an advent prayer

God of promise,
Make us ready for Your coming.
Help us to quiet moments of contemplation.
Help us to see awesome beauty in one another’s eyes.
Help us to hear and resound to the cries of the poor and the oppressed.
Help us to breathe in the wonders of nature.
Help us to walk along that path that leads to You.

Help us to know the only truth that will save us.

Help us to serve You until that day.
When we meet face to face.
Help us to grow closer to You with each passing day and to love you.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Amen.

-Carmen L. Caltagirone

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save us

O Spirit of Jesus, we need Thee.  Every morning, noon, and night we need Thee.  To change this world out of its wretchedness into Thy gladness we need Thee.  Oh, come with Thy great power.  It was to the great hearts, t0 the world-minded, that Thou didst promise Thy presence; “Go ye into all the world,” Thou didst say, “and lo, I am with you always.”  Save us from ourselves, from our narrow nationalism, from mere sectarianism; save us for Thy kingdom.  Save us for the world-wide brotherhood.  Save us for Thyself.  Save us to be stewards of Thy grace.

Amen.

-Ralph Cushman, Pocket Prayer Book, 1941

dinner guest

Be present at our table, Lord!
Be here and everywhere adored.
Your mercies bless, and grant that we
May feast in fellowship with Thee.

one family

O God, who hast made of one blood all nations of men, mercifully receive the prayer that we offer for our anxious and troubled world.

Send Thy light into our darkness and guide the nations as one family into the ways of peace.  Take away all prejudice and hatred and fear.  Strengthen in us day by day the will to understand.

And to those who by their counsels lead the people of the earth, grant a right judgement, that so through them and us Thy will be done through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.”

-Ralph Cushman, Pocket Prayer Book, 1941

for cheerfulness this day

O God, who hast folded back the mantle of the night to clothe us in the golden glory of the day,

chase from our hearts all gloomy thoughts,

and make us glad with the brightness of hope,

that we may effectively aspire to unwon virtues, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

-An Ancient Collect, A.D. 590

…for we are very deaf

Lord, we confess our day to day failure to be truly human.

Lord, we confess to you.

Lord, we confess that we often fail to love with all we have and are,
often because we do do not fully understand what loving means,
often because we are afraid of risking ourselves.

Lord, we confess to you.

Lord, we cut ourselves off from each other and we erect barriers of division.

Lord, we confess to you.

Lord, we confess by silence and ill-considered word

We have built up walls of prejudice.

Lord, we confess that by selfishness and lack of sympathy
we have stiffeled generosity and left little time for others.

Holy Spirit speak to us.
Help us listen to your word of forgiveness,
for we are very deaf.

Come, fill this moment, and free us from sin.

 

-Methodist Hymnal ‘Prayer of Confession and Pardon’ #893

forgive me

Forgive me, most gracious Lord and Father, if this day I have done or said anything to increase the pain of the world.  Pardon the unkind word, the impatient gesture, the hard and selfish deed, the faiture to show sympathy and kindly help where I have had the opportunity but missed it; and enable me so to live that I may daily do something to lessen the tide of human sorrow, and to add to the sum of human happiness; through Him who died for us and rose again, Thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ,

Amen.

-Ralph Cushman, Pocket Prayer Book, 1941

Christ’s Cross

Christ’s Cross over this face, and thus over my ear.  Christ’s Cross over these eyes…this mouth…this throat…the back of this head…this side…to accompany before me…to accompany behind me…Christ’s Cross to meet every difficulty both on hollow and on hill…Christ’s Cross over my community. Christ’s Cross over my church.  Christ’s Cross in the next word.  Christ’s Cross in this world.

-10th Century Celtic Prayer (Micha Boyett, Found)

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

-Katharina A. von Schlegel: hymn, Be Still, My Soul