Miscellaneous prayers, litanies, and blessings

1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

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 and their 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)