The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
God you are both hidden and revealed, alive within us. Let your spirit rise up, every breath a prayer. It is that simple: the rise and fall of our bodies, every breath a sign that your spirit draws near.
Even as you are inaccessible, incomprehensible, unnamable, invisible, we ask for a tangible measure of your grace: we are awake to your presence when we experience the delight of falling leaves, each color as breathtaking as the last; or the possibility of joy in our week, every unfolding daily schedule bringing us close to stranger and friend alike; or starlight conversations just after dusk, full of encouraging voices of the ones we love, and the saints of light just beyond the veil. Be our deepest longing. Be our buoy amid the storm. Let our very lives be a kind of prayer: always tuned toward you.
We carry to you the worries and deep ache of our hearts: we pray for those we love, especially those going through myriad hardship. Bind us together, strength for the journey, and let your healing be made known in living room and hospital alike. Be with the nurses and doctors, the wise ones who forge a path forward. Even when death draws near, do not let us be people who lose hope, but instead let us lean on your understanding, your mercy, your eternal song. Be and abide with us O God.
We pray too for the world beyond our own intimate lives, for the places in the world that have been turned upside-down by disaster and injustice. We continue to hold in prayer those who have endured hurricane and flood in Florida and Puerto Rico. We pray for those in Somalia plagued by drought and famine. We pray for the people of Russia and Ukraine, caught in the constant cycles of war, violence, and suffering. Let there be a way through. In all thee places, we pray for caregivers trying to feed children amid hardship, and for families caring for the injured, ill and infirm. We name the troubles of the world in this sanctuary, trusting that you will rise up in our midst, and that the power of your peace in this world is possible even amid the world’s impossibilities. Help us to see beyond the differences that separate us and free us to collaborate on solutions that unite and make real change.
Hear us O God. Shift in us. Change us. Mold us. Prepare us. Make your way within us. And hear us as we pray: Our Father….Amen.