Welcome to a collection of short prayers written during Lent and Holy Week 2018.
(Feel free to scroll down to skip this introduction and read the prayers.)
These prayers were written by people who responded to an invitation to write and share a prayer with the community which has gathered around the music and work of the Plural Guild and The Many.
These are prayers written because some of us believe, or at least want to believe, that prayer can change things. Not without action, certainly. But maybe what we need are prayers that lead us into action, prayers that acknowledge the realities around us and the God who is always where the hurting are, the God of justice and liberation, the God who cares deeply about the marginalized, the forgotten, the oppressed.
And we are deeply grateful to all of you who have submitted prayers. Also, if your prayer is not included yet, please be patient. We are doing this manually... If you have questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The video below features Darren Calhoun, of The Many, speaking with Kenji Kuramitsu, author of A Booklet of Uncommon Prayer, about an ancient form of prayer, the Collect, which Kenji used when writing the prayers in his book. If this prayer form is new to you, you may want to try it in crafting your own prayers.
Scroll down past the video to see the Prayers of the People that have been submitted.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE. LENT AND HOLY WEEK. 2018
God let deep listening be our gift and right action be our response.
O Merciful God, grant that we through the strength of your divine hand might protect and serve one another. Make all forms of hatreds cease, unmask all systems of corruption and power, drive out all fears and prejudices in our day.
You are as near as our breath and as close to us as the contours of our hearts and minds. May your presence be a balm to those who are suffering and a bright flame to those who are causing injury. Rupture the status quo of perennial violence that infects our land, and teach us through your diving Word to reject the lies of any false peace in favor of the presence of your dangerous justice. Amen.
Kenji Kuramitsu. from A Booklet of UnCommon Prayer. http://www.evangelicalsforsocialaction.org/myuncommonprayer/
Good and gracious God how you must weep for your creation. Gun shots ring out in our land but some will not listen, innocent blood is shed but some look away. Jesus you told us we can find wisdom in the words of the little children. As one who lived in innocence, yet died in violence, guide and strengthen us as we stand with those who cry never again. AMEN
Pastor Rocky Marlowe
It’s easy, God, to get wrapped up in the anger. It’s easy for us to be loaded for bear. But You call us to care for the earth and her inhabitants; You have named all things ‘good.’ In this time, move us to assume goodness in every encounter. To bring love into the realm of hate, to bring joy into the realm of sadness, to bring compassion into the realm of harm. May we assume goodness with everyone we encounter this day. Amen.
There are days when the only prayer I have is getting out of bed. There are days when I can't pray that one prayer. Here I am, one foot in front of the other, or lying on my back. Have mercy on me.
For the child wet with ocean on a journey away from home. For the mother whose tears are not enough to feed her son. For the father holding his daughter while bombs shake their home. We pray, have mercy.
Keep my child safe in their school. Keep my child safe in their school. Keep my child safe in their school. Keep my child safe in their school. Keep my child safe in their school. Keep my child safe in their school. Lord in your mercy. Hear this prayer.
God, Goddess, we are all holy. I pray that with each conversation, with each gesture, in each relationship to all living things, we remember we are the hands of you, the heart of you, the voice of you. Amen
Holy One. We too often struggle to understand our place in the things that are your world. May the scales be removed from our eyes so we may see all that required of us is to be human reflections of your love.
Rev. Sara Bartlett.
son of man. unashamed to be like us. small and frail like us. growing and learning to love like us. help us to set aside our strength and open our arms to each other as you have done with us.
even when we are most afraid. even when it costs us much. help us to set aside our strength and listen like the humble love of god.
Tender God embracing all, heal all those brokenhearted with grief. Ease our anxiety, help us to sleep. Show us a tiny sign of hope that things will not stay the same as they are right now. Open in us a new season and restore to our aching minds your joy, so that your people may embody the promise of wholeness. Amen.
Richard Bruxvoort Colligan
In a Lenten Easter season of restlessness when even the dead must rise up from the grave, awaken our hearts, minds and spirits with an urgency to be the change we wish to see. We are waiting to see a risen Savior and yet, many remain trapped in our own self-imposed tombs of complacency, hopelessness, fear and doubt. Remove the stones blocking our witness, action, and vision of peace, love, and justice. Help us to rise up and resist the sin and evil of racism, classism, violence and oppression wherever it threatens humanity and creation. Amen. Ase.
Rev. Waltrina N. Middleton, Walk On Water Global Ministries @wnmiddleton
Ancient Mystery, Cast light in our darkness, Bring shelter to our homeless, Find home for our wandering, Provide enough food for all to feast at the table of Christ, The Table of Love. Amen.
In our quiet meditations and our communal worship, we repeat the ageless pilgrimage of our lives, O Holy One. This Holy Week path of praise, defection, denial, and persistent life is both brand new this year, and as ancient as the human journey. Be with us in these moments of worship, prayer, song and community. Come to us as a fresh breeze of honesty and new life. Come to us in the doubt and hope, the pain and possibility, the agony and enthusiasm. Be near us O Hopeful One, descend on us we pray…
Winton Boyd, Orchard Ridge UCC, Madison, WI
You who carry scars who was whipped and beaten, crowned with thorns, nailed hands and feet to a cross, a sword thrust in your side, be present with the scarred ones of our world. Scars of abuse, scars of violence, scars of war, scars of prejudice, scars caused by bullying, scars caused by mass shootings; scars. Touch them (and us) in those broken places, hold them (and us) in your loving arms and grant them (and us) the strength to hold on tight to the love that is offered through you and to find in your love, healing.