A Prayer for Overwhelming Times

By: Autumn Elizabeth, Editor in Chief 

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You may have noticed we haven’t written much as of late. The recent results of the US American election have produced increased violence, hatred, and fear in US America and around the world. Many of us have been at a loss for words, and I personally, have been at a loss for prayers in this difficult time. I have felt obligated to pray for justice, for hope, for revolution, for strength, for the oppressed, but these prayers wouldn’t come, at least not yet. So here is the prayer that feels most true for me right now–a prayer that honors the overwhelming weight of the struggles that lie ahead. 

Dear God,

I have searched high and low,
for a prayer to help me
during these overwhelming times.

I have looked to holy words and blessed scripture,
I have searched the prayers of the saints and sages,
I have read the divine words of kings and crones.

I have failed to find the strength I seek;
failed to find words that will help me overcome my shock and fear.

Instead, I have found a wishful prayer.
A prayer that speaks to the overwhelmed voice inside me,
that needs a moment to be honored before being overcome.
So I will take a moment to pray this wishful, and perhaps cowardly prayer,
and I will take comfort in knowing even Jesus,
in all his revolutionary glory, needed this prayer too.

Dear God, oh dear, dear, God,

Let this cup pass from me.
Let this cup pass from me.
Let this cup pass from me.

Amen.

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A Prayer for Spacious Places

When hard pressed, I cried to God;  they brought me into a spacious place.–Psalm 118:5

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This is a prayer for those spacious places where we find peace, love, and freedom. These places are both physical and metaphysical. They are urban, suburbia, rural; they are the homes of our friends, the tents of our lovers, the blankets of stars.

Oh universe of all things great and small,

I have seen the wonders of this world, and my heart.

I have been split open by the view from the tallest mountain, by the stars shining from the tallest building, by climbing the tallest tree.

These places have broken the broken parts of me,
where grief and pain have made me small and petty.

I have seen so many places where anger has made everything small,
where tiny pebbles of hate burn without fire.

I wish to live only in places where I can be my biggest self.

Places of risk, possibility, enormity, and freedom.
Places that are so immense they terrify and inspire me.

Yet, out of all the spacious and immense places I have been,
from the tallest tree that I have ever climbed
to the view from a building trying to reach the heights of Babel,
the most spacious place I have ever known is love.

Let me live there always.

Amen.

A Prayer of Remeberance

By: Nermine Mohamed, Writing Intern 2015

We are honored to share a post from our former intern, Nermine, whose prayer about remembering her mother offers grace and wisdom. Her prayer seeks blessings for those living with loss, just as our prayer for the dead sought blessings for those who have died. 

It’s hard to put in words what we feel about a person who is long gone; a person who is no longer a part of our life and who never got to know what we’ve become, who we are now…They say time heals and that’s true. Our own frail human memory makes loss bearable. But do we really want to forget or is it simply inevitable?

From all that I’ve lost, all the memories I can no longer recall, all the photographs that captured a moment I don’t remember living or even how it felt being there, I know that what hurts even more than the loss is the inability to remember what we once had.

Today my mother would have been 54 years old. I sometimes think what my life would
have been like if she was still alive. I get angry sometimes that I can’t remember much.There’s nothing but emptiness; a void of something that has left without leaving me any traces to hold on to. So, I pray for me and everyone who suffered loss that we can be healed by remembrance.

Dear God,

Today I pray for remembrance of the mother.
I wish I had a little bit more time to know her better.

Help me remember her by being even just a tiny bit like her,
for everyone speaks of her strength, her honesty, her generous and loving heart.

Help me remember her by living up to her memory
and being be the best person I can be.

Help me remember her every time I feel lost or alone
and help me remember that I never really was lost or alone,
for I’ve always had support and found people who love me
even when I thought there’s nothing to love in myself.

Help me remember her by cherishing every living moment,
by keeping every memory solid,
by not taking life for granted, by loving,
by staying true to who I am and what I believe in.

Help me and all those who have lost a loved one.

Help us remember those who are gone,
even when our memories fade and there’s nothing to recall.

Help us remember them in little acts of kindness,
and by showing those who are grieving
that pain can be healed and that nothing is ever lost forever.

Help us remember them in You,
in Your boundless generosity and Your mercy
and how You always give way more than you take.

Help us remember them in Your kindness,
for despite our loss and the pain that seemed at the time intolerable,
You helped us heal.

Love and peace made their way into our hearts again
and now we know that You don’t really put us through what we can’t endure.

Help us remember with patience, with gratitude, and with faith that there’ll be another chance to see those we’ve lost, where we’ll hold on to them for all the time we couldn’t have and all the memories we wished they were a part of, and finally there will be no letting go.

Amen.

A Prayer for the Dead

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Dear God,

They say that dead men tell no tales,
but I am not so sure.

I think, perhaps, it is only the dead that can tell us anything at all.

Through their death they show us the mirror of mortality.

They show us the flaws in our own lives.

The deaths of those we cherish tell us each the stories of our own ends,
and give us the power to rewrite them.

I believe it is every person’s last gift, to shed light on living through their dying.

Those who I morn have taught me lessons, have told me their stories, and have given me strength to change my own.

So I ask that the dead be blessed, as they have blessed me by living and dying.

Amen.

A Prayer for Community

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Communities can sustain us, they can support us, and they can help us succeed. Communities can also fall apart, they can break our hearts , and they can fail us. This is a prayer for all our communities, in all their forms.

Dear Spirit of Universal Love,

Let me find communities of wisdom.

Help me seek out communities that love me as a whole person, that challenge me in just the right ways, and that allow me to connect with something greater than myself.

Help me find healing with the communities in my life that have let me down or caused me harm.

Let me connect with new communities and with scattered members of communities I was a part of in the past.

Let the spirit of unconditional holy love stretch from me to every member of the communities I cherish.

Amen

A Prayer for Encouragement

By: Autumn Elizabeth, Editor in Chief 

Sometimes we can be, as the Lit songs says, our own worst enemies. When others encourage us, we hear only platitudes; when we see a new journey ahead, we let fear and doubt close the door. Sometimes we waste our time waiting for the perfect words of encouragement, when perhaps there is no such thing.

I am not immune to this kind of thinking. I spent much of our recent hiatus in such a state of waiting. Ultimately, I realized that no one’s words would give me sufficient encouragement, except for the words of my best, most-hopeful self. So here is the prayer I created to encourage that voice, to encourage myself, and to start sharing all of these prayer with all of you again.

My Dearest Self,

You are capable.
You are capable despite your failures, past and future.
You are capable despite your doubts and the voices of those who doubt you.
You are capable because you are loved, more than you will ever know.

You are capable because against all odds, you have still continued to exist.

You are capable because you are part of a species that is the result of millions of random mutations. You are part of a species that flew to the moon, photographed the stars, and measured galaxies.

You are capable because you are part of the same history as poets, philosophers, and prophets.

You are capable because you have dared to ask yourself for encouragement.

You are capable because you said so.

Amen

A Prayer for Rest

In this world of achievement, this era of busyness, sometimes we all need to pray for the simple things. Sometimes, the exhaustion of caring for others, of being just, of living spiritual lives requires us to pray for rest. 

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Dear God,

Grant me rest.

Create with me a place to put down my weary load,
a place to hide my mental busy-work for a while.

Help me achieve this one thing today,
help me achieve a child-like slumber.

Amen

 

Like all the prayers on this site, this prayer is just a beginning, so everyone is welcome to modify it, customize it, and re-create to better fit their own journey and beliefs. If you would like to share you re-creations, we welcome you to do so in the comment section, or to submit your reworking of this prayer or your own prayer.

A Prayer for Ash Wednesday

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And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray Matthew 6:5-6

Today is the Christian celebration of Ash Wednesday, a day that marks the beginning of the season of Lent which in turn ends in Easter. Today marks a special day, a day for a special prayer. Ash to ash, and dust to dust we pray together.

Dear God,

Today we mark the beginning and we honor the cycle.

We pray for those who are no longer here with us
and for those who are newly with us.

We pray that for all of us, praying to any and all of our Gods, that these next weeks be filled with fruitful self-reflection. We pray that they are filled with divine wisdom.

We recognize that this human life is uncertain and unpredictable, that it is also sweet and short.

We pray for the strength to be our best selves, to live lives of compassion, integrity and justice.

We pray that each day we are strengthened amazed by the fact that we are all made of stardust, and will all become stardust again.

Amen.

Like all the prayers on this site, this prayer is just a beginning, so everyone is welcome to modify it, customize it, and re-create to better fit their own journey and beliefs. If you would like to share you re-creations, we welcome you to do so in the comment section, or to submit your reworking of this prayer or your own prayer.

A Prayer for Hope

For the second week of THE YEAR OF PRAYER, we wanted to offer this prayer for hope as we embark on our new journey, and our new year.

Dear Universal Spirit of Love and Light,

Give me hope during these trying days,

more importantly, help me find the hope and resilience within myself to be my best self,

to live my best dream and hope my biggest hopes.

Let me find ample and gracious support if my hopes are dashed,

and loving congratulations if they are achieved.

Let hope shine from every opportunity, from every interaction.

Let me find the strength to live in a hopeful place.

Amen

Like all the prayers on this site, this prayer is just a beginning, so everyone is welcome to modify it, customize it, and re-create to better fit their own journey and beliefs. If you would like to share you re-creations, we welcome you to do so in the comment section, or to submit your reworking of this prayer or your own prayer.