Thursday, March 26, 2009
every white Australian beach
bring currents in endless legions
from the planet's every region.
Tidings swell and resound
on our distant shores,
and wash from all around
recession and ceaseless wars.
Hope infects first the one
and then so soon another:
the whole world puts some trust
in US President Obama.
Our little prayers are tides
that join this to that land.
They wash potent hope
to every place: yes, they can.
Prayers are their own tidings,
spreading across great tracts.
we pray that good deciding
gives God opening to act. --Ted
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
when he discerned the time was right,
to involve himself in the affairs of his neighbors,
and attend to their salvation.
For his safest haven was prayer;
not prayer of a fleeting moment, empty and proud,
but prayer that was prolonged,
full of devotion, peaceful in humility.
If he began at night,
he was barely finished in the morning.
Walking, sitting, eating, drinking,
he was focused on prayer."
repr. fr. A Sense of the Divine
Friday, March 13, 2009
While we give thanks for this 100 days of President Obama's administration, let us not forget that we must seed an earth that will nourish us 100 years from now, when our children's children's children will have inherited the world. Let us pray for the courage to back these ventures that will give happiness to so many of our descendants in 2109:
That all nations will issue a binding protocol to observe limits on greenhouse gas emissions, so that future generations may breathe freely in a world that protects biodiversity;
That all nations, including the U.S., become signatories to the International Criminal Court, so that every leader who has committed war crimes may be prosecuted;
That the right of every worker to a living wage, and freedom to engage in collective bargaining without intimidation, may be observed in every nation, so that those who labor for their daily bread may be given adequate nourishment;
That we will join other nations in reducing significantly our stockpiles of nuclear weapons as required by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, so that all will know that the US stands for peace and disarmament;
That those who are most vulnerable because of unemployment, age, or infirmity may be protected by adequate pensions, unemployment benefits or other subsidies, so we may remember that the "least" among us should always come first;
That we will heed the Biblical injunction to "beat our swords into plowshares" by reducing the US's bloated military budget by at least 25 percent, so that a host of domestic and international needs for housing, health care, education and employment may be addressed.
We ask all this in Your name. Amen. --Steve
Sunday, March 8, 2009
During Lent, we Christians
Try to see our sins clearly, to own their wrongness fully,
And, finally, to shed those wrongs at the foot of Your cross.
Let those of us who live in "First World" countries
Own not only our personal wrongdoings
But the sins we fail to see because they are
Perpetrated against people we don't know
In the conveniences of our "modern" lives.
Let us see that our rich way of life is wholly dependent
On the labor and poverty of workers
In less developed countries.
Let us see that we have no inherent right to
Consume most of the world's natural resources,
Just because it's cheap to gas up our cars,
Easy to run our faucets and turn on our T.V.s.
In the U.S., where we are but 5% of the world's people,
We consume a third of its electricity and nearly half its gasoline.
The Mexican woman who makes our jeans
Gets a dollar to sew ten pairs and
Can't afford enough food or medicine for her children.
The people who pick our produce are the poorest
In our hemisphere. To shoulder more than
A thousand pounds of food every day, with an empty stomach,
Is surely Hell.
Forgive us, Loving God,
Our sin of luxury.
Let us redefine "fasting" to mean more than a
Spiritual practice of temporary denial.
Let us learn to live without
Consuming so much and
End our complicity with the
Oppression of our brothers and sisters around the world,
Who are equally beloved by God.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Graft in our president's heart a love of your Name; increase in him
true religion; nourish him with all goodness; and bring forth in him
the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and
reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I pray that the President, too, will not get discouraged and will be surrounded by intelligence and wisdom to guide and support him in his decisions.
I pray for the President's safety and that of his family, that they will be steered clear of danger and that God will allow them to work for their full term in this country, in our hearts and minds.
I pray for those who did not vote for Obama, that their hearts might be softened enough to see the good he can do to bring us together. To see how far we have come as a country and how much farther this means we can go, together.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Please move over the face of our cities in these days. Create order out of chaos. Comfort all who mourn and move us to create conditions for less mournful people. Provide for all in need and move us to re-order our world so that fewer people go hungry in it. Give to those who lack and minister to the souls of those who have more than they need and yet still live in fear of losing even a piece of it. Make your presence known to the lonely. Surround them, hem them in. Then inspire them and send them out.
And God of all creation, one who owns cattle on one thousand hills, one who favors the least of these -- call forth your prophets from every party, from every corner of our nation, from every branch of your church to prophesy to those making the final decisions about the economic recovery bill this week. Give our lawmakers the will to do right by the least of these! Give your people the will to let our voices be heard. Fill us with faith that those who do right by the poor will be provided for by you. Do these things for your glory, O God. Do these things and be glorified, O God. Be glorified as you demonstrate the height and breadth and depth of your love for us.
Jesus, Holy Jesus...
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I pray that whatever concept of God we have that the spirit of inclusion is somewhere in the midst.
I pray for the poorest nations.
I pray for Jazz.
I pray for everyone to recognize the Holy Spirit is alive and well and not on holiday.
I pray for relief.
I pray for vigilance.
I pray for laughter.
I pray for humankind to be kind.
I pray for my daughters, your daughters, your sons.
I pray because sometimes that's all I know to do. --Jeff
Thursday, February 5, 2009
One of the biggest difficulties of raising special needs children is having to fight for them all the time--either with various systems or against other people's limited and limiting views. May we change the way our culture perceives these children. May we change public policy and education, for all children.
Someone said to me, "Maybe instead of advocacy, you should go back to art history." She said, "A friend of mine had a Down syndrome child and it took over her life; she disappeared." I believe her friend didn't vanish but was transformed. Sometimes you wake up and you have only one road in front of you and only you can walk it. What is the alternative--give up on your child? Sometimes transformation is the only choice.
Friends who are surprised by my new discipline of exercise and running ask if I'm training for something. I say, "No," but that's not true. I am not training for an athletic event. I am not training to fight the New York City Board of Education, although I will. I am not training to knock out a meaningful place in this world for my son
and other kids who are different, although I will do my damnedest.
I am not even in training for my own sanity, although sanity is a
I am training to be able to hold my whole self entirely still, a translucent speck in the infinite mirror of the Universe, and say, "Yes, God, I will." I am training to live the life I have been called to live, as well as I can: to transform. I pray that all parents of special needs children can find their way toward whatever transformation they may need.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Those who read the site--I pray for you whenever I open it. Those who "follow" it--I pray for you by name. I pray for all of you when I run in the park, which is about every other day.
I am just a middle-aged woman, sitting at a computer in a room the size of a small suburban walk-in closet, in a rented apartment in a 2-family house in Queens, praying for you. I will continue to pray for all of you for the rest of this 100 days.
I encourage you not just to read this site but to pray it. May we all find a new richness of spiritual experience. May we all feel closer to God, to one another, and to creation. May we find the will to change things that we can change and the means to do it.
May God bless you and keep you. --Susan
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I pray for a rapid turnaround for our economy: specifically that people be able to find gainful employment and/or keep their businesses running, so that they may keep their homes from foreclosure or keep their rent payments up to date, afford their medical insurance, put food on the table, and enjoy comfortable retirements.
I pray that employers will do whatever they can to keep workers on the payroll.
I pray that Unemployment Insurance benefits be extended through the end of 2009 for the long-term unemployed.
I pray for government protection against all new foreclosures without the need for homeowners to file for bankruptcy. I pray, too, that banks cease their practice of falsely claiming that homeowners are in foreclosure as a prerequisite to renegotiating high mortgage rates. This unfair practice ruins homeowners' credit ratings.
I pray that additional funding be approved for Section 8 housing and that applications be reopened for new applicants. Renters need government protection to keep roofs over their heads, too.
I pray for consumer confidence so that shoppers will stimulate the economy.
I pray that people will find it in their hearts to donate food to food pantries and houses of worship and that they make time to volunteer in homeless shelters and "soup kitchens".
I pray for a successful mediation in the Middle East, leading to a full truce and, miracle of miracles, lasting peace in the region. I pray, too, that President Obama will be able to bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and yet secure the safety of our nation.
I pray that President Obama can keep acts of terrorism from our shores.
I pray that the Obamas adopt their dog from an animal shelter, spurring new interest in rescues, relieving overcrowding in shelters and alerting the American public to the horrors of puppy mills. In fact, I pray for new legislation shutting down all puppy mills.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king's son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
May he deliver the needy when they call,
the poor and those who have no helper.
May he have pity on the weak and the needy,
and save the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence may he redeem their life;
and precious may their blood be his sight.
Amen to the Biblical expectation of a king, a leader, a president from a God whose primary concern is for those who are needy, poor and fatherless.
--Kristellys, New Horizon United Methodist Church
I am so hopeful that change can and will happen. We are praying that our leaders have the courage, strength, and insight to choose the right (even if rocky) road. And that all of us as followers will make responsible choices that help this nation back on its feet, even as it helps the world. --Betty Jo
I pray for our leaders to have the courage to make some very difficult and unpopular decisions for the sake of the future of humanity and our planet. --Grace
Monday, January 26, 2009
May these difficult times bring us all together under the leadership of Barack, and collectively realize the power to help each other through these darkest of economic times.
We are blessed with the prosperity of Hope and filled with the spirit, to uplift us in these difficult times, holding on to our homes, our jobs and our ability to provide to our families.
Give us the strength and courage to pray for and help those who need jobs, for families and individuals living paycheck to paycheck, for those facing foreclosure, and for those in need of shelter or a square meal.
Give us the ability to legislate effectively for all people who are working and have the feeling of worry during these unsure times.
Give strength to all who have mortgages to pay and for those on fixed incomes or for those who live alone without friends and family support. In you, Lord all things are possible.
Allow us the flexibility to support our new government, give clarity to Barack, and guide our politicians to do what is right and fair to everyone, not a select few.
Let not our hearts be troubled. May we find inner peace.
May we find outer community to give us strength for enthusiastic encouragement for our new President.
In Christ, we pray. Amen --Jules
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Who loves us all more than we can love,
We worry that we will lose our jobs or homes tomorrow, some of us
Already have. We are afraid
We will be hungry today or in our old age,
As our bank accounts and retirement funds disappear.
These are not trivial fears, dear God, we worry
About our children, and the
National debt, but can we imagine
Not being able to go out
To work, or to find work or something to eat,
Because we might be hit by a bomb
Or raped by an enemy?
How can we begin to "fix the economy,"
When people, beloved by God,
Have lived for months, cramped
In small household bathrooms
With three other people,
That, if they leave,
They may be killed?
How can we create a more productive,
Secure world for ourselves,
While, at the same time, we kill
Other people, their children,
And their parents,
Or we allow it, in Iraq,
Afghanistan, Gaza, Darfur, and
Democratic Republic of Congo,
Places where God also lives?
In this first hundred days,
In the last hundred days, and in the
Hundreds of days
We can create peace. --Susan
This prayer was written during participation in an octave of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving for peace in Gaza and Southern Israel, initiated by the Episcopal-Muslim Relations Committee of the Diocese of New York, Jan. 18-25, 2009.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I am afraid, Lord, that socialized medicine will put me out of work like it did for thousands of Canadian nurses years ago who fled here looking for work. How will I feed my kids, Lord? Where will I have to go?
I am afraid, Lord, that I will no longer be able to afford my home, but that there will be no help for me because of the color of my skin and my college degree.
I am afraid, Lord, because it seems that no one can see the possibility, indeed probability, that this man will not be able to keep so many promises to so many people. Will the adoring masses turn ugly when they don't get what they want?
I am afraid, Lord, that this is the end of the Puritan work ethic and the beginning of expecting government to do it all. I feel like everything my family came here to build has been rejected. I feel like the entire country has slapped me and all my ancestors in the face.
I am afraid, Lord, that I have to be a hyphenated-American to have any voice. I feel unwanted in my own country. I don't have a country of origin other than this one. Isn't being just an American isn't enough?
I am afraid, Lord, that our country will only be more divided as small groups scrabble for what they believe is their entitlement - that we will become not a more unified people, but a splintered, broken, shattered shell of a once great nation.
I am afraid, Lord, and only You can provide the peace. I know others think that this man is our hope, but You, Lord, are my only hope. In my head, I know that you are in control, but in my heart, the world seems very out of control and chaotic right now. And there seems to be no place in it for me.
Help, Abba Father.
Are you listening?
Friday, January 23, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
God of Reconciliation and of second chances,
You have never gone back on your promise of loving and sustaining us…
…as individuals or communities or nations.
No matter what we have said or done
To each other
Or to you,
You have always called us back to be reconciled to you
And to be embraced in your loving arms
With grace and mercy and forgiveness
And a renewal of the call of justice and responsibility.
In this age of angry words and divisiveness,
Guide our president as he seeks to govern
Those who agree with his plan and policies
And those who oppose him.
Help those who celebrate do so with humility,
And help those who grieve do so with hope that all is not lost.
Even in our divisions, let us be united in our desire
To do justice,
To love kindness,
And to walk humbly…together…with you.
AMEN --Pastor John, Lutheran, Ohio
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I awaken today with thanksgiving
For the new hope which is overwhelming ordinary people,
As they make their way, in unimaginable numbers,
To Washington, D.C., to see if this hope might
Be made real.
I awaken today with thanksgiving that
We are finally shedding the cynicism
That has been fashionable,
And trying on a belief in positive change,
A raiment which, for so long,
Has been considered passé.
I awaken today with thanksgiving for
Humanity's intellect, resourcefulness, and love of work,
And pray we can resolve, in this hopeful moment,
To use them for a common good, rather than for personal gain.
I awaken today with the prayer that we can set aside
Our passivity, our desire that others should do
The difficult things,
Our tendency to ask too much of a few people
And too little of ourselves.
I awaken this day praising God and
Ready to begin.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I would like to post original prayers, that is, prayers that you have written. However, if there is a prayer already written that you think is particularly pertinent, I will post it if you include where it's taken from (e.g. Book of Common Prayer, 1928; Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle; Abraham Heschel, God in Search of Man).
I will try to post most prayers I receive, with minimal editing. I will correct spelling errors (if I see them) but not grammar, in order to maintain the writer's voice. I would like to see prayers written in positive terms. I will publish angry prayers, but not ones that are entirely negative, or include obscenities or ranting about former presidential administrations. This site will look forward, not backward.
Prayers can express a sense of humor or irreverence, but they should all respect God's presence within all of us and all of creation. They should be respectful of all religious beliefs and practices. I will post prayers from people of all faiths and with no specific faith (agnostics welcome!). I encourage religious communities and prayer groups to submit prayers.
Please sign your prayers in any way you wish to be recognized. A first name or a group name is sufficient. I will not publish sir-names unless specifically asked. I would like to post affiliations if you wish to include one, such as the name of your mosque, synagogue, parish, or temple; your religious order (including third orders and associates) or intentional communities, your prayer group or any faith community you wish to be identified with (e.g. Tanisha, Prayer Warriors of Des Moines; Mary, Alabama Cursillo 65).
It is, for me, very powerful and pleasurable to pray with others. I look forward to praying with and for all of you over the next 100 days.
This country is entering the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Crises offer opportunities for transformation; indeed, they can require it. Neither Obama nor any individual, alone, can envision a transformed nation, or world, much less actualize it. Now is surely the time for us to pray for changes we care about and allow ourselves to be transformed by our prayers. Are we willing to change how we live--how we consume resources and our role in the global economy and in global politics?
There is a legendary story of St. Francis in which he was asked by a bishop why his gardens were so beautiful. Francis replied, "Prayer." The bishop inquired, "Do you mean you pray and God takes care of your gardens?" "No," Francis answered, "I pray with a hoe."
I urge you, now, to get out your shovels, hoes, and pray the future together.
January 20, 2009 is Day One.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
One P&RJ Community member, the Rev. K. Jeanne Person, who is also one of our parish priests, is editing a book of women's prayers on the U.N. Millennium Development Goals, Lifting Women's Voices: Prayers to Change the World. Last summer, she suggested we write prayers for the MDG goals, in solidarity with the Anglican Bishops' MDG march at Lambeth. We each wrote prayers, which we read aloud and posted in the church as Stations. Thus, I began writing prayers, which became, for me, a new way to write and a new way to pray.
I am in discernment as a lay Anglican Franciscan. The daily work that is most important in the life of any religious, of any faith, is prayer. I have been exploring various ways to pray throughout the course of the day, while at the same time living a secular life. There are myriad types and traditions of prayer--meditation, contemplation, praise, thanksgiving, adoration, repetitive prayer or chanting, mindfulness, moving meditation (T'ai Chi Chuen), and the recitation of set prayers and readings at fixed times of day (saying the Divine Offices). I took up jogging six months ago, which has also changed my prayer life. Running offers me opportunities for extraordinarily focused prayer. Prayer expresses our longing for a relationship with God. It is our search for God and God's search for us.
Intercession is the kind of prayer many of us learned as children--"God bless mom and dad and the cat, and please let it snow tomorrow...." Although I've explored various forms of prayer over the last thirty years, I am a novice at intercession (and I am not even a novice yet, as a Franciscan). An old meditator, I am still, frankly, uncomfortable with the notion of asking God for things, although Biblical encouragements to ask abound.
Some people think of intercession much as they did when they were children, as a to-do list for God. But what if intercessions aren't God's to-do lists, but ours--things that, somehow, we might manifest, together with God? Certainly, there are many things we cannot change--natural disasters or loved ones' illnesses and deaths. Intercession is a way of being with God with things that are important to us, and of forming clear intentions around those things. But some things that seem impossible for us to change might be possible if we could find the will, such as ending world hunger. In prayer, the divine spirit can give us the extraordinary will to do extraordinary things. Intercession can thus be a dialogue that includes listening to God. ("Please fix this." "Why don't you fix it? You know what needs doing.") When people pray intercessions together, the prayers also become a dialogue with one another about what is meaningful to us and what our hopes are.
This site, then, is also about hope, not pie-in-the-sky hope, but the kind of hope that motivates us to get things done that ordinarily we wouldn't or couldn't do. And, of course, it is both prayer and offering to God to help us, and our new President, build a better, saner, more compassionate country and world, for everyone and all of creation. I wish all of you peace and All Good and invite you to pray President Obama's First One Hundred Days with me.
(I would like to post prayers you submit on each day of Obama's First Hundred Days. My next post, on Wednesday, will include more information, but please begin to think about which concerns you would like us all to pray during those Days.)