Thursday, December 4, 2008

'give us a joy that outlasts our sorrows'

From POTP, p.29:

O Spirit of Christ,
give us a joy that outlasts our sorrows,
give us a hope stronger than the despair of our discouragement,
and give us a new belief that we have reason to rejoice—
to be glad for who we are because you made us and gave us life,
and all we have is a gift from you.
In the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, Amen.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Prayer of the People 11.23.08 at Eastern Ave CRC

my prayer of the people yesterday at Eastern Ave CRC:

Blessed are you, O Lord, King of the universe,
in the beginning you created, and day by day you sustain, the whole cosmos.
Great is your faithfulness;
Your mercies are new every morning.

O mighty God, like Job we tremble before you, like Job we sometimes raise our fists at you, like Job, we both tremble and raise our fists in the same faith journey, sometimes in the same hour.
Give us the courage of Job to know that lament, too, is a form of praise, as we pour out our tears before your throne, and submit our deepest doubts, secrets, and sores, to the one who is most worthy to know them and hear them, and soothe them.
And so, with your apostles, we pray, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? Yours is the way of eternal life.'

Give us Job's humility and eagerness to acknowledge his smallness in your vast universe.
And God, give us Job's unconditional devotion, a fierce faith that stays strong through the storms, and doesn't depend on the state of the stock market and abundance of material comforts.
And so, Lord, as we turn our hearts to you in Thanksgiving this week,
don't let us be content to merely list our possessions and relationships, but drive us to deeper awe and gratitude for your power and love, for what you have done for us, for the kingdom you are building in the midst of a fallen world, for the triumphant return of Christ that you promise.

Remind us, Lord, that no matter how bad the economic news sounds, we remain an abundantly, often indulgently wealthy nation in the midst of a world full of desperate poverty. And yet, Lord, recent economic events put a very real strain on us, our lives at work, our relationships at home, as the ache of uncertainty gnaws at our hearts. Comfort us, strengthen us, and, as you did with Job, release us from our illusions of self-reliance, and remind us that our only future lies in your promises. Guide our government and business leaders as they make difficult decisions about daunting crises; bless President-elect Obama as he prepares to assume the presidency in the face of immense challenges. Give peace and wisdom to him and his advisers, to congressional leaders, to Congressman Ehlers and the many newly elected congress members who will join him soon on Capitol Hill.

Lord, our fears are as big as the global economy, and as specific as the
particular griefs and joys in our church family.


We say with the psalmist, 'What are human beings, that you are mindful of us and care for us?'
and we sing with your children in exile, 'Great is your faithfulness.'
Put this humility on our hearts and this awe on our lips this week, and all our days.

We pray through Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit,


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Advent and Christmas prayers for illumination by Michael Lindvall

Michael Lindvall:

God of acceptance without horizon, may your grace rise again upon us this day.
May your love startle us again in its embarrassing generosity and its costly
demands. Save us from our eternal temptation to make you as small as our
imaginations and to shrink your grace to the size of our affections. And now may
the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your
sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. Amen [+]

Open our ears to hear your word over the wonderful and dizzy din of modern
Christmas. May it fall fresh on our ears and find its way into our hearts. May it
shape the way we live, make choices, and set priorities. And now may the words
of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord,
my Rock and my Redeemer. Amen [+]

Cast your light on these words, O God, this ancient and mysterious story, familiar
and perplexing at the same time. May it comfort us if comfort be our true need.
May it discomfort us if discomfort be our truer need. And now may the words of
my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my
Rock and my Redeemer. Amen. [+]

Teach us again to listen for angel voices, O God. Tune our ears for whispers of
transcendence hidden between the honking of taxi horns, sequestered in laughter at
a party, concealed in the giggles of overexcited children, tucked between the
silences, woven into the warp and woof of joy and sorrow, and incarnate this night
in word, music and sacrament. And now may the words of my mouth and the
meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and
Redeemer. Amen. [+]

Lord of creation, to you be all praise

Lord of creation, to you be all praise!
Lord of all power, I give you my will
Lord of all wisdom, I give you my mind
Lord of all bounty, I give you my heart
Lord of all being, I give you my all

- from the first lines of the verses of "Lord of Creation," PsH 286

Friday, August 29, 2008

Anna Waring - Hymn 1

Anna Waring (1820-1910):

Father, I know that all my life

Is portioned out for me,

And the changes that are sure to come,

I do not fear to see;

But I ask Thee for a present mind

Intent on pleasing Thee.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bishop Andrews - morning Matins

From the Devotions of Bishop Andrews:

GLORY be to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee.
Glory to Thee who gives me sleep
to recruit my weakness,
and to remit the toils
of this fretful flesh.
To this day and all days,
a perfect, holy, peaceful, healthy,
sinless course,

Vouchsafe O Lord.


Eucharistic prayer from the Didache

From the Didache:

We thank you, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you have revealed through Jesus, your child. To you be glory forever.

continued / about

Anselm - on believing to understand


Grant to me that I may look upon your light, though from far off, though out of the deep. I will seek you, with longing after you. I will long after you in seeking you, I will find you by loving you, I will love you in finding you. I confess to you, O Lord, and I give thanks to you, because you have created in me this your image, that I may remember you, think upon you, love you: but so darkened is your image in me by the smoke of my sins that it cannot do that the way it was created to do, unless you renew it and create it again. I seek not, O Lord, to search out your depth, but I desire in some measure to understand your truth, which my heart believes and loves. Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand. For this too I believe, that unless I first believe, I shall not understand.


Prayer of the Trinity by N.T. Wright

quoted here with link:

Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth:
Set up your kingdom in our midst.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God:
Have mercy on me, a sinner.

Holy Spirit, breath of the living God:
Renew me and all the world.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blessing before Meals - "for the knowledge, faithfulness and eternal life..."

From FFOZ:

We thank You, our holy Father, for Your holy name that You have caused to dwell in our hearts, and for the knowledge, faithfulness and eternal life that You have made known to us through Your servant Jesus. Yours is the glory forever.

(First doxology of the grace after meals from the Didache as translated for First Fruit's of Zion's We Thank You.)

Brueggemann: "On Reading Psalm 1"

One of my favorite prayers by Walter Brueggemann—this one the opening prayer in his collection Inscribing the Text:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Iona: 'If need be, despite us'

One of my favorite prayers of all time—especially for that last list of prepositional phrases:

Reshape us, good Lord,
until, in generosity, in faith,
and in expectation that the best is yet to come,
we are truly Christ-like.

Make us passionate followers of Jesus
rather than passive supporters.

Make our churches cells of radical disciple
and signposts to heaven.
Then, in us, through us,
and—if need be—despite us,
let your kingdom come.