your faithfulness, Lord, and forgive us for not trusting you. Breathe your joy and peace into our lives again, cover us in the shadow of your wings, shine the light of your truth over us.


    We thank you that you are greater than anything we may face in our day or in these difficult seasons. Thank you that your presence goes with us, that your joy is never dependent on our circumstances, but is our true and lasting strength, no matter what we might be up against in this world.


    We ask that your Spirit lead us, that your peace guard our hearts and minds in you. We ask for your grace to cover our lives, and that you would bring us through every hard season with your joy and favor.


    We love you, Lord. We need you today, and always.


    In Jesus' Name,

    Amen!


  • Breath prayer for fear

    When we are afraid, we often turn to prayer, but quickly start to wonder, 'Does prayer work?' That's the question many people ask when they perceive that God is not answering their prayers. Other questions surface, too. 'Is prayer worthwhile?' 'Does it change anything?' 'Am I talking to myself?' 'Does God care about my prayers?'


    I think the key in all of this is the word "answer." Remember, prayer is not mostly about us. It is a conversation with God, and conversations aren't about answers. They are about relationship. They inspire curiosity and promote discovery and foster honesty. Conversations are also about listening ... listening to the one who is listening to you.


    So, in that spirit, I offer this suggestion for a breath prayer for times when you are fearful. I would encourage you to put away your quest for answers long enough to just enjoy getting to know God and how God is acting in your life right now.


    Discover your own breath prayer! Here's how I would suggest you start:


    Sit quietly, reminding yourself that you are in God's loving presence. If there is a particular word or phrase from Scripture that helps you enter into a prayerful, listening stance, allow yourself to just sit with that phrase for a few moments.


    Then imagine God calling you by name and asking, "[Your name,)] what do you want?" Allow your truest answer to this question to come up from your heart. Express this to God. The following phrase might help you begin: 

    God, what I most want from you right now is . . .


    Then choose your favorite name or image for God (God, Jesus, Father, Creator, Spirit, Breath of Life, Lord, Shepherd, Holy One, etc)—whichever name best captures your sense of who God is for you at this point in your relationship or who you need or want God to be.

    A name for God that is most meaningful for me right now is . . . 


    Now combine your name for God with the expression of your heart's desire. There is no wrong or right way to combine these together. It could be something as simple as, "Jesus, have mercy on me," or "Teacher, let me see again."


    Then, as you sit, begin by noticing your breath. 

    On the inhalation, say your name for God.

    On the exhalation, say your desire. 


    As you continue to say this breath prayer over and over again, you begin to capture your deep yearning for intimacy, wholeness, and well-being in Christ. It may help you let go of fear and trust God in all things.


    Pastor Charisse


  • A pRAYER FOR PEACE

    We are all grieving for our old ways and are being asked to embrace the new. Coping with new situations as they arise, it is helpful to remember the blessings of our life.


    Psalm 44:17-18

    All this has come upon us,

    yet we have not forgotten you,

    or been false to your covenant.

    Our heart has not turned back,

    nor have our steps departed from your way.


    It is helpful to have a "breath prayer" when seeking peace, such as:

    • God, give me strength for today
    • Jesus, peace
    • Jesus, peace
    • Today is the time for healing
    • Jesus, peace
    • Holy Spirit, give me confidence and hope
  • "sometimes it just seems to be too much"

    Sometimes, Lord,

    it just seems to be too much:

    too much anxiety, too much fear,

    too many broken dreams and broken lives.


    Sometimes the very air seems scorched

    by threats of illness

    until there is nothing

    but to inhale pain

    and exhale confusion.


    O God,

    make of me some nourishment

    for these starved times,

    some food for my brothers and sisters

    who are hungry for hope

    that, being bread for them,

    I may also be fed

    and be full.


    - adapted from a prayer by Ted Loder from Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle (Fortress Press)


  • "All shall be well"

    In you, Father all-mighty, we have our preservation and our bliss.

    In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving.

    You are our mother, brother, and Saviour. 

    In you, our Lord the Holy Spirit, is marvellous and plenteous grace.

    You are our clothing; for love you wrap us and embrace us.

    You are our maker, our lover, our keeper.

    Teach us to believe that by your grace

    all shall be well, 

    and all shall be well,

    and all manner of things shall be well. Amen.

    - Julian of Norwich