Resources – Prayers

Dear God of Wisdom,

What is our prayer today?

Is it the long list of our family and friends who need your special attention?

Is it the long list of poor and hungry in the world who need your mercy?

Is it for our selves that we may work through our stress and struggles and find relief?

Is it for ourselves that we may know how better to do your work in this world?

Is it to find our passion?

Is it to know true love?

Is it to know true suffering?

It is for our brother, our sister, our mother, our spouse- that they may see Your light shining upon them?

Is it for hope in this world of violence, hunger and despair?

Is it for peace in a never ending era of war and death?

Is it in thanksgiving for the beautiful life you have shared with us?

Is it joy for the sun, the rain, the moon and the stars?

What is our prayer today, dear God?

Some days it seems that there is so much to pray for that we are overwhelmed.

How do we choose?

We ask for the Spirit to guide us.

We ask for the signs of the day to lead us.

We ask for assurance to know that whatever we pray, it matters

What is our prayer today, O God of wisdom?

We know your presence is with us.

We know that prayer is powerful.

We know your heart is listening to ours.

We know that you are gently guiding us.

To pray this prayer and to be of mindful spirit

we know you are here

What is our prayer today, dear God?

This is our prayer today.

To be with you.

To be with the Spirit.

And to be heard.

With many thanks for your guiding love, we pray.

Amen


We See from Where We Stand (A Hatian proverb)

Where do we stand?

Do we stand in the luxury of our own home?

Do we see the walls filled with comfort and security?

Do we stand on the front porch?

Do we see the house next door and across the street, perhaps where our friends live?

Do we stand on the corner down the street?

Do we see the neighborhood and its collection of people and lives?

Do we stand at the front of the neighborhood?

Do we see the main street and the traffic it brings to our world?

Do we stand at the bus stop?

Do we see the many busy people that drive by?

Do we see those who walk by?

Do we see the faces on the bus as they pass us by?

Do we stand at the center of the city?

Do we see the faces that live and breathe the life of urban surroundings?

Do we see the faces of those living on the street?

Do we see them, hiding under bridges or asking for help?

Do we stand at the airport?

Do we see the collection of people coming home and traveling far?

Do we see the people emptying the trash and cleaning the floor?

Do we stand in a new city?

Do we see the marvels of history and culture before us?

Do we see the poverty and hardship of the streets before us?

Do we stand in a warring nation?

Do we see the destruction?

Do we see the fear?

Do we see those mourning losses that can never be recovered?

Do we stand in the under-developed world?

Do we see the despair?

Do we see the hunger?         

Do we see the hope?

Where do we stand?

Will we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters to work, hope and pray that we will all stand in one equal place?

Will we, one day, see a world of peace, abundance, compassion, and love from wherever we stand?

Theresa Coop


The Mood of Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,

When the star in the sky is gone,

When the kings and princes are home,

When the shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,

To heal the broken,

To feed the hungry,

To release the prisoner

To rebuild the nations

To bring peace among people

To make music in the heart.

Howard Thurman


Statement of Belief: Creed of Lenten People

With God’s help, we are a people willing to be reconciled with ourselves and our neighbors.

We believe God is always with us and will help us rise from our fear.

With Gods’ Help, we will be willing to come out of our many shadows, respond to God’s promise and enter into the light.

We pray that we are a community that does not turn its back on the poor, the hungry, the disenfranchised and the lonely.

We take seriously our call to conversion and promise to act upon it.

With God’s help, we will overcome our tendency to throw stones, to stumble on them and, learning to climb over those stones, we will start building with them.

We are the sisters and brothers of Jesus who allowed himself to be led by the Spirit through the wilderness.

With God’s help, we will be the community called by the Creator, sent by Christ, the Spirit-wind at our backs.  We will open wide the closed door, face our shadows and rise to a new life filled with light, peace and justice.  May God accept and bless our pledge to build a new world where our natural response is love.  Amen.


St. Theresa’s Prayer

May today there be peace within. May we trust God that we are exactly where we are meant to be. May we not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May we use those gifts that we have received, and pass on the love that has been given to us…. May we be content knowing we are children of God…. Let God’s presence settle into our bones…and in our souls the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.


Loving life and its mysterious source

with all our heart and all our spirit,

all our senses and strength,

we take upon ourselves and into ourselves

these promise:

to care for the earth

and those who live upon it,

to pursue justice and peace,

to love kindness and compassion.

We will teach this to our children

throughout the passage of the day –

as we dwell in our homes

and as we go on our journeys,

from the time we rise until we fall asleep.

And may our actions

be faithful to our words

that our children’s children

may live to know:

truth and kindness have embraced,

peace and justice have kissed

and are one.

Joe Grant


Praise God!  May my soul praise God!

I will praise You as long as I live,

and sing for the whole of my life.

Do not trust in princes, in mortals who offer no salvation,

whose spirit leaves them and who return to the earth.

On that day their designs perish.

Happy are those whose help is in the God of Jacob,

whose hope rests on the Eternal their God,

Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and all they contain,

Keeper of truth forever,

Granter of justice to the oppressed,

Provider of bread to the hungry.

The Eternal frees the captive.

The Eternal opens the eyes of the blind.

The Eternal raises up the bent over.

The Eternal loves the righteous.

The Eternal guards strangers, upholding the orphan and widow,

but thwarting the way of the wicked.

The Eternal will reign forever, your God, O Zion,

for all generations.

Alleluia!

Joe Grant


From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth,

From the laziness that is content with half-truth,

From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,

O God of truth, deliver us.

Blessed is the Eternal,

Teacher of Torah to our people Israel.

Joe Grant


In a world torn by violence and pain,

a world far from wholeness and peace,

give us, O God, the courage to say,

There is one God in heaven and earth.

 

The high heavens declare Your glory;

may earth reveal Your justice and Your love.

From Egypt, the house of bondage, we were delivered;

at Sinai, we bound ourselves to Your purpose.

 

Inspired by prophets and instructed by sages,

we survived oppression and exile.

Though our failings are many and our faults are great,

time and again, we overcame the darkest forces.

 

And it has been our glory to bear witness to our God,

to keep alive in dark ages Your vision.

Let us continue to work for the day

when the nations will be one and at peace.

Then shall we rejoice as Israel did,

singing on the shores of the Sea.

Joe Grant


Beatitudes for Friends of People with a Disability

Blessed are you who take the time to listen to difficult speech, for you help me to know that if I persevere, I can be understood.

Blessed are you who never bid me to ‘hurry up’ or take my tasks and do them for me, for often I need time rather than help.

Blessed are you who stand beside me as I enter new and untried ventures, for my failures will be outweighed by the times I surprise myself and you.

Blessed are you who ask for my help, for my greatest need is to be needed.

Blessed are you who understand that it is difficult for me to put my thoughts into words.

Blessed are you who with a smile encourage me to try once more.

Blessed are you who never remind me that today I asked the same question twice.

Blessed are you who respect me and love me as I am, just as I am, and not as you wish I were.


Prayer for Generosity

Dearest Lord,
Teach me to be generous,
Teach me to serve you as you deserve,
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
To toil and not to seek for rest,
To labor and not ask for reward,
Save that of knowing I am doing your will.

St. Ignatius of Loyola


Old and New

You have made me known to friends who I knew not.
You have given me seats in homes not my own.
You have brought the distant near,
And made a brother of the stranger.
I am uneasy at heart when I leave my accustomed shelter;
I forget that there abides the old in the new
And that there You abide.
Through birth and death,
In this world or in others,
Wherever You  lead me it is You,
The same one companion of my endless life
Who ever links my heart with bonds of joy
To the unfamiliar.
When one knows You,
Then alien there is none,
Then no door is shut.
Oh grant me my prayer
That I may never lose the bliss
Of the touch of the one in the play of many.


Meeting Prayer

God, we ask for inspiration for our meeting and our labors, and a blessing for our efforts.

Help us to build a community united in love and service.

We thank you for those gifts which open us and widens our perspectives and those which equip us more fully for the tasks at hand.

Teach us to know our own strengths and honor those of each other.

Above all, help us to share a common concern for each other and the people we serve

 This we pray together.


I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;

I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do great things;

I was given sickness, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy;

I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;

I was given weakness, that I might feel the need for God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;

I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I received nothing I asked for—but everything I hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayer was answered;

I am, among all people, most richly blessed.


God of Life and God of Love

God of life and God of love, be with your children.  Be with those who suffer everyday. Help to heal their pain, help to soften their scars.  Help to bring them some sense of comfort in the life they battle with after survival. Be with them as they mourn the loss of loved ones.  Help them to see the gift of life you chose for them.  Help to make each day less painful than the last.

Be with your children.  Be with those who persecuted, tortured and killed our brothers and sisters.  Be with those who did this work as they try to move forward with life.  Help them to find forgiveness.  Help them to see the beauty in the life that You have created.

Be with all your children, God of Love.  Let us sow seeds of healing and the seeds of peace and as we walk through Your garden of life.  Help us to take the stories, memories, pain, and fear from the past and walk into the future with love, hope, and kindness for all those we meet. 

For this we pray,

Amen


Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of all blessings,
source of all life,
giver of all grace:
We thank you for the gift of life:
for the breath
that sustains life,
for the food of this earth
that nurtures life,
for the love of family and friends
without which there would be no life.

We thank you for the mystery of creation:
for the beauty
that the eye can see,
for the joy
that the ear may hear,
for the unknown
that we cannot behold filling the universe with wonder,
for the expanse of space
that draws us beyond the definitions of our selves.

We thank you for setting us in communities:
for families
who nurture our becoming,
for friends
who love us by choice,
for companions at work,
who share our burdens and daily tasks,
for strangers
who welcome us into their midst,
for people from other lands
who call us to grow in understanding,
for children
who lighten our moments with delight,
for the unborn,
who offer us hope for the future.

We thank you for this day:
for life
and one more day to love,
for opportunity
and one more day to work for justice and peace,
for neighbors
and one more person to love
and by whom be loved,
for your grace
and one more experience of your presence,
for your promise:
to be with us,
to be our God,
and to give salvation.

For these, and all blessings,
we give you thanks, eternal, loving God,
through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Vienna Cobb Anderson


Prayer for Dreamers 

We pray for the dreamers of this life, O God,

for those persons who imagine new possibilities,

who long for what others cannot perceive,

who spin dreams of wonder and majesty in their minds.

Defend them from ridicule and harsh criticism,

from self-doubt and lack of faith in their dreams,

and from abandonment of this call to make things new.

Grant that from their dreams

may come forth blessings for humankind

to enrich the quality of life

and the wonderment of us all.

Amen.

Vienna Cobb Anderson


Oscar Romero Prayer

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a 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 a way of saying

that the kingdom always lies beyond us…

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses 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.

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 not our own.

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 produces 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.

Amen

Bishop Ken Untener


Anywhere Is The Center Of The World

Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.

And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy…

But anywhere is the center of the world.

Black Elk


Prayer of the Four Directions

Great Spirit of Light, come to me out of the East with the power of the rising sun. Let there be light in my words, let there be light on my path that I walk. Let me remember always that you give the gift of a new day. And never let me be burdened with sorrow by not starting over again.

Great Spirit of Love, come to me with the power of the North. Make me courageous when the cold wind falls upon me. Give me strength and endurance for everything that is harsh, everything that hurts, everything that makes me squint. Let me move through life ready to take what comes from the north.

Great Life-Giving Spirit, I face the West, the direction of sundown. Let me remember everyday that the moment will come when my sun will go down. Never let me forget that I must fade into you. Give me a beautiful color, give me a great sky for setting, so that when it is my time to meet you, I can come with glory.

Great Spirit of Creation, send me the warm and soothing winds from the South. Comfort me and caress me when I am tired and cold. Unfold me like the gentle breezes that unfold the leaves on the trees. As you give to all the earth your warm, moving wind, give to me, so that I may grow close to you in warmth. Man did not create the web of life, he is but a strand in it. Whatever man does to the web, he does to himself.

Chief Seattle


It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. 

All: God of love, open our eyes to what is right before us. 

I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?  

All: God of love, let love flow freely from our homes to our world. 

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.  

All: God of love, let us not forget that you created us to live for one another. 

Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well.

All: God of love, let us open our hearts to each person before us each day.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

All: God of love, help us to make time to love the stranger, the enemy, the unknown.

Jesus said love one another. He didn’t say love the whole world. 

All: God of love, guide us to love one step at a time and trust that we are loving as you hope for us to love.

The success of love is in the loving – it is not in the result of loving. Of course, it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done.  

All: God of love, remind us not to strive for success, but to simply open our hearts to love.   

God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.

All: God of love, let us never stop trying.

Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.

All: God of love let us see the light and love of Christ in all we encounter and love with all our heart.

Mother Teresa


We cannot find Him unless we know we need Him. We forget this need when we take a self-sufficient pleasure in our own good works. The poor and helpless are the first to find Him,Who came to seek and to save that which was lost.

Thomas Merton


A Grateful Heart

Love courses through everything,

No, Love is everything.

How can you  say, there is no love,

            When nothing but love exists?

All that you see has appeared because of Love.

            All shines from Love,

            All pulses with Love,

            All flows from Love-

No, once again all is Love!

Fakhruddin Araqi


Litany or Responsive Prayer

Bread of life, strengthen in us your vision of a world where no baby or mother dies from hunger or poverty.

Make us restless to proclaim this good news to the world.

God of compassion, we have become complacent in our lives and miss the suffering of others.

We confess our skepticism, our tendency to look away, our hardness of heart. In your strong love, stir us to see, pray and act.

God of mercy, we pray for our elected leaders, especially those in Congress with the power to change and restore life to pregnant women, new mothers and infants living in poverty.

Move the hearts of our leaders to restore life to the vulnerable.

God, our healer, we pray for all who lack adequate access to healthcare, and especially for mothers and children who need life protecting medicines.

Bring to your light our wounded system that denies healing to the least.

God our creator, we thank you for the gift of water that sustains our planet and our bodies. None of your children should lack for this most basic gift.

Open fountains of compassion that clean water may flow to those most in need.

Giver of life, be present with all preparing to give birth, and with new mothers and their children. May the raising of our voices bring love and healing justice to those who struggle with poverty, hunger and disease.

Deepen our appreciation for the gift for the gift of our lives, and use us to bless the lives of others. In Jesus’ name, we pray.

Bread for the World


Let Us Forget

Oh loving God of wisdom

Let us forget ourselves…

Let us forget what seem to be insurmountable issues

Until we look into the eyes of a starving child

With no food or even hope of food

With no home

No father

And a mother who is dying…

Let us forget the daily stresses and anxieties about our own lives…

That might be nothing- compared to the terror of living in violence

In the midst of war

In having your home bombed to tiny pieces

In fearing to cross the street

Or the city to see your sister, parent or child

Let us not forget that you are here

You are guiding our minds, eyes and hearts

To see beyond our worries and fears

To show us the need in the world

To show us the hope in the world

To show us the possibilities of change before us

Let us forget ourselves…

And remember why we are truly here…

Mary Oliver


Another Story

We’ve named ourselves, proudly– Homo Sapien

“Wise Man”

But isn’t that a trifle misleading?

 

Wouldn’t our truth in advertising laws

Necessitate renaming ourselves

Homo Amnesian?

 

Isn’t the capability to forget absolutely anything,

No matter how trivial or profound,

Our most basic human story?

 

Whether it’s where I put the car keys,

Or what my Original Face really looks like?

Either way, it’s likely to be gone in sixty seconds.

 

So it’s a kind of evolutionary common sense,

That the opposite of forgetfulness–

Mindfulness–becomes our way.

 

And that the heart of Mindfulness,

Remembrance,

Becomes our basic practice.

 

For it’s easy to be mindful–just to breathe and smile

And to do whatever you’re doing out of Love.

However, remembering to be mindful?

 

Now that’s another story.


Hunger, Poverty & Politics Prayer

O God, our Creator, through our elected leaders and our government, you sustain all you have made. We pray especially for people who are seeking election to political offices in our country. Grant them integrity and wisdom to focus on matters that strengthen our government and provide help and opportunity to people in need. Give us courage to challenge candidates to address issues of hunger and poverty. As we prepare to cast our votes, may we be guided by vision of love, justice and mercy. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.

Bread for the World


Buddhist Prayer

Just as the soft rains fill the streams,
pour into the rivers, and join together in the oceans,
so may the power of every moment of your goodness
flow forth to awaken and heal all beings–
those here now, those gone before, those yet to come.

By the power of every moment of your goodness,
may your heart’s wishes be soon fulfilled
as completely shining as the bright full moon,
as magically as by a wish-fulfilling gem.

By the power of every moment of your goodness,
may all dangers be averted and all disease be gone.
May no obstacle come across your way.
May you enjoy fulfillment and long life.

For all in whose heart dwells respect,
who follow the wisdom and compassion, of the Way,
may your life prosper in the four blessings
of old age, beauty, happiness and strength.

Beliefnet Prayer of the Day


Holy, living God bring your healing peace.

Envelop us in your loving touch. Help us to feel your tender embrace.

Let us trust in your healing peace. Let us trust in your mercy, in your kindness and in your presence among us.

Ignite in our bodies the light you placed in all of us. Let us be led by the light, warmth and power that is in each of us.

Nourish us, O God. Nourish our minds, hearts and beings with your healing peace.

Grant us the peace of mind, peace of soul and peace of body we need to live each day, to overcome our challenges and to trust in your work.

Peace we pray for- to heal all wounds, all scars, all aches, all that is ailing us in any way. Peace you bring to us and peace we shall share.

Each day we call upon you, O God. Each day we hope to be open to your tender touch and your healing ways.

All we need is you. All we need is to pray to you, listen to you and trust in you to bless our lives with your healing peace.

Calm us, Holy One. Calm our deepest fears, our insecurities, our uncertainties. Calm our minds, our souls, and our hearts so that we may fully feel your peaceful embrace.

Each minute, each day, each week- each time we feel most vulnerable, each time we are in need- help us to call upon you, O God, and the power of your healing peace.


God of Wisdom

God of Wisdom, you created us in love

You formed us from the vision of your love

Your love is what calls us into being

 

With your love and the will to love

You have made us your children

To create a world with you- in which love is our guiding principle

To create in this world, a love so strong that it cannot be denied

A love that grows in and unites us all

 

We thank you for your vision,

For instilling our beings with this gift,

For trusting us with this great power

To love all and be all- as one

 

With your wisdom and your love

We will take this precious gift

And return it to the world before us

A world to be in cloaked love and grace

From the work of your hands and ours- together

Amen


Where is God?

The SS hung two Jewish men and a boy

before the assembled inhabitants of the camp.

The men died quickly

but the death struggle of the boy lasted half an hour.

‘Where is God? Where is he?’

a man behind me asked.

As the boy, after a long time, was still in agony on the

rope, I heard the man cry again,

‘Where is God now?’

And I heard a voice within me answer,

‘Here he is– he is hanging here

on this gallows…’

Elie Weisel


We do not believe in the law of the strongest, in the language of guns, in the power of the powerful.

We believe in the rights of all, in the open hand, in the strength of the non-violent.

We do not believe in race or riches, in privileges, in the established order.

We believe that all human beings are human beings and that the order of force and of injustice is a disorder.

We do not believe that we don’t have to concern ourselves with what happens here.

We believe that the whole world is our home, the fields that we sow, and that all reap what all have sown.

We do not believe that we can combat oppression out there if we tolerate injustice here.

We believe that what is right is the same here and there and that we will not be free while even one human being is excluded.

We do not believe that war and hunger are inevitable and that peace is inaccessible.

We believe in the power of bare hands, in peace on earth.

We do not believe that any effort is in vain. We do not believe that the dream of human beings continues being only a dream and that death is the end.

But we dare to believe in the dream of God; a new heaven and a new earth where justice reigns.

Helder Camara


Breathe Into Me

Thank you for all I forget are gifts, not rights.

Forgive me for all the grievances I remember too well.

Save me from the self-pity, the self-seeking,

the fat-heartedness which is true poverty.

All: Breathe into me the courage to make something new.

Guide me, if I’m willing, (drive me if I’m not),

into the hard ways of sacrifice which are just and loving.

 

All: Breathe into me the courage to make something new.

 

Make me wide-eyed for beauty,

and for my neighbor’s need and goodness;

wide-willed for peace-making,

and for the confronting power with the call to compassion;

wide-hearted for love and for the unloved,

who are the hardest to touch and need it the most.

 

All:  Breathe into me the courage to make something new.

 

Dull the envy in me which criticizes and complains life

into a thousand ugly bits.

Keep me honest and tender enough to heal,

tough enough to be healed of my hypocrisies.

 

All:  Breathe into me the courage to make something new.

 

Match my appetite for privilege

with the stomach for commitment.

Teach me the great cost of paying attention

that, naked to the dazzle of your back as you pass,

I may know I am always on holy ground.

 

All: Breathe into me the restlessness and courage

to make something new, something saving,

and something true,

that I may understand what it is to rejoice.

Ted Loder


A Blessing

May God bless you with discomfort…

at easy answers, hard hearts,

half-truths, and superficial relationships.

May god bless you so that you may live

from deep within your heart

where God’s Spirit dwells.

 

May God bless you with anger…

at injustice, oppression,

and exploitation of people.

May God bless you so that you may

work for justice, freedom, and peace.

 

May God bless you with tears…

to shed for those who suffer from pain,

rejection, starvation and war.

May God bless you so that you

may reach out your hand

to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

 

And may God bless you with

enough foolishness

to believe that you can make a difference

in this world, in your neighborhood,

so that you will courageously try

what you don’t think you can do, but

in Jesus Christ you’ll have all the strength necessary.

 

May God bless you to fearlessly

speak out about injustice,

unjust laws, corrupt politicians,

unjust and cruel treatment of prisoners,

and senseless wars,

genocides, starvations, and

poverty that is so pervasive.

 

May God bless you that you remember

we are all called

to continue God’s redemptive work

of love and healing

in God’s place, in and through God’s name,

in God’s Spirit, continually creating

and breathing new life and grace

into everything and everyone we touch.

Franciscan Missionary Society


Adaptation of 1 Corinthians 13

If I speak about courage and justice, and siding with the oppressed, and speaking truth to power no matter the cost, but do not speak about love… I am just a loudmouth orator, a white savior, a shameless self-promoter.

If I am excellent at nonviolent communication, and I take great pictures, and I know all the latest anti-oppressive lingo, and I can analyze racist systems so as to dismantle them entirely, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I fully embrace the work of prophet and activist and martyr, and get dragged away by the riot police or bombed by the military of my own country, but have not love, that is no use to anyone.

Love is patient. Love survives evil, war, oppression. It remains when the teargas clears and the children go back to school. It is still there when the water is protected. Love is kind, not arrogant, not insisting on its own way, but making space for joy and truth even in the hardest circumstance.

Whether it is love between two people, or love of a person for their community, or love of a community for its land, or love of justice and peace and equity, love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Clever words will be forgotten. The most interesting facts are subject to revision. The best sermon you’ve ever heard – you will forget. Right now, everything we do is flawed and inaccurate. But. One day we’ll experience Truth with a Capital T. And then all this will be unnecessary.

Before I was mature, I was immature. In becoming mature, I left behind ways of speaking, thinking and reasoning that were immature.

Right now we’re hearing murmurs, reading translations, seeing shadows on the wall, but one day we’ll see face-to-face.

Right now, half of the time I’m guessing, but one day I will know beyond all doubt – and I will be fully known.

What remains when it is all stripped away is three things:
Faith that the flawed world as we see it is not all that there is;
Hope that the next generation will live in a better world;
and Love to give us the strength and motivation to build it.

The greatest of these is Love.

Peter Haresnape


Advent Prayer

Oh Holy God,

It is you that teaches and guides us

It is you that has patience with us in our learning,

Our understanding, our believing, our acting

It is you that makes this season holy, and in fact,

Makes every day holy

God of love and light

You share with us your greatest gifts,

Your eternal love, your blinding light, your most holy child

All so that we may struggle and work to build your kingdom

Here on this holy earth

It is with great thanks that we pray today

It is with great joy that we celebrate you

It is with great anticipation that we await the birth of Jesus

Thanks be to you for your all your gifts and for this

Most holy day

Amen


Advent

It is not true that creation and the human family are doomed to destruction and loss — This is true: For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination, hunger and poverty, death and destruction — This is true: I have come that they may have life, and that abundantly.

It is not true that violence and hatred should have the last word, and that war and destruction rule forever — This is true: For unto us a child is born, and unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting, the Prince of Peace.

It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil who seek to rule the world — This is true: To me is given authority in heaven and on earth, and lo, I am with you, even unto the end of the world.

It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted, who are the prophets of the Church, before we can be peacemakers –This is true: I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young shall see visions, and your old shall have dreams.

It is not true that our hopes for liberation of humankind, of justice, of human dignity, of peace are not meant for this earth and for this history — This is true: The hour comes, and it is now, that true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

So let us enter Advent in hope, even hope against hope. Let us see visions of love and peace and justice.

Let us affirm with humility, with joy, with faith, with courage: Jesus Christ–the Life of the world.

Daniel Berrigan


Holy God, you long to call all people into your protective and healing care, as a mother hen gathers her chicks. We too, can show your love in using the gifts of our voices to advocate for mothers and babies at risk. Give us a hunger for righteousness, that our prayers and actions may ring out for the repair of all that denies needed food, clean water, and health care to pregnant women, new mothers, and their children. Bless our political leaders and open their hearts to the cries of the poor. We give you thanks for our right to speak out for justice, and a system that makes our voices heard. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Bread for the World


Other prayer resources:

Catholic Relief Services

The Forward Movement of the Episcopalian Church

The Sanctuary Center.

Sisters of the Holy Cross

World Council of Churches