In this moment which is now, O God,
But never again
Create some space within us we pray.
Push past our busyness.
And our lists.
And our focus on what comes next
Rather than the moment we have
Stop us long enough that we might take stock of ourselves.
Who we are.
How we are.
Our dreams and hopes.
Our brokenness and sorrow.
And, to make room for the other and to leave space for you.
Those whom we love.
Those whom we barely know.
For all fall within the circle of Your love.
So, here we are, O God.
Create some space within us, we pray.
I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that [God] will guide me to do whatever I’m supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I’m praying for strength. I used to believe that pray changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.
– Mother Teresa
Believing all fall within the circle of your love and care, O God, we pray.
First, for those who find themselves in need.
Those who are lost.
Those who are separated from their children.
Those without a home or a place to call home.
Those who are hungry.
Those who are victims.
And, we pray for those who have enough.
And more than enough.
May our affluence not lead to arrogance.
Instead, may gratitude deepen our compassion.
And, may we live with an awareness of our need for each other.
And, may we find our way forward towards that promised day when all will have enough and all will have a place.
And, as we pray may our lives be changed.
So that we begin to pray not just with our words.
But also with our lives.
As you pray this morning, see those who find themselves in need.
As you see them or remember their names, surround them with the care.
As you pray this morning see those who struggle.
For food. For shelter. For safety. To be heard.
Surround them now with your strength and support.
As you pray this morning see to the beauty around you.
Notice the grace which brushes up against your life.
Pay attention to the goodness and kindness in our world.
And add your gratitude to the gratitude of others.
As you pray this morning see yourself
Allow the care and support and love of others to wash across your life.
And, as always, O God,
May our lives follow where our prayers first lead.
Teach us to pray, O God.
With our words and with our hands.
With our hopes and dreams and with our lives.
With our heartbreak and our sorrow and with our kindness and our compassion. Teach us to pray.
Teach us to pray
That we might care for each other
And care for the stranger in our midst
And the overlooked among us
And the communities in which we live
And the world entrusted to our care and keeping.
Teach us to pray, O God
That our heartbreak over high school shootings
And those who have to stand in a line to see a doctor
And children who are afraid to go to school because they might come home and their parents will not be there
And those whose lives are torn apart by terrorists and bombs and hatred and racism…
Teach us to pray that we might offer more than just “thoughts and prayers.”
Teach us to pray, O God.
And, in these days when we do our best to live in and to turn our lives in the direction of Christmas, we ask this, O God…
May whatever hope we hold onto in the midst of the darkness and the uncertainty which surrounds us, may that hope be our prayer.
May whatever ache we feel and whatever tears we shed for those we miss or those for whom we mourn, may our heart ache be our prayer.
May the anguish we feel for those broken places in our world and those whose lives have been disrupted or displaced by violence or hatred or abuse or indifference, may our anguish and anger also be our prayer.
May the dream we hold onto and the promise in which we place our trust be our prayer.
And, added to all of that, O God…
May our lives, ordinary as they are, be our prayer.
A Light to those who live in the darkness.
Compassion to those who have been forgotten.
Your presence walking around in our shoes.
Not just today as we look towards Christmas
But, each day and every day.
And, each moment and every moment.
May it be so, O God. May it be so.
Too quickly we feel overwhelmed, O God,
And wonder is there room enough?
Room enough to care about one more thing?
Room enough to reach out one more time?
Room enough for heartache and heartbreak of another
When our hearts already feel so broken?
Is there room enough
For the gratitude?
For the dreams?
For the hopes?
For making the circle around our lives larger
When we are barely managing the here and now?
Is there room enough, O God.
In this moment we have right now,
we ask for the courage to risk it.
To risk the care.
To risk the concern.
To risk hope.
To risk the dream.
Hear our prayers, O God.