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.
"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 -
Let your chest rise and fall
to the rhythm of eternity's breath:
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 with tension,
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.
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...
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,
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 brave for the rest of us…
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.
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.
Prayer for Illumination
That our hearts would be open to you, O God. That we may release every defense against your Spirit’s guidance. That we would receive the wisdom you intend for us. May it be so.
Confession and Pardon
God of Justice,
God of Compassion,
God of Sacred and Scandalous ways,
We have so much still to learn.
By your grace, we have come to know love more deeply than once before -
its mess, its complexity, its stubborn and tender truths transform us more each day.
Through fires that refine and valleys of death, you have guided us.
You draw us into the heart of Wisdom,
Saving us from the lies of destruction.
Turning us towards hope that liberates.
But still, O God, we struggle to trust in you..
And so, when we are afraid. Or hurt. Or weary…
We betray the very One who brought us thus far.
We confess, we still shame Jesus, when he turns over tables.
We confess, we still condemn Jesus, when he breaks the rules to which we are loyal.
We confess, while Jesus is torn from the arms of his mother by ICE,
killed by his own lovers - so afraid of desiring trans women,
and sitting lonely on the street with no family to welcome them home,
our loyalties are often elsewhere.
Our priorities are not your own.
Search our hearts, O God, and see if there is any fear within us.
Meet us there with your good news that sets the captives free.
Forgive us from the harm we have done as we seek to harm no more.
(pause in silent prayer)
Beloveds, God does not abandon us to the systems that destroy.
God does not bind us to our regrets.
Or forever hold us to what we once believed.
God says, come and follow!
Know forgiveness and sin no more.
Love abounds. And Justice shall be manifest!
Wherever new life is desired,
may the peace of Christ be welcomed among us.
Thanks be to God who leads us on paths of resurrection.
A prayer for breathing
Breath in your inherent belovedness.
Breath out the lure of toxic cycles.
Breath in love that makes your heart soft.
Breath out any anger that is being misdirected.
Breath in acceptance that all cannot be immediately solved.
Breath out the need to control.
Breath in the wisdom of ancestors who labored for collective love and justice.
Breath out the temptation towards the superficial.
Breath in a breath of humility.
Breath 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.
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 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.
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.
People who uncover. extricate. reveal.
Who pluck up from the roots.
Though we know only in part
And we prophesy only in part
May we not grow weary in our faith
The partial will come to an end
We will look Justice in the face
We will know Love in its fullness
Of our entangled lives will be revealed in full.
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
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.
Remembering our baptism
Baptized into the dreams of God, we wade into the Sacred waters and make our alliances public. Togetherness. Love. Mess and complexity. Sharing at Table. Pursuing justice. Resisting forces of evil - within and around. Practicing moral imagination. Struggle. The waters are all-consuming, no part of our lives goes untouched. In all things, they remind us our lives are bound together by the One who claims us each as beloved.
Searching for a glimpse of hope,
seeking liberation from colonizing forces,
the magi journeyed,
crossing foreign lands and borders
with only a star as their guide.
The same source of Holy
that guided their way
calls to us today.
Through night skies and morning dew
Through community and in silent meditation
Through songs, ancient and new
Through art and bodies and creation
Through collectives of people who dare to cry out and march and pray and dream and protest and resist in the direction of a better world.
It calls us
to come and share our resources equitably
to come and honor vulnerability, love, and courage enfleshed
to come and join in the spirit of deliverance birthed far from the centers of power
to come and lay down our loyalties to corruption, destruction, and power that oppresses, refusing to oblige their wishes any longer.
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:
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,
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.
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.
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
Love can be more chaos than order.
Love can be tension.
Love can be conflict.
Love is hard work and so easy.
Love always leads to Life.
Love is an ever-unfolding thing
we are all still figuring out.
Let love be messy.
When the tears come
When the tears come,
hold out your hands.
Like the last leaves
quivering on empty branches,
the closure of a season,
let them fall
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?
Whispher 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
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,
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
recognize 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 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 hearing.
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 preach 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:
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 take extravagant actions of 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 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 to heal.
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, O God,
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
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.
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.
Forgive us, O God, for every creature and creation 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,
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.
Mother of us all,
give us a glimpse of your hopes for us.
You, in perpetual labor,
seeking to bear new life
You carry us in your depths.
You nurture us by your own body.
You groan through the pain
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?
it could be today
make it be today
they will live into
for new life to thrive."
Thanks be, Mothering One,
for your strength,
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.