More miscellaneous prayers, litanies, and blessings

Check out our entire Liturgy Library here.
All prayers should be used with printed credit to enfleshed unless otherwise noted.

I recoil before spiritual intentions
aiming for peace
that is unaffected, untroubled, unchanged
by another white supremacist manifesto,
cascades of anti-trans bills,
or the cruel politics of war.
What comfort is untainted tranquility
that never has its own
sleepless nights
restless with grief,
talking with ghosts
of children and elders,
and a god that is tired.

I rest only in the company
of an honest and confused faith, broken
open and angry with no tidy answers,
but love that is willing to fight.

I don’t know exactly what it looks like in a body,
in a prayer,
in a daily life
to refuse to be resolved
while also refusing to wear out.
Pressed in either direction,
I find only dead ends.
So I feel downward.
Like roots.
Like lineages.
Like the dark, quiet soils
where time doesn’t exist.

Burrowing beneath the fragile, careful surface,
I seek the spiritual underground
where the unkempt and unruly
groan in those dense, wordless depths
and worms are busy
shifting the earth.

M Jade Kaiser, enfleshed

Spirit of Spring Emergence,
your glory rises from winter’s gentle remnants.
Tender shoots of green grass reach upward through leaves still in decay.
Squirrels untuck from their nests and tip-toe across soils damp with melted snow.
As the light of day rises and begins to stretch, birdsong calls life to wake.
May all who wonder and worry before lands still slumbering
know yours is a trustworthy hope.
Even in the restless seasons of quiet persistent grief,
hovering like a winter darkness whose work it seems will never end,
you are the whispered promise,
humble and patient,
of what is carefully held and hidden in the depths
just waiting for its right time
to buzz, bustle, and blossom us to life again.

darling one—
you precious mess—
you exhausted, grieving, hollowed, hallowed, hallelujah of a human—
today, if even for a moment, may you feel:
your own beating heart
your own courageous coeur
your chest rising and falling with breath
which is spirit
which is lifeforce
keeping pulse
marking time
finding space—
regardless of how you are feeling
no matter what you are capable of
or not—
and, just for a moment
may you find rest
a bit of ease, held
in that sacred rhythm
that cannot be
without you
because you, you precious mess,
have breath and heart and lifeforce
pulsing through you, yet.

– rev. anna blaedel, enfleshed

May the love I am learning to practice
not be so sentimental that it appears to lack direction.
This love is moving with purpose –
not toward a transcendent unity of rising above
nor a god of come-together.
But down into the depths of everything
where power, pain, and possibility push and pull us
toward or away from transformation.

May there be no confusion that what I mean to say and do
is love according to principles that set free.
Literally, learning to love in the direction of abolition.
And also, learning from love that unbinds
those deep-down parts that cling fearfully to what deadens and destroys.

May the love I am learning to practice
be tender, yes.
But also unafraid to bite.
May the sharp teeth of its determination
cut through every layer and legacy of
of all that has been done and undone in its name
and fiercely declare its truth.

– Rev. M Jade Kaiser, enfleshed

yes, today
(yes, even today)
as fires rage and floods seethe
as so much, and so many, are inundated
under water, under evacuation, under assault
of too much for too long
and not enough, too
as we
residing in such chasms of grief
of exhaustion
of loneliness
of willful carelessness
of unmet need
yes, today
(yes, even today)
may beauty find
may gentleness soften
may care reach
may spirit soothe
may life meet
you and you and you and us
in each broken open space
in each broken open heart
in this broken open world

– Rev. Anna Blaedel, enfleshed

The One who raises the sun each morning
and lifts high the moon at night,
ushers us too,
through cycles of rising, falling, and rising again.
Though we stumble, God lifts us.
Though we doubt, God remains.
Though we get weary, God revives.

Holy One,
your Strange ways,
they astound us.

Among the mighty, your Wisdom is called foolish.
While others assert their power with force,
Yours unfolds like an invitation.
You never resort to weapons.
You turn from all paths of domination.
Beauty and truth are your means of persuasion.
Freedom is your promise.

While empire shouts false promises of security,
using fear to turn us against each other,
You whisper things of vulnerability,
of meals at table and sharing what we have,
of solidarity and new life.

When you, the Sacred, took on flesh,
You sought neither thrones nor prestige,
but made your friends among the outcast.
Sex workers.
The imprisoned.
The hungry and the ill.
The fed up and the weary.

Though you were presented with every opportunity
to seek importance among the elite,
to the end, you choose the edges,
making your home among the vulnerable,
living in solidarity with the criminalized and despised.

Abandoning the promises of conformity,
we hope to be strange like you.
Strangers to all that normalizes evil,
to power that corrupts,
to practices that demean or neglect.

Make us faithful to the peculiar calling of Christ.
Unafraid to bear the names of the despised.
Firmly planted in the confidence of your Holy Mystery –
the strange love that calls us to fight with and for each other,
and awakens us to the joy you set before us.

– enfleshed

Not nice.

No more nice.
Nor excusing.
Not passive nor placating nor patronizing.
No more of what makes tomorrow more of the same
when it could all be different.

Not nice.
But still, tender.
Tender like “in touch with pain.”
One’s own. Others’. Ours. Everyone’s. (but particularly and differently.)
Tender like knowing from experience.
Tender like there’s too much at stake not to be.
Tender like fiercely fighting for
the soft parts of us trying to make it,
the possibilities of right relationships,
the justice that changes everything – roots deep.
Tender like chosen family.
Tender like abolition.
Tender like the love in accountability.
Tender like “you’re not alone.”
Tender like laughter.
Tender like death, in its right time.
Tender like spring.
Tender like all the earth
asking us to please,
come home.

Rev. M Jade Kaiser

God is transformative potential,
always with and within us – this is a resurrection promise.

God is the practice of imagination,
luring through futures more desirable.
God is a collective yearning for what liberates,
calling the faithful to nurture the seed of Easter,
to bring justice into full bloom.

God is all that sustainsthe ones who grow weary in labors of love;
God is all that troubles those who cling to what destroys.

Watch flowers bloom.
Feel the slow pace of growth.
Mind the difference one day can make.

– Rev. Anna Blaedel

John 15:9-17 says, “As the Mothering One has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Mothering One’s commands and remain in her love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Do not be deceived!
To cast our lot with love is a serious thing.
Though some have called love weak,
such is a shallow understanding.
Love is power.
Love is solidarity.
Love is freedom,
defiant and emerging.
All those who practice love,
who enflesh love,
who materialize and multiply love,a
bide in God and God in them.

This is not a hero’s story.
It’s all hands on deck.
Everyone with an offering.
Building power, building relationship, building community.
Possibility blossoms.

God is an invitation.
A lure.
A chance to do things differently.
Always before us,
God is the possibility of collective change.
Though everyday ordinary patterns of living
disguise evil and cover over sins of power,
God makes known what is hidden,
calls us to courage,makes us capable of radical solidarity.
We are not left powerless.
Every day there are openings.
Every day a chance to choose what is right.
Every day an opportunity to repattern the world.

none of this is normal.
none of this is new, even as so much is and feels unprecedented.
all of this has been building for a long time.
repairing/restoring/healing is long, slow labor.
some losses can never be made right.
here we are.
may we:
breathe. create. harbor.
share nourishment.
savor the joy that finds us.
cultivate beauty where and how we can.
disrupt the shit that’s killing us, collectively and unequally.
tend life with fierce and tender care.
rev. anna blaedel

Search my heart, O Love,
and lead me in the ways of solidarity.
Help me to lay down my defenses
and grow beyond the edges of my knowing
that I may move more deeply into practices
of care,
of right-relationship,
of liberation and transformation.
Grounded in the truth of my inherent worth,
planted in the knowledge of my power,
mindful of the stories,
and legacies,
and systems that shape me,
I pray my becoming unfolds
in the direction of freedom:
Mine. Others. Ours. This planet’s.
May this day be my teacher
and my learning sincere.

i pray we may remain soft enough to grieve
and hold space too for the rage
rage mixed with grief
and exhaustion
and fear
screaming and weeping
and rising up and digging deep
and holding close, holding close
all that matters most
these precious lives

-rev. anna blaedel

God is…

God is the thing that rises within us when we feel our worth.
She is that ball of feelings in the stomach right before doing something brave and terrifying.
They are the choice to lay down our privileges for one another.

God is friendship.
She is the quiet of a morning fresh with snow.
They are an authentic apology.

God is grassroots organizing from the fringes.
She is a good story.
They are the feeling of bringing orgasmic pleasure to someone else.

God is the courage to be broken open by grief.
She is a child too lost in momentary wonder to hear her parent’s instruction.
They are a change of heart that follows with change of behavior.

God is the way the sun reflects off the ocean like glitter.
She is peace with one’s own body.
They are the thing that happens in a room when vulnerability is practiced together.

God is the practice of audacity before a dominant power.
She is the moment someone decides to live.
They are every glimpse of future flourishing sparked by the imagination.

God is profoundly mysterious and wildly unpredictable.
But also, so ordinary and simple.

– Rev. M Jade Kaiser, enfleshed

A psalm in lament of American imperialist violence

My heart is heavy, O God.
So weary of living in the land of an empire.
My taxes, they wage wars on the innocent.
My president, he treats life like a game.
My religion, complicit in acts of terror.
Who will unseat White Supremacy from its throne?
I long for Love’s intervention.
Protect those who will bear the impossible burdens of U.S. aggression.
Those who are made invisible before our compassion.
Mothers. Children. Families.
Their deaths won’t register on our news crawls.
Their tears dismissed as “radical left” politics.
Fear turns us inward.
We become a part of the destruction,
cold to distant loss,
resigned to the narratives constructed for us.
Give us courage.
All of us.
To condemn imperialism.
To reject insular notions of love.
To let truth lead us in resistance
and compassion usher us into active solidarity.
Your power does not work through control nor domination,
but still, it is greater than the force of any military.
Do not let us be seduced into the bowels of despair,
nor convinced of our helplessness.
Keep us steady in pursuit of the truth
that makes only those who delight in power tremble.
Let your Justice, O God, rise –
that peace may draw near.

– Rev. M Jade Kaiser, enfleshed

God of chaos

God of holy chaos, you don’t protect us from getting swept up into relationships and systems and experiences that are messy, but you do promise us that you will be found in the midst of them. Help us to remember that when the world was aching, you drew nearer, putting on flesh. It was through that enfleshed reality of love, that you transformed our world. Relationship with you is not an escape – it is the hope and courage we need to dive right into the mess of things. You, O God, are enfleshed in our beautiful but aching earth, in our work for a just society, and in our efforts to love and be loved. May our prayer life be invitations into that life with you. Thanks be.

– Rev. M Jade Kaiser, enfleshed

Be still

“Come and be still,” says the Holy.
Linger in Love’s presence.
Let striving cease.
Accept what is,
for what is.
All is held in Sacred embrace.
your pain is honored.
Your loss is acknowledged.
Your struggle is neither dismissed nor inflated.
It rests in the web of shared existence,
cruel and beautiful.

Eventually, love will ask more of you…
But in this moment,
feel the nearness of the Source of Life Itself,
tender and fierce.
Know that the Infinite embraces you
in all the ways you are essential –
and not.

Let your chest rise and fall
to the rhythm of eternity’s breath:

– Rev. M Jade Kaiser, enfleshed

For the holidays

Whether the holidays
bring you joy or make you feel lonely…
fill you with memories that delight
or bring up pasts you’d prefer to forget…
whether you will move through the motions
in a cloud of grief,
or clenching your teeth,
or being renewed by the joy they provide…
whether you practice impossible patience
or unleash your holy rage…
whether none of these words ring true
or a little bit of all of them do,
may the Sacred be your companion
-Love with you, for you, within you.

– Rev. M Jade Kaiser, enfleshed

For the brave ones

“Like a bear robbed of her cubs”
God devours what is wicked and unjust.

For the fierce mamas,
and the badass besties,
the partners who champion,
and the lion-hearted kiddos…
Thanks be!

They are the ones who rush in,
when others retreat;
the ones who won’t desert the vulnerable
when evil towers over.

They rise up
against the mean,
the intolerant,
the cold.
They laugh in the face of the haughty,
and reveal the insecurity of the hateful.

Their gift is their courage.
Their anger like a fire –
Love ablaze that protects.
Divine manifestations of justice
are glimpsed in their care.

To the ones who shelter,
who guardian,
who brave for the rest of us…
thank you.

– Rev. M Jade Kaiser, enfleshed

Move slow enough to notice

Wherever God shows up today,
may I not be too hurried to notice,
nor too aloof to care.
When the Sacred surprises me
like an unexpected guest,
may I not hesitate to greet Them with open arms.
Let not my bias be a barrier,
to embracing The Holy’s mysterious ways.
May I be hospitable to God enfleshed
in even the dullest circumstances,
and the hardest situations,
and the strangest of places.
I am open
to encountering Love,
to meeting with Justice,
to being held by Awe.
May it be so.

– Rev. M Jade Kaiser, enfleshed

God who pays attention

God who feels,
God who pays attention,
God who formed webs of life entangled,
Help me to notice today…
To notice my body – what it’s telling me it needs and wants.
To notice my neighbors – who they are and how they are.
To notice the creatures and creations around me – each as a valuable life of their own.
You know my limitations – what is enough or too much
To be aware of at once. To connect with. To feel. To hold.
Do not allow me to rush pass what needs or deserves my attention.
Neither let me be overwhelmed by trying to bear more than my share.
Just help me to be alive to what is,
alive to you within and around.

– Rev. M Jade Kaiser, enfleshed

Breathe in your inherent belovedness.
Breathe out the lure of toxic cycles.

Breathe in love that makes your heart soft.
Breathe out any anger that is being misdirected.

Breathe in acceptance that all cannot be immediately solved.
Breathe out the need to control.

Breathe in the wisdom of ancestors who labored for collective love and justice.
Breathe out the temptation towards the superficial.

Breathe in a breath of humility.
Breathe out all that makes you shrink.

And then remember the trees.
Their giving and receiving of breath.
See them holding so much for us.
Offer a confession. And a prayer of gratitude.
And let your roots sink deep into the soil of God.

God is like a movement

God is like a movement.
Love, growing.
Rowdy with aspiration.
Adapting and creating
in the directions of liberation.

Using beauty to inspire –
painting dreams across creation.

Feeding the bread of life to all who hunger for justice.

Weary, but alive with hope.
Fueled with tears,
and grit,
and memories of saints past,
going nose to nose with evil,
planted firmly in truth.

Arrests and threats.
Slander and shame.

It is Sacred Labor,
but laughter too.

Whatever you have to bring is enough.
Loaves and fishes are made into feasts.

Can you hear the invitation?
It extends to all who desire freedom.

So much has been hidden

So much has been hidden:
To protect narratives and people.
To disempower.
To confuse.

Unsatisfied with stories that get us by
but never get us free,
may we be people who look beyond,
who listen beneath,
who feel through and through.

Though we know only in part,
and we prophesy only in part,
we do not grow weary in faith.
Though evil shrouds our view,
with each new learning and unlearning
the partial fades away.

The histories
and complicities
and losses
and power
of our entangled lives
cry out for understanding.

With courage, we open ourselves to truth.
With humility, we endeavor to be transformed.
With hope, we hold on to each other.
May Love lead us in the Sacred work of unveiling.
May all that shrouds justice be uncovered
and the ways of healing revealed.

– Rev. M Jade Kaiser, enfleshed

A prayer for everyday injustice

God who goes before and after the headlines,
Who sees the slow monotony of oppression’s work,
You lift the veil of ordinary
And expose the everyday faces of evil.
Draw near in all the common moments that make us weary. Be close in the “not a big deal” and the “that’s just how it is.” Keep us tender and do not let us grow numb to the pains of normal.

With compassion and courage, we pray:

For all who will be followed in the store.
For all who worry about holding their lovers hand in public.
For all who will be dismissed or talked over by men.
For all who will be misgendered, once or twelve times.
For all whose body will be touched without permission.
For all who should go to the doctor but can’t afford to.
For all who will be talked down to.
For all whose routes will be inaccessible.
For all whose names will be mangled in the mouths of others.
For all whose difference will lead to snears or slurs.
For all who will feel forced to choose one part of themselves over another in order to find community.
For all who feel pressured to speak for an entire community.
For all who have to work twice as hard.
For all who worry the homophobes or transphobes are right about what God thinks of them.
For all whose identity will be erased by their own community.
For all who cannot afford to take a break.
For all who will wake up hungry.
For all who will go to bed hungry.
For all who will be made to feel “unprofessional” because of clothing, culture, or class.
For all who feel they don’t deserve any better.
For all who are afraid to walk into the restroom.
For all whose histories are betrayed by everyday art.
For all who will not be believed.
For all who just want better for their kids.
For all that goes unnamed, unrecognized, unaddressed.

You, O God, are with us not only on mountain tops and in the valleys. On the long stretches of ordinary, you are there too.

May your sustaining hand uphold.
May your righteous fury arise.
May your tender care embrace.
May Love do its work on all of us.
Awakening us to the roles we play,
Calling us to lives of collective transformation,
Nourishing us to dream dreams and prophesy of the world
You conspire to create with us
Where everyday injustice is no more.

For the lips of prophets

For those weary of sharing their pain.
For those who speak but are not heard.
For those whose stories began centuries ago.
For those whose testimonies are deemed a false witness.
For those who have nowhere to turn for rest.
For those who refuse to be silenced.
For those who whisper tenderly and knowingly to their kin.
For those who shout a holy protest to their oppressors.
For those who wonder if there’s any point.
For those who cannot keep truth to themselves.
For those who wail for all that has been lost.
For those who sing for all that we might become.
For those who call others to rise.
For those whose voice reaches out like open arms for the hurting.

May they be nourished in body in soul.
May they be guided in wisdom.
May community uphold them.
Through the lips of prophets your Kindom draws near.

For the morning

God of fresh starts,
of new beginnings,
of renewal and restoration,
We awake to your grace,
embraced by love unconditional.
With each morning
You birth new possibilities
in us; around us.
We are surrounded by Sacred potential.
There are so many ways to love.
May we rise to the day’s call
To listen for the aches
To give voice to the beauty
To be a companion to justice.

Dreaming of more

If you need to be reminded:
(as we all do
from time to time)
you are beloved.
your flesh bears Sacred worth.
neither prejudice nor power should keep you
from safety nor community nor a place to learn nor a place to work nor a place to practice your faith.
neither should it keep your neighbor from the same.
in a world and time where systems of violence
entice us to compromise our values
use us as pawns
tokenize us
ban us
exploit us
and teach us to turn on one another
may we be reminded
of our collective power
of the possibilities we bear
of our divine calling…
not to settle for dreams of access to what is corrupt
but to seek, and create, and imagine and protest our way
to something altogether better.
feeding each other until we get there
clothing one another until we get there
protecting one another until we get there
hiring one another until we get there
building community with one another until we get there
creating sacred space with one another until we get there
sharing all that we have with one another until we get there
trusting that these practices
in small and ordinary and extravagant ways
will in and of themselves
enflesh that which we dream of.

Come and take flesh

Take flesh in our hands,
that they might cook meals that nourish,
plant seeds that grow life,
create art that inspires,
touch tenderly bodies that ache.
Take flesh in our feet,
that wherever we may find ourselves:
kitchen tables,
­sites of conflict,
places of peace,
we will be rooted
in the assurance of
our power and possibilities.
Take flesh in our voice,
that we might
call for the mighty to be torn from their thrones,
speak words of compassion and love,
and whisper “thank you”
to every source of beauty that upholds us.
Take flesh in our gut, in our bones, in our deepest places of knowing
that we might listen
to that which moves us without words,
to the wisdom of feeling,
to that which we have silenced
by the tyranny of reason.
Take flesh in our skin,
our curves,
our wrinkles,
our scars,
in every detail of these bodies,
that we might begin to honor
the holy we wear.
Take flesh in our eyes
that we might weep
tears worthy of
all that has been lost,
all that has been taken,
all that has been betrayed.
Take flesh, O God,
in our beating hearts,
that we might
keep fighting for collective life,
keep believing in divine possibilities,
keep loving despite our trembling,
keep turning towards each other.
Come, O come, Emmanuel.

We need each other

Each time we grasp the hand of another,
God is there, in the flesh entangled.
Queer lovers stroll together, one hand squeezes the other,
“we got each other” as passing eyebrows furrow.

At the hospital, one hand, soft with skin that is
loose and free
rests gently in the firm, calloused hand of a son.
I’m sorry. Thank you. I love you.
In his palm, a whole life is held.

When it’s little, itty-bitty fingers that
can only almost wrap around an adult pinky finger
that counts too.
The most gentle squeeze
that knows not its own power.
Melting hearts with such an effortless reaching out
like that’s an easy thing to do.

A long string of people with hands clenched tightly
screaming with the most courageous kind of fear.
Traffic is shut down.
Cries for justice just loud enough
to mostly drown out those screaming from their cars.
The police will be here soon.
Heart rates pulse.
Can’t tell if it’s yours or mine or ours.

Hands holding hands.
A prayer too rare.
A site of the holy.
Where the reaching out and the receiving,
the grasping and being grasped,
the need to be held and the needing to hold,
all get perfectly mixed up.

A returning
to that which is always true
but so rarely spoken to
in the language of flesh.

We need each other.
We need each other.
We need each other.

Remember the Garden (disrupt consumption)

Remember the garden – the place God birthed us to be co-creators of Life.

The Sacred purpose of labor is cultivating that which nourishes, that which feeds through art and food and beauty and connections between people, creatures, and land.
In the garden, all are able to delight in their own harvests, tasting the fruits of their labor.

When we are coerced into forgetting the roots of our story, we trade feasting for mass consumption. The honest pleasures of our bodies are deemed sources of sin while we glorify that which leaves us empty: status, dominant power, money, objects.

May God help us to disrupt narratives that correlate consumption and worth.

May God give us the strength to break our own cycles of treating purchases like therapy.

May God compel us to fight every system destroying our planet (hardly a garden any longer), and exploiting the labor of people.

May we seek to fill one another’s hearts and bellies and minds with that which satisifes, that which sustains, and that which roots us in our created purpose once again.

Hands in soil and clean air in lungs.
Cross-species cohabitation.
Access to the fruits of our labor.
Inherent worth and belovedness.
Creativity as a source of Sacredness.

Collectively, may we choose each other, may we have mercy on the creatures and the land, may we be free to enjoy that which is rich in pleasure and not be deceived by that which will only leave us wanting.

Remember the garden. Plant only the seeds that will grow in the direction of Life.

Let love be messy

Love isn’t just one thing;
it’s fierce and soft,
intimate and collective,
wild and sincere and deliberate and just.
Love can be more chaos than order.
Love can be a boundary.
Love can be conflict.
It’s complicated.
It’s multifaceted.
Love is hard work.
Love is natural.
Love is a process and practice.
Though its paths are many and varied,
love always leads to life.
Love is an ever-unfolding thing
we are all still figuring out.

When the tears come

When the tears come,
hold out your hands.
Like the last leaves
quivering on empty branches,
finally accepting
the closure of a season,
let them fall
and softly
onto your palms.
Receive them as an offering.
In praise of your strength.
In honor of your tenderness.
In forgiveness of your regrets.
In acceptance of loss.
You will find God
praying with you.
They’ll light a candle for every tear.
They’ll place a flower on your hands like an altar.
They’ll chant softly to the tune of your weeping.
No words are needed for this kind of worship.
When the heart gets a moment to catch its breath
and pain is released like a long slow exhale
the Sacred draws close
to hear the testimony.
of your grief.

To the Saints

To the Saints:
How do we say thank you?
To you who
To you who showed us
what incredible things
humans are capable of
under the most
challenging of circumstances.
We kneel to your courage.
We pray to acquire your faith.
We praise God,
the Divine in you.

Are you with us still,
in these days of grief?

Are you companioning us
in this long journey to justice
at the vanity
of it all?

Will you tell us your secrets?
Whisper softly in our direction
about when you wanted to quit,
when you got tired,
when you weren’t sure
if any of it mattered
or if it was worth
the costs.

What kept you going?
Was it your own prayers
to the saints
who went before you?
Did you long to make them proud?

Was it seeing God
in your people
yearning to live

Was it us – the future ones,
now enfleshed?

More important than your answers
is simply your assurance that
you asked the same questions
as budding prophets today
and kept living love

Prayers of the people

When so much of our world is groaning with injustice and destruction, we are invited to turn to God and one another. We are not meant to carry the struggles of the world alone. And so, in a spirit of collective embrace, may we share together in prayer for all that troubles our hearts.

For all of the bodies in suffering – deprived of resources, withheld from care, or made into targets of violence.

God, hear our prayers.

For all whose spirits are in despair – those who are facing loss or grief, those who are isolated, or those struggling to accept their own worth.

God, hear our prayers.

For all of the ways power is wielded over communities and individuals – for those living under oppressive forces, for the temptation towards complicity with injustice, and for the ways the church sometimes uses you, o God, as a weapon rather than a tool for healing and liberation.

God, hear our prayers.

Just as we are not meant to shoulder the world’s pain alone, we are equally invited to delight with one another in the joy that sustains us.

For the beauty that grows around us.

God, we give you thanks!

For the gifts of shared meals and community and relationships that transform and sustain us.

God, we give you thanks!

For art and music and stories and truths that foster love and connection.

God, we give you thanks!

For every source of courage in the face of all that makes us afraid.

God, we give you thanks!

For your presence within and around us, in our highs and lows, our hope and our despair, God, we give you thanks. Hear our prayers and deepen our willingness to show up with and for one another, sharing in each other’s burdens and working for one another’s protection and care. Amen.

An exhortation for survivors & allies

Therefore, my siblings, remain strong. Let nothing move you from resistance. Keep giving yourselves fully to God and know you do not labor in vain. Your stories shared are not in vain. Your solidarity is not in vain. Your proclamation is not in vain. Your protests are not in vain. Your phone calls are not in vain. Your survival is not in vain. Your hope is not in vain. Your care for one another is not in vain. Those in power come and go but the Spirit of Life is eternal. She takes all our offerings shared for Love’s sake and multiplies them. Look not to thrones of power for the fruit of your labor. Is a single sister encouraged because you shared your story? Is a single brother committing to deepen his commitment to challenging toxic masculinity? Is a single nonbinary beloved encouraged by your protests in the street? The power of God, the ultimate power-with, makes a mockery of patriarchy, makes queer and transphobia bend low, makes white supremacy kiss the feet of justice, makes every spirit of destruction tremble at the sound of collective voices rising. Tend to your pain but do not let them convince you that your work is in vain. Every act of resistance in the directions of Love and Justice shall bring forth Life. (h/t 1 Corinthians 15:58)

A Halloween blessing


God is howling at the moon.
Let the strange come out of hiding.
Let imagination rise from the grave.
Let all who are named
Freak, Monster, Weirdo, or That Which Others Should Fear
call out to the gifts in each other.
When destruction is made normal,
we need all the wild, all the odd, all the unusual we can get.
Blessed be the tricksters, stirring up trouble when evil desires calm.
Praise God for the prophets who linger with us like ghosts.
Hallelujah to the children,
Knocking on the hearts of strangers,
chasing joy from door to door.
When evil is lurking in broad daylight,
we practice our courage in the night.
Nourish that which has bite,
Unleash the impulse to scream,
Feed the desire to haunt the unjust.
Let us keep trying on possibilities like costumes,
until we discover the ones
that will leave evil


A poem on tending in the midst of destruction

last night, before bed, my lover
told me i’ve started grinding my teeth
while i sleep, and all night i
dreamt my teeth were falling
out of my head, and at 3-something a.m. i awoke with a start
afraid to open my mouth.

last week, when the ceiling started falling
at work, my first thought was: “seems about right.”

everything is falling apart.

there’s a new word for existential despair
caused by climate change: solastalgia.

everything is falling apart, too fast and too soon.

nayyirah waheed whispers into the whirlwind:
1. rub honey into the night’s back.
2. make sure the moon is fed.
3. bathe the ocean.
4. warm sing the trees.

and who has time for these luxuries?
and who are we to think we can make it, without?

and today i will make giant pot after giant pot
of vegan soup to feed students through the coming weeks
of winter, because for now it still gets bone cold here.

and today i will take a walk under falling leaves
with my lover’s hand tucked in mine

because the ceiling is falling
and the world is burning
and i awoke convinced that only a walk together outside
will save us from erasure.

and flint still doesn’t have clean water.
and hundreds of children are still separated from their parents.
and a majority of white women still side with predatory misogyny and white supremacy.
and black people are still being executed by the state.
and trans people are still told we don’t or shouldn’t exist.
and clergy colleagues are still pretending that there’s middle ground with bigotry and hatred, and hear this, revs: i don’t need you to “listen to my story,” i need you to resist, and share the risk, ok? value people over rules, justice over popularity, ok? because until you do the church you’re trying to save isn’t worth it, ok? and there are more urgent losses right now, and crises, ok? and the word ally is meaningless if you’re not doing the work, ok?

and the only thing i know
is to tend to the small, the slow, the simple:
this head of garlic
this pungent ginger root
this pile of black beans
this butternut squash

tend tend tend tend tend

this afternoon’s walk
this evening’s work


this life, so gorgeous and holy and horrible, and over all too soon

– Rev. Anna Blaedel
Theologian in Residence

So thin is the veil

God is the God of the living:
the One who keeps love alive,
the One who holds all that was
and is and ever will be,
the One who makes even
what has died alive again.
In the presence of God,
we feel the closeness of eternity
and the breath of our ancestors.
So thin is the veil
between us and the heavens.

Blessed are

blessed are you who are raging.
blessed are you who are mourning.
blessed are you who feel numb.
blessed are you who feel sick. and tired. and sick and tired.
blessed are you who refuse to turn away.
blessed are you who need to turn away.
blessed are you who keep breathing deep.
blessed are you who are tending to your own needs.
blessed are you who are tending to the needs of another.
blessed are you who have been calling.
blessed are you who have been organizing.
blessed are you who have been testifying.
blessed are you who have been witnessing.
blessed are you who have been resisting.
blessed are you who feel broken open beyond repair.
blessed are you who are raw beyond words.
blessed are you who are working hotlines and crisis care centers and bearing witness to the forces of violence and trauma unleashed and unloosed.
blessed are you who are marching.
blessed are you who are weeping.
blessed are you who proclaim and know that divinity resides in despised, abused, violated flesh.
blessed are you who know deep in your bones that you are good. and beautiful. and beloved. and sacred. and worthy. and believed. and held. and capable of healing beyond your wildest imagination.
blessed are you who remind others they are good. and beautiful. and beloved. and sacred. and worthy. and believed. and held. and capable of healing beyond their wildest imagination.
blessed are we when we dare to dream of a world without sexual violence, without white supremacy, without misogyny, without police brutality, without anti-trans and anti-queer violence.
blessed are we when we stay tender.
blessed are we when we stay fierce.
blessed are we when we dare to imagine repair, and transformation.
blessed are we when we labor together to make it so.

– Rev. Anna Blaedel
Theologian In Residence at enfleshed

Praise be to the God of multiplicity

God our Mother,
you bear for us new possibilities.
God our Lover,
we crave you.
You seduce us into hope,
you lure us onto paths of justice.
God our Friend,
in you, we find companionship.
You sustain us when we are weary,
you embolden us in our gifts,
you delight us with your wonder.

The body of God is soft

The body of God is soft.
She delights in her tummy rolls.
She takes pride in the strength of her thighs.
She rejoices in every curve.
She hides none of her body in shame. Every inch is beloved.
Your body is a site of the Divine.
In and through your body, you-enfleshed, we all come to know God.
Your body is blessed.
May you nourish it:
with love
with acceptance
with pride
with pleasure.
When you, when your flesh, is targeted with destructive lies, may you hear the voice of God whispering to it tenderly,
“you are perfect as you are. you are beautiful. you are beloved. those who speak violence are afraid to love themselves. be brave. love you. love the glory of your form. there is no one right way to have a body.”
If you love God, open yourself to the hard but healing work of loving your body. You will find God there. Love one another’s bodies. Love all bodies. We cannot know God without bodies.
Thanks be for the flesh that reveals beauty, truth, and love.

God in unexpected places

God, you have filled our lives with abundant manifestations of your creative hand. You gift us with diverse bodies and experiences and stories and dreams that all work together to help us better understand you and all of creation. Forgive us, O God, when we reject you by rejecting the belovedness of our neighbors. Give us the courage to recognize you anew in people, places, and ideas unexpected. Amen.

Show up for each other

God, help us to recognize your aching heart, your weary soul, and your suffering body in the lives of those around us who are attacked, dismissed, criminalized, or patronized. As we offer our resources and the service of our lives to you, guide us in the work of showing up with and for all your people. Amen.

Keep working on us

Nurturing One, in all our places of doubt and shame, you dwell within us, whispering to us words of love. Wherever there are forces in us working to distract from your love for us or our neighbors, you are there, passionately pursuing a change of our hearts. Do not give up on us, O God! Until we are able to honor the Sacredness of all you have created, keep working on us. In Christ, our teacher and example, we pray. Amen.

A prayer for the needs of each one

May the weary find a soft place to rest.
May the searching be met by the Sacred.
May the caravanning be encouraged, be fed, be clothed, be received.
May the righteous see the fruits of their labor.
May the lonely find comfort in the night.
May the privileged choose solidarity.
May the complicit repent.
May the apathetic come to recognize the hardness of their hearts.
May the courageous have multitudes behind them.
May the creative be encouraged to write, paint, sing, and dance the truths we all need to feel.
May the fearful keep showing up, keep wrestling, keep taking steps.
May the unjust powerful step-down or be torn down.
May the mourning not be rushed.
May the caretakers have their cups refilled.
May the Holy One within each of us rise, rise, rise.

God in the trees

In the trees, God, you linger.
With branches like arms outstretched in prayer, they invite, they host, they bear witness, they create.
Generations come and go,
but still they remain with such knowing, such history, such wisdom in their flesh.
The Holy in them, as it often does,
requires a disruption of ordinary ways of perceiving,
or else it goes unnoticed.
Through their testimonies
you teach us about growing in every direction,
about becoming sources of home,
about resilience and resurrection and beauty across stages of life.
You – the trees – both sources of our life-breath.
Make us fierce protectors of these sage companions
and the sacred flesh of all the earth. amen.


You dwell in the core of our being.
In those places where our deepest pain and our greatest potential comingle,
you are there.
You whisper softly in the places we are most afraid,
gently calling forth our power.
Though voices old and new speak words of dominance,
attempting to build walls around our own possibility of becoming,
there is a strength that cannot be taken away from us.
No matter the lies, no matter the laws, no matter what has been done.
From our depths, you rise in us
with words of truth begging to be spoken to power
with fierce love ready to transform
with collective rage with the potential to set free
with hope
that together we can be healers.
Rise up, O God, in the flesh of angry women.
Rise up, O God, from within every nonbinary beloved.
Rise up, O God, and ignite the passion of men to tear down the thrones of the cishet white supremacist patriarchy.
Let us settle no longer
for that which makes us too small,
for that which silences,
for that which destroys,
for that which wishes for us to believe
there is no other way.

Wild God

Wild One,
holy agitator,
you desire to rouse us.
Your Spirit moves like an unexpected wind,
stirring everything up –
you show no concern for etiquette.
Once or twice a year, we delight in this part of you.
But most of the time, we do our best
to tame you
to cage you
to confine you
to our obsessions with order, with rules, with systems, with traditions, and mostly with control.
Those in power fear what a God that isn’t institutionalized might take away from them.
If the wild in you brings out the wild in us
chains could break,
towers could topple,
table manners might be exchanged for table flipping.
We were not meant for so much concrete, for so many walls, for such little room to grow.
You mourn over every creature and creation and human sibling torn down by the altar of “civilized.”
In the name of every life lost, every soul that has to shrink, every one of us feeling the weight of surveillance culture on our backs,
eyes of observance monitoring at all times,
we pray for the courage to set ourselves free.
Make us wild in dreaming, wild with hunger for liberation, wild with love.

In all our states

God of sleeping and waking,
in every state of our being,
be near.

In our dreams, invite us into your creative vision of what could be: of who we could become and what we could create together. Nourish our imagination with glimpses of justice that is full and healing that is rich.

In our waking up, may we do so with acceptance of the day that closed and embrace of the day that is opening. May your lovingkindness guide us in both accountability to our friends, neighbors, and beloveds and in grace that keeps us from being weighed down by that which we can no longer control.

When we long to sleep but find ourselves awake in the middle of the night, wrestling with the world, our past, our future, or anxieties that don’t yet have names, may your Spirit of Peace be embrace us.

When we struggle to stay awake – bone tired, soul heavy – longing for relief that is too far off, uphold us.

As we move through these cycles of rest and labor, when they are balanced just right and when they are all out of whack, be the constant source that guides our life in peace, courage, and assurance of your love for us.


Bearing life

Mother of us all,
give us a glimpse of your hopes for us.
You, in perpetual labor,
constantly pushing,
seeking to bear new life
in us,
despite us,
among us.
You carry us in your depths.
You nurture us by your own body.
You groan through the pain
of birthing
new possibilities
without promise of what they will become.
Help us to see the potential
that keeps you pushing,
day after day.
What keeps you so hopeful about us,
that you choose not to stop
even when we deny
where we come from,
in what image we are made,
or the capabilities we possess?
Do you pray for us, as you push?
“One day
maybe today
it could be today
make it be today
they will live into
these possibilities
for new life to thrive.”
Thanks be, Mothering One,
for your strength,
your hope,
your everlasting love.

The rhythms of God

Spirit of Creation,
you move in and through us like breath.
When our circumstances feel suffocating, you draw us back into the rhythms of Life that were before us and will be beyond us.

Rhythms that are slow.
Rhythms that accept times of death and times of re-birth.
Rhythms that persevere but don’t force.
Rhythms that embrace change.

Rhythms that encourage every indivudal in the direction of the whole’s well-being.
Together, every creature and creation, yearning for life:

Every blade of growing grass breaking through soil, reaching for the light of the sun.

Every mother bear watching over her cubs day and night, protecting vulnerable life.

Every saint refusing to compromise on the dignity of your people, enfleshing radical love.

When our schedules and our machines and our media and our words make us forget that we are creatures among creation, vulnerable flesh, beloved parts of a whole,

may we find you again in our inhales and our exhales, pacing our breath with the spirit of life that has always been pulsing through creation, connecting everything that is across millenia.

In our striving for life, we are not the first and we will not be the last.
May our beating hearts and every rise and fall of our lungs remind us we are never alone – not for a single breath.

Let us rest

God of Sabbath,
God of rest,
God who wandered off into the wilderness when everything became too much,
help us listen to the needs
of our bodies,
of our souls,
of our dreams,
of the communities we belong to.

You did not create us in the image of machines, in the image of production, in the image of never-stop.

You created us in the image of freedom, of beauty, of love, of compassion, of potential for deep and intimate relationship.

May we question all that would have us trade in the potential of our becoming for the ability to make more, sell more, buy more, or be more.

May we challenge all the structures organizing our lives to pit survival against creativity, invidual against collective, private against public, working to meet basic needs against the ability to live abundantly in relationship and rest.

May we commit to boundaries. To breaks. To disrupting patterns of productivty-at-all-costs.

May we embrace what you have told us – before we were born, you delighted in us. Our value, our belovedness, our worth cannot be subtracted by doing less or added to by achieving more.

Give us the courage to believe it, the will to practice it, and the faith to overcome every system that keeps others from the ability to do so as well.

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