A Prayer When Delighting in Hope

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Holy Cultivator of Visions and Dreams-

As the sun rises on this new season, we seek your presence in the ordinary and extraordinary.
We gaze to the light growing in the east, knowing that hope is beaming in our world.
We look for the warm rays of hope to thaw our frost-glazed hearts.

So we celebrate cautious optimism-
Even when the chills of winter have slowed our souls,
Even when the disappointments of frigidness have turned us against the hope of the Holy Winds.

Warm us to your visions, God.
Kindle the spark of your dreams in our hearts.
May your presence refresh our weary spirits again.

Amen.

A Prayer of Gratitude

Divine Creator of the Universe-

Creation blossoms as your breezes build around us. The snow descends to earth, and you are there.
The flowers bloom in various hues, and you are present. The sun welcomes the daytime with warmth, and you abide with us. The leaves of browns and greens and reds and yellows find their way to earth, and your image is reflected.

In this season of gratitude, our attention is drawn to those who love us. We gather around tables lifting laughter and carrying conversations.

For filled dinner plates, we sing our praises to you. For a person or two who will never let us go, we honor your care in our lives. For the beauty of the world and the ones who care for all of creation, we give thanks.

Amen.

Wednesday Prayer – Searching for Gratitude

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God of Great Delights,

On days of bleakness, our eyes focus on the fog surrounding us instead of the warmth from your Spirit nearby.
On days of aches from the chilly climate, we search for relief from the balmy Christ in our midst.

Distractions get the best of us.
Whatever ails our bodies and minds and souls wins our attention.

We attempt to shake off any malaise as we turn onto a new road-
A path in which our senses reach for your presence.

As we see you in the light, notice you in laughter, feel you in the mild temperatures,
We turn our fields of emotions into gardens of appreciation.

In seasons of gratitude, may we express our sentiments freely.
May our hearts open to share words of encouragement and thanksgiving to you, God, and to our neighbors.

Shorten our nighttimes of despair and return the bright daylight of joy to our souls.

Amen.

All Souls Day Prayer

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God of the early morning inhales and the deep evening exhales-

We remember the souls who have gone to the other side of heaven- to your realm, where all souls, or saints as we often call them, bask in your light for all eternity. For your grace which welcomed them from near and far, and your mercy that gave them comfort upon their last breaths, we give you thanks.

We remember the souls who are here among us, dining with us at tables, sharing with us their extravagant love, quarreling with us, challenging us. Through Jesus the Christ, we work to forgive them. And while reconciliation may not happen on this side of heaven, we trust in the healing space of eternity to find everlasting peace.

We nod to the souls of the future who abide with and in the Divine energy. Through their time with God, may they carry wisdom and love into this world when their time comes to abide on this side of heaven. May their love radiate beyond the bounds of heaven to shower our earth with light and love.

Amen.

A Prayer in the Face of Manipulation

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Trigger Warning: emotional/mental abuse

As the tornadic gales of manipulation
Toss and turn my mind one way or another,
Steady God, guide me to smooth ground.

Fill my mind with peaceful pictures
As the winds of confusion swirl around me.

Allow me the time to sort my thoughts.
Escort me away from the gaslights summoning me from another direction.

May my sympathetic soul sort the winds,
as I recognize the breezes of kindness
in the midst of the tempests of feigned emotions.

Holy Spirit, Holy Air,
As I inhale your breath,
May I inhale confidence in my thoughts.
As I exhale your breath,
May I exhale confidence in my voice.

Amen.

A National “Stop Bullying Day” Prayer

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Holy Creator of Loving-Kindness,

In this moment, we know the mouths of people are tearing up the hearts of your children.
In this hour, our siblings are crying tears from the hate setting this world on fire.
Words melt hope.
Words erase progress and possibilities.
And as our friends are working to pick themselves up again, more venomous sentiments inflame their weary souls.

In this moment, may we work to build up the hearts of your children.
In this hour, may we dry the tears and build joy as we calm the flames of hate.
May we build hope in the hearts of our neighbors.
May possibilities and progress appear in the visions and dreams of our loved ones again.

For our souls are too weary to worry about what will come next.

God of love, can you awaken us to the ways we enable hate?
God of grace, can you fill us with ways that we can extend your mercy?
God of hope, can you build a healthy power in each one of us-
A power where we walk away from words, and fists, and systems of destruction?

May your loving-kindness surround us like a refreshing stream,
Cooling us from hostilities and resentments,
And reviving us for the road ahead.

Amen.

Wednesday Prayer: A Prayer for Energy

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Holy Winds of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow-

We stop on this island in the middle of this week’s seas, reflecting on the days behind us. As we turn around to head forward, we sit, wondering where this energy is – the power to complete this week with love, grace, and enthusiasm.

For all we want to do is nap on the island in the middle of this week’s seas. Such physical and mental exhaustion wipes us. Do we have enough vigor to make it to tomorrow’s land? Will we have enough stamina to work until the tasks can be completed?

We know all strength originates with you, Divine Stamina. Through your energy, we find our energy.

As we move ahead, may your Holy Air around us carry us from task to task, taking the weight off of our hearts and heads and feet. May the warm breezes comfort us when the road seems long.

And may we see you clearly in each movement in the journey.

Amen.

A Coffee Day Prayer

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Bright God of the Dawn,

For the first awakened breath we take for this day, we celebrate with you. We pull ourselves out of our slumbers to see where our adventures with you will go.

But first, coffee.

We give much gratitude for the beans that you have produced to give us an elixir of awakeness.

For the smooth (or bitter) tastes that cross our taste buds, we give you gratitude. For the many ways that we can enjoy the fruit of your creation, we give you thanks. For the second and third winds these beverages bring our way, we share our appreciation with you, Holy One.

With our mugs and recycle-able paper cups, we toast our ritual of dawn with you, God of alertness and light.

Amen.

A Prayer on the Birth of Autumn

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Holy God, Divine Crisp Breeze of Love,

As the sun breaks the horizon on this new season,
Birthing the reds, and oranges, and browns of foliage,
We bask in your Holy Glow.

Fill us with the joy of coziness that comes with throws and cocoas,
With warm mugs and vanilla-scented candles,
And with cheerful friendships and invigorating conversations.

May the crunchiness of leaves below our feet
Fill us with your peace that accompanies endings,
The hope of new life beyond the equinox,
And the illumination that will burst again beyond shadows.

May we know that even in the shortened days,
Your light extends beyond each premature sunset.

Amen.

What Is the Church? A Liturgy

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Call to Worship
One: Whether we are rich, middle class or barely getting by-
Many: We are Christ’s church.
One: Whether we have plenty or in want-
Many: We are Christ’s church.
One: Whether we are employed, unemployed or retired-
Many: We are Christ’s church.
One: Whether we give of time, talent or treasure-
Many: We are Christ’s church.
One: In a spirit of unity, caring for one another-
Many: We are Christ’s church.

Invocation
Eager and Empowering God, we come to you this morning to reflect our view on what it means to be Christ’s Church. We enter this sanctuary to examine the ways we can create sanctuary for all.  May we see one another through your eyes.  May we see your living presence in our gathering together.  Allow this time not only to be one where we worship you but one where you open us up to new ways of serving. Amen.

Prayer of Reconciliation and Reflection
Holy God, Holy Connector, 

Through your Spirit, we find your abundant love.  Through your Church, we recognize the gifts of ourselves and others.  Yet sometimes we want to focus on the weaknesses of our neighbors instead of acknowledging their strengths.  Our relationships crumble when we lack mercy.  Inspire us to encourage our neighbors.  Remind us that our voices of confidence assist our neighbors along their journey, and when one of us is stronger, the Church is stronger.  Amen.

Assurance of Grace
Our Grace-filled God, the One who dwells with us on this journey, is filling our hearts with mercy and our minds with wisdom.  We are called to focus on the grace of our journeys which will strengthen the bonds between us, God, and our neighbors.  Amen.

Reflection on Giving
The Holy Spirit prompts us to be the Church as we move about the earth.  At times, we share our talents, filling the world with our songs and art.  Other moments, we share our time, sitting with a neighbor hurting or using our hands to strengthen our building.  And then there are times when we contribute the gifts of treasures, giving financial offerings for the good of our local church and the entirety of Christ’s Church.  However you give this week, may we grow with God and neighbor.

Blessing of the Gifts
Holy Spirit, Divine Winds of the Church, you gather us together, breathing new life into our souls.  You gather us together, filling our hearts with inspiration and creativity.  You gather us together, focusing our minds on how we can care for one another.  May each of our gifts build the Body of Christ, this congregation, and our community.  Amen.

Benediction
May the winds of the Spirit carry us to new possibilities, even in the face of anxiety.
May the dust on Christ’s path strengthen our courage when the road seems rough.
May the waters of our God renew us in our times of exhaustion.
Let us Co-Create with one another and God to build the Church of Love here on earth.  Amen.

(c) 2022 Rev. Michelle L. Torigian. Permission to use and stream with attribution.