The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
Holy one, Architect of Daybreak,
who awakens us from the “mansions of the stars”
(Diane Ackerman, from poem “School Prayer”),
the celestial melody of rest still ringing in our ears;
give us daybreak;
give us early light;
give us delight at the simplicity of breath in our lungs
and heartbeat in our ribcage;
give us another day in which
our praise is heard and received.
Lift the veil between us and all that is holy here:
for “everything is holy now/Everything, everything/Everything is holy now”
(Peter Mayer, from poem “Holy Now”).
Make sacred the crescendo of late August
with book bags filled with gratitude,
lunch boxes, and anticipation;
make sacred squeaky playground swings
filled with children and nannies pushing strollers,
reminders that the churn of life remains constant change and all the while life remains cyclical, unchanged.
Enter into us, spirit of the living God,
when daybreak turns raw,
when the struggle of daily life engulfs,
when our hearts are guarded because of last
last month’s upheaval,
last week’s distress.
For the grief we carry,
for the pain in our bodies,
for the worry we bear
as loved ones make their way through impossibility,
for the ache of longing for another path.
Be with us, Light of Life.
Be with us, and move within us.
We pray, too, for the world:
for places of war and violence, near and far;
for the national divisions and the theater of politics;
for Russia and Ukraine at war seemingly without end;
for those who endure dictatorship and abuse of power;
for our oceans and global ecosystems
at risk of more than our minds can even bear.
Bear it all, O God.
Bear us up, O God.
Change our hearts and minds.
Shift us toward compassion,
for the sake of your kingdom at work in the world.
And hear us as we pray as you teach us to pray, saying…