A Prayer of Thanksgiving and blessing for For My Wife on her Birthday

My weekly prayer post coincides with my wife’s birthday.

I spent the morning at work and in a haze of sermon prep for this evening at our church, so I didn’t give her the attention that is her due, but here is my prayer of thanksgiving for her life and the ways that she is a blessing to me and our family.

God thank you so much for Sarah,

for the ways in which she challenges and supports me as I pursue you,

for the way she attends to and cares for our children and 

for the way she has a heart for those who are vulnerable, excluded and marginalized.

Thank you that she is such a good wife and mother. 

Thank you for her dedication to You.

 

I am so grateful that you gave her to me as a partner and friend–

               someone I can trust with my whole heart.

Thank you that she calls me out on the ways where I am insensitive

        and shows me how to be more loving and caring with those around me. 

Thank you for her patience and her steady love.

Bless her in the next year.

May she lay hold of all the  good things you have in store for the coming year.

I pray Lord that she will grow in confidence of your care and goodness

and give her a greater measure of your peace.

 

Amen.

 

I pray that she will continue to grow in grace, love, faith and that you would give her more of your peace. 

 

Amen. 

Prayer in Ordinary Time (week 7 after Pentecost)

I mistakenly named last week’s prayer as week seven after Pentecost, but no matter (prayer is prayer). This prayer is  my reflection (paraphrase and amplification) on Psalm 24 which gives us three ‘who’ questions (the first two occur in  parallelism and the last question is a repeated refrain).

  1. Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
  2. Who shall stand in His Holy Place?
  3. Who is the King of Glory?
  4. Who is the King of Glory?
The Psalm itself bears evidence of its use in corporate worship (the Q and A seems to be a call and response). I also have changed the Psalm from speaking about God (in the third person) to speaking to God. This is not a straight paraphrase but a way of using this psalm as prayer.

The earth is yours–all there is and all who live here!

           Maker of rivers and seas.

Who shall ascend your holy hill and stand in the holy place where you dwell?

          Those of us who are blameless—

                                            with clean hands

                                                    who do not worship idols

                                                                  who do not tell lies.

                    

           As we walk in your ways you will bless us and justify us

                  for You are the God of our Salvation.

                     May we like Jacob be numbered among those who

                            wrestle through the night and seek your face.

 

Let us lift up our heads and open the way for our King of Glory to enter in fullness!

       Who are You, King of Glory?

           You are the strong and mighty Lord, mighty in battle!

 

Let us lift up my head and open the doors for our King of Glory to enter in fullness!

      Who are You,  King of Glory?

           The Lord of the angel armies–You are our King of Glory!

Continue reading Prayer in Ordinary Time (week 7 after Pentecost)

Prayer for Ordinary Time (Fifth Sunday after Pentecost)

This prayer is my reflection on the following texts from today’s lectionary texts: Psalm 130, 2 Cor. 8:7-14, Mark 5: 21:43. 

Out of the depths I call to you–

knowing that if you counted my sins, I could not stand.

My soul waits,

More than the watch man waits,

more than the watch man waits.

Lord our friends and loved ones die,

they get sick and old and we watch them suffer

for years and wonder why.

We see people healthy and full of life reduced by disease

to a shadow of their former self.

My soul waits,

More than the watch man waits,

more than the watch man waits.

When you wore our flesh

and drank the dregs of humanity

you healed those who suffered year after year,

you beheld grieving parents and raised the dead.

We long to see your healing and life in the lives of those we care about.

We grieve and ache as we watch our friends in anguish.

and yet we know that with you there is mercy

redemption–plenteous redemption.

Lead us into your spacious way.

My soul waits,

More than the watch man waits,

more than the watch man waits.

Prayers for Ordinary Time (4th Sunday after Pentecost)

 

The following prayer is my reflection on the lectionary texts from the daily office  for this morning which included psalms of  praise, frightened Israelites under God’s judgment for their grumbling, Jesus promising to bring a sword to the earth and the Church struggling to come to terms with what it means to include the Gentiles.  Trust and terror, enmity and inclusion. Each of these names a piece of our experience as we invite Christ into all of our lives.  May you grow in trust and hope as you walk with Jesus through this season.

Lord, we grumble in our wilderness–

our dwelling between swords and peace.

In You we trust, though we sometimes forget in the

face of the giants of the land.

We still strive for the good land,

knowing You are walking with us

and have done great things for us.

 

Because of You the sea–

the chaos that threatened our life–

became dry land and

we walked

through fire

pursuing your promise.

 

Let your face shine on us. . .

May your saving way be known among the nations

bringing us all to our knees before You.

Bless all those who trust in You.

Prayers for Easter

Today marks the high day of the Christian calender. Jesus is risen, He is risen Indeed! Here are some prayers that help mark the wonder of Easter, and the newness it brings. The first is from Lent & Easter Readings from Iona, a prayer of blessing from Kate Mcllhagga. She names the reality of new life which we experience this time of year (Northern Hemisphere, and relates it to Christ’s resurrection:

Easter Blessing

How beautiful is the blossom
spilling from the tree,
the hidden primrose
and the bluebell
ringing out the news
He is risen
he is alive
we shall live
for evermore.
The dark winter is past,
the slow, cold, foggy days are over.
May the warmth of your resurrection
touch our hearts and minds
as the warmth of the sun
blesses our bodies.

The next prayer comes from Walter Brueggemann’s Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth. Easter confounds the wise and troubles the strong. Brueggemann does a good job of challenging those of us who are safe and smug move beyond our pontificating into wonder:

We are baffled

Christ is Risen
He is risen indeed!
We are baffled by the very Easter claim we voice.
Your new life fits none of our categories.
We wonder and stew and argue,
and add clarifying adjectives like “spiritual” and “physical.”
But we remain baffled, seeking clarity and explanation,
we who are prosperous, and full and safe and tenured.
We are baffled and want explanations.

But there are those not baffled, but stunned by the news,
stunned while at minimum wage jobs;
stunned while the body wastes in cancer;
stunned while the fabric of life rots away in fatigue and despair;
stunned while unproperouus and unfull
and unsafe and untenured . . .
Waiting only for you in your Easter outfit,
waiting for you to say, “Fear not, it is I.”
Deliver us from our bafflement and our many explanations.
Push us over into stunned need and show yourself to us lively.
Easter us in honesty,
Easter us in fear;
Easter us in joy,
and let us be Eastered. Amen.

Finally this prayer comes from St. John Damascene, 8th Century, excerpted from the Prayer Book of the Early Christians. What I like about this prayer is that it names the whole arc of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross and resurrection:

Hymn to the Life-Giving Cross

O Christ our God,
Ceaselessly we bow
Before your cross
That gives us life;
And glorify your Resurrection,
Most powerful Lord,
When on that third day
You made anew
The failing nature of mankind,
Showing us revealed
the path to heaven above;
For you alone are good,
The Lover of the Human Race.

A Prayer from Stanely Hauerwas

The following prayer is excerpted from Disrupting Time: Sermons, Prayers and Sundries Hauerwas has a way at getting behind the pretensions of modern culture and exposing the lies we tell ourselves. This is not a Lenten prayer but a confession and therefore appropriate for all who are particpating in this season of repentance.

Devious, dear God, are we devious. We believe we can hide from you. We even believe we can hide from ourselves. “I’m not really who you think I am” is a play we play on a daily basis. For better or for worse, and usually it is for the worse, we even end up becoming what we pretend to be. As a result, we begin to hate ourselves, our neighbors, and You. In particular, we hate because you refuse to believe we are who we pretend to be. Help us learn to trust your perfect love. Help us accept the joy that comes from the honesty your love makes possible. Forgiven, by God, you have forgiven the pretense that nailed your Son to the cross. Forgiven, you have given us a way to go on in a lie-shaped world. As your forgiven people, make us your salvation, that the world may see how wonderful it is to be more or less than we are, that is, your creatures.