News and Views

Cabinet Prayers

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The following prayers were offered weekly in the e-connection by Bishop LaTrelle Easterling and members of the Cabinet of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. 

June 21

God of all hope, our always present guide and friend;
For all who seek justice, love mercy, and raise high your Reign on earth as it is in heaven.
For all those who struggle, who are in pain, who grieve, who are lonely and in distress.
For all who lack shelter, food, safety, health care, freedom, and equity.
For communities, nations, and a world sharply divided.
For your church, who seeks to bear witness to your unfailing love.
For each one of us, who commit ourselves to follow the example of Jesus.
Give light, life, hope, peace, and boldness.
Make your name known throughout the lands.
Send your Holy Spirit to revive us. Renew us. Empower us.
We are yours and yours alone. Amen.

June 7

Beloved God: We pray for those who are suffering, for those who are tired, and for those seeking new ways of seeing that make the world seem a little brighter.
Help us to know you are present -- with us now and always.

 We pray for your church, for those who faithfully live out your will, and for those searching for ways to be obedient and courageous.

Help us to be your people, living each moment in your presence, proclaiming an incarnational faith.

 We pray for ourselves, our families, and our community. 

Life is different than it was before the pandemic. We are learning new ways of living and being in the world. Let all that we do make us beacons that shine throughout the world with your love.

 Lord, be with us; let us sense you in our hearts as we seek to live as difference-makers and let all that we do glorify your name. In the Holy Spirit, we go forth. Amen.

June 1

Good and gracious God of all seasons: In this season of Pentecost, we thank you for your Spirit that is ever breathing new life,

We give you thanks even for the inconvenient creatures who cycle through our midst to participate in the cycle and rhythm of your creation, singing songs of connection and perhaps even praise. For it is in the unintelligible tongues of fire, that you bring us to understand that we all have a purpose in you.

 So breathe on us the breath of life. Cause us to speak in tongues of love, justice, mercy, and grace. Allow us to be those who connect others to others, and all people ultimately to you, by the ways in which we breathe, live, speak, act, and lean to the understanding that you are God. And that those who worship you must do so in Spirit and in truth.

 As we begin to re-enter buildings, help us to know that we’ve never left your covering. As we send and receive new leadership, help us to know that it is your leading that makes it all work together for good. And as we continue the work of reconciliation and prophetic action, may we be courageous but not contentious, just but not judgmental, and full of passion but not proud.

God of all seasons, all people, and all grace, move by your Spirit in ways that amaze, bless, and transform as only you can. With Spirit breath, we pray. Amen.

May 24 

As the God who released the Holy Spirit upon your people long ago, loose a fresh move of your Spirit now upon this modern day fellowship of believers so that we may rightfully own the power as well as the authority that is ours. Power and authority given to us to proclaim, deliver and set free without reservation or apology.

Awaken us from our slumber. Remind us that we are empowered, equipped, and emboldened to be your servants and warriors ... who set in order the chaos that has persisted too long. To mute the voices that loudly speak confusion and opposition to your will and way. To utter truth and revelation that destroys shackles yet brings forth liberation and freedom. To attend to the world’s hurts with grace so amazing, mercy so tender, and love so unconditional. To engage in struggles that advances your Kin-dom. To serve notice daily on the Adversary that he is defeat for his reign truly has an expiration date. 

Finally, let the consuming fire of the Spirit remove all that does not bend towards your direction and acknowledge your divinity. This is the prayer asked in faith through our access code, J-E-S-U-S. Amen and amen.

May 17 

 Loving and gracious God: We adore you. In these days of lengthening light, the sun reminds us of the glory of your kingdom. The creation sings its response, and we, too, lift our voices in praise. Alleluia, Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

 O God, as we prepare for the gift of Pentecost, let our hearts attend to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. How good you are to grant us the fellowship of the Spirit and of the Body of Christ. We pray that your whole world would know of the light and life that is in you. 

 We see and experience the brokenness around us, and we ask for your mercy; our hope is steadfast in you. By the power of the Holy Spirit, may Jesus’ prayer be answered: that we would be one, as you, O Lord, are one. May we always know and never forget that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus. And let all the world say, so be it, Amen!

May 10 

 Be still and know that I am God. -- Psalm 46: 10

 Teaching God,

 In the absence of speaking 
grows the fullness of emptying; 
emptying of self that more of the 
heart and soul and mind and spirit 
may be available for You.
Teach me to be empty.

 In the absence of speaking
grows the fullness of listening;
hearing, as if for the very first time,
your melody that permeates the atmosphere
and dances within my heart.
Teach me to listen.

 In the absence of speaking
grows the fullness of embracing;
feeling the beauty of holiness
that touches my cheek and fills
my soul with joy.
Teach me to embrace.

 In the absence of speaking
grows the fullness of centering;
occupying the present moment
without regard for the former
or the next
as I draw closer to you and your glory.
Teach me to be centered.

 In the absence of speaking
grows the fullness of love;
loosing all that separates me
from your creation;
loosing all that makes me fearful of your creation;
loosing all that makes me indifferent to your creation,
until I become one with your creation.
Teach me to love. 

 Teach me God, and I will learn. 
Teach me God, and I will surrender.
Teach me God, and I will be transformed. 

 May 3 

 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! -- 2 Corinthians 5:17

 Holy One, Creator of all that was, all that is, and all that will ever be, Giver and sustainer of life, 

 We pray that, in this continued season of liminality, we are motivated more than ever to open ourselves to be guided by you as we live into these ever-changing days. May this time be for us a reminder that we have always lived in uncertain times, for each moment carries within it an acknowledgment of our limitations and your unlimited wisdom and love. 

 Help us to seek to live out of our identity in Christ, secured and hopeful in the wisdom of the scriptures, that as any of us are in Christ, there is the revelation of new creation, where what is now unknown will then be revealed. Paired with that assurance and conviction that everything old has passed away, we can open our eyes and see the wonder of that which has become new!

 Orient us not to our own understanding and whatever has been our experience of the past. Help us to stretch out our hands in trust to you, knowing that you will embrace us and guide us into an unknown future, spirited by your grace and filled with your joyful abundance.

 We are glad to be your people and thankful for that identity, one which strengthens us in ways seen and unseen, felt and unfelt, acknowledged and unacknowledged, known and unknown. 

 Help us to always seek to be in Christ, for our own sakes and also for the sake of all who are seeking and searching for guidance, especially those who are experiencing desolation, depression, and despair at what has been taken away and that which has been lost. Whenever you give us a word of hope to give others, help us to discern and then speak that word- and be that word for the building up of all people.

 We pray in your holy name as we renew our commitment to follow Christ and become like Christ. Amen. 

 April 26 

 God, our Creator, our Sustainer, and our Redeemer:

 We are currently in seasons of distress and grief; our souls desperately need relief. Help us to escape the temper’s snare. … Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 We pray for understanding, trying hard to understand why our young people are being gunned down by those sworn to protect and serve.
We pray for peace and comfort for families who have lost loved ones to senseless killings as a result of hatred and racism.
We pray for healing for those still suffering from this dreaded COVID-19 virus.  
We pray for the church – the body of believers who are remaining silent during all of this injustice, distress, and grief. 

We pray all will rise up as disciples of Jesus Christ and truly be the church.

 Open our ears that we may hear the cries of all of your people, open our eyes that we may see injustice in every form, open our hearts that we may love those who don’t love us, open our mouths that we may speak 100 percent truth in love and full of grace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

April 19

O God:
When hatred is given voice. When racism goes unchallenged. When poverty is overlooked. When violence doesn’t unsettle. When unity appears folly.
Hear us, O God.

 When words fail. When people disappoint. When abuse is hidden. When shame overwhelms. When loneliness seems insurmountable.
Hear us, O God.

Yet, it is Easter.
Hear us, O God.

 May words heal; faithfulness abound. Truth shall conquer and honor prevail.
Hear us, O God.

A song of love is rising. A day of equity is come. A Jubilee is being proclaimed. Swords are becoming plowshares. And Your people sing with one joyful voice.
May it ever be so, O God.

April 12

God of new beginnings we pause in grateful thanksgiving for the flowers breaking through the ground in myriad colors.
For the buds, bursting forth on trees.
For the grass that is turning from brown to green.
For the birds that are chirping and building nests.
For the varied sounds of new life that are all around us.

Holy One, we are ever mindful that midst the challenges of life with all its complications, pandemics, social unrest, systemic racism, sexism, terrorism…
New every morning is your great love, Benevolent Creator.
Thank you for love, expressed in the gift of your Son and our Savior Jesus Christ and the life of hope that is available to us because of the resurrection of Jesus from the grave.

May the new life symbolized in the resurrection of Christ be evidenced in our relationship with one another as we journey towards becoming the beloved community.
We pray that our hope for the beloved community is not buried in the tomb but raised with Christ and thus available to us all.  In Christ name we pray, Amen.

 April 5

 God of power, love, and resurrection:
We rise today lighter than our world would dictate because of the light we have in you.
We rise today stronger because you’ve conquered death,
More humble because you have shown yourself merciful,
And more open because you’ve made a way for us to experience the newness of life.

 We rise today grateful for the sacrifice of your son, knowing that none of us is worthy of a drop of his blood, sweat, or tears. Yet out of loving-kindness and obedience, he gave and paid it all.

 So help us, God, in this Eastertide and always, to spread your light, to share your love, and to acknowledge the victory won at Calvary.
May the empty tomb fill us with joy and compassion.
May the startling and affirming news that your Word is alive and true continue to fill us with wonder, curiosity, and the courage to take the next faithful step.

 When that step is painful, comfort us.
When we tiptoe rather than stand, stable us.
When we become comfortable with evil and injustice because it is commonplace, stretch us more into the uncommon likeness of Jesus Christ your son.
In whose name we pray and say, AMEN.

 March 29

 Lord, you are an incarnational God. This week we delve deeply into the “Word become flesh,” as we journey with Jesus through the last week of his life. Yesterday, we shouted brave Hosannas at his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. We’ll sense his anger as he turns over the tables of the money changers in the Temple. We'll revel in the cool water as he washes his disciples’ feet and shares a last supper. We’ll feel the pain of the betrayal and the lashings he receives. We’ll walk with him, carrying the burden of a heavy cross, and we’ll cry in anguish as he commends his spirit into your hands.

 Lord, we know that Easter and the triumph over the grave awaits. But this week, we live in the humanness of the incarnation. Help us to practice an incarnational faith, immersing ourselves fully in the holy, living as an embodiment of a savior who died as the Prince of Peace so that all the world may know your love. Holy Week is before us. Travel with us as we journey in Jesus’ footsteps. Amen.

 March 22

 O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.  -- Psalm 107:1-3

 Loving God, giver of all light and life, you sent Jesus Christ into the world
not to condemn, but to save.
Thank you for your word and witness that enables us to follow you and your will for us more closely.
Thank you for your love, compassion, and grace.

 Loving God, there are times when we have not trusted you fully and have been discouraged because of it; times of uncertainty and transition. Forgive us God. 
When we do not hear your voice, help us to rest in your love as we wait for your answer to our prayers.
Thank you for loving us unconditionally. We entrust our present and our future to you, knowing that your power will transform any circumstance.

 Please calm our fears, show us how to really live, and teach us how to serve you well.
Help us to lift up the light of Christ, so that the world might believe in him
and receive the gift of eternal life, through Christ, the light of the world.
Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as in heaven. Amen.

 March 14

 Gracious and compassionate God, 
We give you thanks and praise for guiding us through this Lent season. 
We confess that we fall short of your expectations in many ways. 
Therefore, we live by your grace and mercy every day.

We ask you to deepen our faith through the spiritual disciplines during this Lent. 
Help us to follow your footsteps through fasting and prayer. 
Encourage us to be more sensitive to the need of the people around us. 
But, most of all, help us to be obedient to your will. 

 The Prophet Samuel said, 
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord.
To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams." (1 Samuel, 15:22, NIV)

 Oh, Lord, not my will but your will I shall follow. Amen.

 March 8

 Let us pray. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) The God I serve is the very one who is able to create out of nothing, even out of chaos. Therefore, I can trust God with the ups and downs of my life because my God "is able to do immeasurably more than all [I could] ask or imagine, according to [God's] power that is at work within [me]. (Ephesians 3:20)

 I know that just as real as God is in my journey through life, I know that the Devil is real too. The Devil is a thief who "comes only to steal and kill and destroy;" but my God in Jesus "has come that [I] might have life and have it to the full." (John 10:10

 Therefore, I am able to "wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart." And when I face "the day of trouble [God] will keep me safe in [God's] dwelling." (Psalm 27:14 & 5) My soul declares that "God is [my] refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1) And because of God in my life I have learned to be content whatever my circumstances. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation ... I can do everything through [Jesus] who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13

 I praise God "for God did not give [me] a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of love, power and of self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7) The Lord has commanded me to "be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord God will be with me wherever [I] go." (Joshua 1:9) This good news compels me "to extol the Lord at all times; [God's] praise will always be on my lips." (Psalm 34:1

 While these are trying times and challenging circumstances, I believe that God is with me, God's Spirit is with me when I'm "hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." (2 Corinthians 4:8) Why? Because "in all of these things [I] am more than a conqueror through [Jesus] who loved [me]." (Romans 8:37

 I will press my way towards heaven because I affirm that when I "have fought the good fight, finished the course, kept the faith ... there [will be] in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day" (2 Timothy 4:7 & 8) and I will hear my Master say, "well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness." (Matthew 25:21)

 This is my prayer that I ask in the name of the one "who is able to keep [me] from falling and [one day will] present [me] before [God's] glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God [my] Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ [my] Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! " (Jude 1:24 & 25)  Amen.

March 1

 Gracious and Loving God: As we fully enter into this Lenten season, we have committed ourselves to a period of self-examination and repentance, to prayer, fasting, and self-denial, to reading and meditating on your Word. Our current circumstances, for all their challenges, have reminded us that we need you and one another, now more than ever. We are humbled, Lord.  

 Today, let us be reminded that your Son, Jesus, called us to a discipleship that would mean following him.... to take up our crosses. In times when we seek to recommit ourselves to your will and way, we often turn to our Wesleyan Covenant Prayer. We acknowledge the need to be willing to be "put to suffering, ... to be laid aside for thee, ... to be empty, and to have nothing."  

 O God, during this time of Lent, may our simple practices of the means of grace, and our reflections on Christ's cross which leads to his glory, grant us the capacity to respond to your great love for us, with love offered back to you and to one another.

 Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.

February 22

 God of our Lenten Journey,
As we who are your followers continue this 40 day journey of fasting, praying and soul searching, speak to us, prepare us, mold us.

Speak to our hearts --
   Some hearts come singing the old hymn, "Give me a clean heart, so I may serve thee";
   Some hearts come with timidity, unsure that they can ever trust again after the betrayal and
       harm that has taken place, both personally and communally;
    Some hearts come heavy with grief and the sting of recent loss;
    Some hearts come bent on pursuing personal agendas.
Speak to our collective hearts and draw us closer to one another.
Speak to our individual hearts and draw us closer to you.

 Prepare our minds --
    Minds that are open to being led by your spirit, even in new and
       risk-taking ways.
    Minds filled with curiosity about the fresh winds you will blow into our midst;
    Minds that are perplexed or troubled by the shifting sands of challenging times.
    Minds that are yet closed to the possibilities you desire to breathe into us.
Prepare our collective minds to be drawn closer to one another.
Prepare our individual minds to be drawn closer to you.

Mold us --
   Mold us into the transformative, life-giving force you have called us to be as we prophesy of your great and wondrous works;
    Mold us into the loving and caring community we are becoming, but have not yet fully become;
    Mold us and make us into reconcilers and repairers of the breach who welcome even the stranger in your name
    Mold us ever more into the image and likeness of your Son, our Savior, Jesus the Christ.
Mold us collectively and draw us closer to one another.
Mold us individually and draw us closer to you.

 As we gather in these 40 days to worship, pray, discern, and praise, may you be glorified and your will be done.  Amen.

 February 15

"Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, For he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing." -- Joel 2:12-13

 Holy One, abounding in compassion and overflowing with mercy,
as we prepare to enter into this holy season of Lent,  remind us that 
it is just when we feel farthest from you that you are closest to us. 

 Prepare us to hear your call upon our lives and when we would go
our own way, away from your way,  open our hearts,
And renew our understanding, so that
we  are reminded of our purpose and  can  make our way back to you again.

 Once returned, lead  us deeper into our selves and our own souls, 
that we might be willing to encounter whatever is there and face whatever
loss  and   loneliness,
hurt  and    hunger,
damage and distress,  may be hidden within- or not so hidden.

 Recall in us the need we have for this season of growth and reflection,
calling up sources of power and spiritual  strength that can only come
from you.

 In the name of the One who empowers us for greater purpose
and with unwavering love,  Amen.

February 8

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."  - Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NRSV)

  Most Holy, Righteous, and Creator God:

 You are the champion of change. You change the night into day. You change the seasons from Winter to Fall with Spring and Summer nestled in between. You change the trees from having bare branches, at times, being heavy with white snow, to full foliage with beautiful, vibrant colors of green, red, orange, yellow, and brown. What a delight! Thank you for letting us witness and marvel at Your creative masterpieces. 

 We are in the midst of continual change ... social, economic, political, medical, and personal. There's a shift in the atmosphere and more change is on the way.    

 We ask now that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we may... 

  • Change our ears and truly listen to the cries of those in need.  
  • Change our eyes and see your people, as You have created each one individually.  
  • Change our mouths and speak truth and facts, not words riddled with fiction and fear. 
  • Change our hearts that we may love everyone, unconditionally as you do. 
  • Change our lives to live like true disciples and develop other disciples.  

God, we yield our whole selves to you. Forgive us of our sins and continue to make us change agents for you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

February 1

 God of All Seasons:
We humbly acknowledge that you are the creator of all good things and the generous giver of gifts to your children. When we find ourselves weary, worn, and wayward, you are our safe harbor. You are our hope when all seems hopeless and our joy when our hearts are mourning. We need your Light. We need your Justice. We need your Truth.

 In this bleak midwinter, we cry out to you. Hear us as we pray:
Our need is great, You are greater.
Our sorrow is deep, your joy will rise
 Our divisions are wide, your love is wider still.
Our hurt is persistent, your hope is steadfast.
Our needs are great, You are greater.

 Heaven can not hold you, nor earth sustain. What gift can we bring you, poor as we are? We give you our worship. We give you our hearts. We give you our hands. All that we have we offer you so that your will may be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

 January 25

 Lord, listen to your children praying.
Lord send your spirit to this place.
Lord, listen to your children praying.
Send us love, send us power, send us grace.
- Ken Medema

 O God our help in ages past. Our hope for years to come. Our shelter from the storms of life and our eternal home. We turn to you, O God, on bended knee, humbling ourselves, desiring to turn from our wicked ways, seeking healing for ourselves and for our nation. Acknowledging that you are our guide and source of true healing. We are asking that your Holy Spirit would guide us through this present darkness of political division, civil unrest, coronavirus, systemic racism and so much more that divides us. We humble ourselves before you, asking forgiveness for the sins that we have committed against you and one another through thought, word, or action. May the light of your healing presence, please bring us to our senses; eliminate the hate talk and bind us together in mutual love and respect. Allow us to see, appreciate, and respect the image of you that is present in each of us. May we respect each other, may we come together and embrace the hope that is present in you.

 Lord, listen to your children praying.
Lord send your spirit to this place.

 Give us clarity of understanding that what you desire is that we act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you. Allow the light of this truth to be the beacon to guide our actions as we live into the command of loving you with our whole being and loving neighbor as we love self. By your grace and mercy, we would ask that you exercise your dominion over your created order that what we pray may come to fruition in this present age. This we pray in the name of the one who is able to guarantee all that we ask for, Jesus the Christ.

 Lord, listen to your children praying.
Lord send your spirit to this place.
Lord, listen to your children praying.
Send us love, send us power, send us grace.  Amen.

January 18


God of dreams and dreamers, God of manifestation and promise,
We come on this day of many mountaintop and valley experiences to declare that you are still God, and we are still grateful.
We pray that the visions and dreams that you have given your people through the generations will stay with us, and before us,
Pulling us into your preferred future:
Visions of peace, unity, freedom, and community.
Dreams of healing, wholeness, and abundant life.
May we this day, and every day, be your instruments of harmony,
Your drum majors of justice whose beats are as steady as your presence, and as persistent as your Word.
May we this moment, and every moment, look hate in the eye and declare that you are love,
By your power, may we in this season and space, find you in each other’s eyes even when that light is dimmed by the flesh.
Allow your light to shine in the darkness.
Allow justice to roll down, praises to go up, and love to level the places that we have exalted above you.
May we put our idols to rest and seek only you.
God of dreams and dreamers, have your way in our troubled land so that what is crooked will be made straight, and your glory is revealed as dream fulfilled. 
In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

January 11

“To choose hope is to step firmly forward into the howling wind, baring one’s chest to the elements, knowing that, in time, the storm will pass”.

Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, The Book of Joy

Holy One, whose Spirit is poured out upon all flesh, whose children you empower to prophesy, whose youth see visions and whose elders dream dreams, we cry out to you.  Where else shall we go, O Savior? All else has failed us. We humble ourselves and cry out to you in the hope that you will hear us.

You came that we might have life more abundantly, but that abundance eludes too many of us. Our news cycles are filled with despair. Our hearts ache as we watch, hear and witness what is taking place all around us.

Loving God, you sent Jesus Christ into the world not to condemn, but to save. Your Word and Spirit sustain us in the wilderness. Keep us faithful in times of struggle and trials so that we may enter into your glorious realm. Help us to lift up the light of Christ so that the world might believe in him and receive the gift of eternal life, through Christ, the light of the world.  Amen.

January 4

"O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home; 
A thousand ages in your sight are like an evening gone,
short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun.
O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come,
still be our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home."
(O God, Our Help in Ages Past, UMH 117) 

Most gracious God,
We give you thanks for your steadfast love.
You have not changed in loving us and caring for us. 

We confess that the past year has been challenging in many ways. We are uncertain whether the new year is going to be better.  Yet, we hope and expect that you will remain steadfast as you have been in the past.

As we begin this year, we yearn for God, who brings us new hope each day.

We pray that:
the pandemic will end soon,
no more people die of the Coronavirus,
the economy will recover,
that justice will prevail in our society,
no family would suffer from hunger.

Gracious God, grant us a strong faith that withstands all the things life throw at us. We lack nothing as long as we have you, O Lord.

Together, we join in the words from Habakkuk 3:17-18
"Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet we will rejoice in the Lord,
    We will be joyful in God, my Savior.” Amen. 

December 28

Great God,
At this time of the year, many will make declarations about “letting go” as we crossover into a new beginning.

And given the way 2020 has treated us, I understand why ... but I’m here to pray I won’t let go.

I won’t let go because You so loved me that You sent Jesus to be my Savior.
I won’t let go of Him who is the very demonstration of Love’s breath, depth and length - Jesus.
I won’t let go of the Holy Spirit that enlivens me to press on to know all truth.

I won’t let go the fact that the joy of the Lord that is my strength.
I won’t let go for You promised to never abandon or forsake me.
I won’t let go but hold tight to You who are the more than enough God.
I won’t let go because one day every knee will bow and every tongue confesses Jesus as Lord.
I won’t let go until valleys rise up, mountains become low, crooked places straighten up, and rough spots are smoothed out,

As well as Your glory is revealed and witnessed by every living being.

I won’t let go until every individual is seen as my sister, my brother and is well treated, respected.
I won’t let go while I wait for revival to break out among the faithful and our gatherings become houses of prayer where power and might, healing and deliverance are common.
I won’t let go until the Devil is defeated and every demon on assignment is cast down.

I won’t let go because God’s been too good, too faithful.
I won’t let go for there’s too much of You in me, too much purpose and destiny.
I won’t let go until LOVE wins.

In the name of the ONE who didn’t let me go, in Jesus’ name I ask. Hallelujah, amen.

December 21
Holy God of Light and Love,
Our time of Advent preparation is drawing down. We know that Isaiah prophesied and John the Baptist prepared the way. We have sung, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." We have prayed to become like Mary and Joseph, obedient and ready to embrace a child who will be our savior. We await a miracle: for the Word to become flesh and dwell among us.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come! Shine your light into our darkness. Pour your love into our weary and hardened hearts.  Have mercy on us, until our hearts are strangely warmed, and we surrender to you, the Source of Life. This silent and holy night, we want to walk as children of light, we want to follow Jesus. In Christ's name, we pray.  Amen.
December 14

Loving and Ever-present God,
Our souls magnify the Lord!
Our spirits rejoice in God our Savior!

Though this season of expectant waiting is filled with darkness pressing against the light of your love, our souls magnify the Lord.
Though illness and death have visited far too many homes and shattered countless hearts, our souls magnify the Lord.
Though we traverse this wilderness of uncertainty and disruption for what feels like an eternity, our souls magnify the Lord.
Though we have yet to embrace family and friends in this season of distancing and our hearts yearn for their presence, our souls magnify the Lord.
Though many hunger for succor, our souls magnify the Lord.

Because you have planted seeds of hope in the heart of all created beings;
because you have birthed within creation a power that cannot be conquered;
because you are present in all of our suffering and promise blessing to your faithful;
because you love us with an everlasting love,
our souls magnify you, O Lord, and await your presence, anew. Amen.

December 7

Waiting with Conviction

 “For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from God.” -- Psalm 62:5

 Holy God,  Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer:
As events unfold in this season of Advent, we pray to be able to wait with conviction.   Calm our anxiety and release us from fears which may interfere with faithful endurance.
Remind us that this is a season of holy waiting and  that all things are not yet revealed and  we are called to affirm again that your promises are true.
As we navigate this in-between time, when we wait upon the coming of Christ,

 between falling down and rising up;
between loss and discovery;
between grief and joy;
between letting go and holding on;
between  speaking and listening;
between  holding on and letting go;
between  despair and rejoicing;
between silence and speech;

 Let us be guided by you alone, that  our direction is true and we might have the courage we need. Help us to  know we are not alone in this in-between time  as a new era comes to life.
In the meantime, give us what we need to wait --  with conviction.  Amen.

November 30

Emmanuel means God with us
“O Come, Desire of nations bind, all people in one heart and mind.  From dust thou brought us forth to life; deliver us from earthly strife.”

Gracious God,
    Thank you for your grace that you freely give.
    Help us show grace to those in need during this unique season of life.
Illuminating God, 
    Thank you for being the light of the world.
    Help us to shine your light in this dark world.
Loving God,
    Thank you for setting a table that transcends our differences and celebrates our diversity.
    Help us to embody your love to all that we encounter.
Listening God,
    Thank you for listening to every groan.
    Help us to be sensitive to your voice in and around us.
Merciful God,
    Thank you the new mercies that greet us every morning.
    Help us to show mercy to our brothers and sisters daily as we strive to get it right.
Healing God,
    Thank you for being the balm in Gilead.
    Help us to be whole during this unprecedented time of strife in our world.
Sovereign God,
    Thank you for the gift or your son Jesus Christ.
     Bind us together as we become people in one heart and mind.
Almighty God, we are one in you, Amen

November 22

 God of Heaven and Earth,
    of Space and Time,
    of all that is Seen and Unseen,
We, your children, lift our hearts to you in gratitude and thanksgiving. 
For you are the God of our rest, the source of all our provision,
    the bringer of truth, and the author of justice.
The Heavens declare your glory, the earth your majesty.
    We are surrounded by signs and wonders that reveal your unfailing love.
Yet we are beset by troubles, weary in our striving, and too reliant on our own strength.
Renew and revive us, Spirit of God.
May we drink of your living water.
May we feast at your bountiful table.
May we embrace all your children as family.
You are our Rock, our refuge.
Our one true Home.

 November 16

 From sea to shiny sea we belong to you, O God.
You created a world of diversity and wisely declared it good.
You made us in your image.
You breathed into us the breath of life.
You gave us dominion over your created order.
We give you thanks, blessed Creator.
Holy One, your created order needs your help.
The waters surrounding us have become turbulent.
We fear the waters of social unrest and climate change may overtake us.
Midst the challenges of this era, we pray,
Master of the wind and the waves,
Bind us together in mutual love, respect, and resolve.
That we may live into the self-evident truth our nation proclaims;
All are created equal, endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Holy One, may it be so…
For as a nation we proclaim it is in God we trust.  Amen. 

 November 9

 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control... If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Sprit.  -- Galatians 5:22,25

 God of Grace and Mercy, we ask you, by the fire of your Holy Spirit, to light our hearts, that we may proclaim your Gospel with holiness of heart and life in ways that all can understand.

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us, melt us, fill us, use us.

 Spirit of the Living God, empower us that we may express your love in our attitudes and actions so that the violence and animosity of this time can be lessened.

 Spirit of the Living God, provide us with patience to be with those whose pain may be lessened if we brought our compassionate presence.

 Spirit of the Living God, fill us with your kindness that heals and restores our desire to be considerate to others.

 Spirit of the Living God, breathe renewed confidence into our fatigued spirits. Send us forth with a passionate intention to be conveyors of your unconditional love.

 Receive this prayer through Christ who came among us that we may have life, and have it abundantly.  Amen

November 2

God Enough: A Prayer of Faith to an All-Sufficient God

 God of all grace, all power, and all glory,
Today we are grateful that you are God enough.
When we feel isolated and alone, your presence is enough;
When we are fearful and uncertain, your faithfulness is enough;
When we are surrounded by hatred and 
divided by agendas, opinions, and points of view, your love is enough;
When, we don't know what to say to the challenges of the day,  your word is enough.
When our hearts break, you heal;
When our tongues fail, you speak;
So speak to our hearts O God.
Quiet us with your peace,
Strengthen us with your joy,
Steady us with your wisdom,
And remind us of your promises
Help us to know that weapons may form, but not enough to prosper;
Trials may come, but only to make us strong;
Darkness may fall, but it must give way to the day.
Light of the world: protector, provider, friend
Thank you for being more than enough.

October 26

I lift up my eyes to the hills;
from where will my help come? 
 God, our only refuge in trouble,
The world thirsts for the living God and longs for your help and grace. 

 We pray for the wounded world suffering because of the pandemic.
Rescue us from sin and death and protect us from the deadly virus. 
Grant healing grace to those who suffer from the infection.
Bring peace and comfort to those who lost their loved ones. 

We pray for your church. 
Bring harmony and peace to your church.
Inspire us to be united in your name despite our differences. 
Remind your church to be faithful to your calling. 

 We pray for our nation. 
Guide our electoral process as we are ready to select our leaders. 
Empower us to be responsible citizens with our choices and actions. 
Guide our leaders so that they may seek the wisdom and truth that come from you. 

 We pray for our community. 
Bring peace and reconciliation, where there are discord and violence.
Make us more willing to understand each other. 
Encourage us to stand up for justice. 

 We confess that our help comes from you, our God and Savior. 

October 19

Breathe on me breath of God.
 Breathe and enliven my soul
To be the best of You, to be Your heart's desire,
To know grace, seek peace, embrace mercy, and exude joy.

 It's your breath that enables me to fight the good fight, to struggle well, and to trust when all else seems to fail. Your breath causes me to greet each morning with hope and rest each night in blessed assurance...
I am not in control, you are. 

 This day, breathe mighty and strong, shift the atmosphere and lighten the burdens.
Breathe full and deep to clear the way for your purposes and plan. Fill my being, center my thoughts, and calm my ways.

 Without your breath, I will perish. Hallelujah, Amen!

 October 12

 Lord, I was doing something important when I stopped   to     pray     today.  
Regardless,   slow   me   down   now   that   I   may   be   rooted   in   this   moment.
Grateful   for   this   embodiment   and   accompaniment...
Awakened   to   you   breathing   in   me...So   filled   with   you   that   there   is   noroomforanythingnotofyou...

Responsive   to   your   welcome...

  [God's kingdom
Not money, not might
Come, dance with me!]

 May   this   practice   of   rootedness   bear   fruit   for   your   glory. May   this   practice   of   prayer   be   pleasing   to   you.

 October 5, 2020

Elohim, You alone are Great and you alone are God. We humble ourselves before your hallowed presence and give thanks for your steadfast goodness, mercy and love. Your powerful hand has sustained us and will sustain us for the days to come.

 You desire intimacy with your creation, abiding closer than breath, enabling us to live, move, and have our being. You meet us at our deepest point of need to quench our thirst, heal our wounds, provide shelter in the storm, and fell the arrows of harm. Your love for us is unyielding. Our cup runs over with blessing.

 Yet, we make graven images from the insignificant materiality of life and bow before unholy gods.
Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.

Forgive our impatience and our impertinence, once again failing to trust that your promises, provision, and providence are more than enough.

 Your faithfulness to all generations and throughout every season strengthens our resolve.
Even now, even in the midst of death and hardship and adversity and uncertainty we will rejoice! We will rejoice knowing that your peace is our protection and our assurance that it is well.

 Even now you beckon us, come...
We receive your invitation to come and rest.
We receive your invitation to come and feast.
We receive your invitation to come and dance.
We receive your invitation to come and worship.
We receive your invitation to come and renew our covenant with you.

 You alone are Great and you alone are God
Our God, forever and ever. Amen.