This language of this prayer draws on the first three sections of the last chapter in John O’Donohue’s book “To Bless the Space Between Us,” which we are using in our summer worship series.
Holy God, deep kindness, compassionate goodness, you dwell within and among us and in unexpected places. As we make summer journeys to the water’s edge, “the diffusions of light and color that glisten on the surface” bring “warmth and imagination to the landscape around us.” The beauty of the world reminds us of your presence, your generosity, your patience, and speaks to the deep longings of our soul. Let your grace resonate in our hearts, “casting a new light,” with “depth of color” able to illuminate “what is complex, and rich in difference.”
We approach you expectantly with our “roster of longings,” knowing you are the threshold where blessing comes alive, the place where beauty dwells.
So Holy One, bless us with your “unending feast of vision,” a vision “clothed in a rainbow of diverse colors,” and experiences. Throw the doors of our hearts and minds open wide with welcome for our new members and for all people.
Keep us from being distracted by the world, that is, in order that we might imagine the world as you do, “every stone, bush, raindrop, star, and mountain” a part of an “invisible communion with you, with all creation.” Reveal yourself to us in “fecund nearness” and “enigmatic distance”.
When the news is unrelenting, the notifications and pings unending and loud around us, open our hearts with care and compassion. Bless world leaders with wisdom, truth, and integrity in the midst of conflict and challenge. When the abysses of war and violence open, draw us nearer together, nearer to you. Show us the paths of peace.
Where there is a “gnawing emptiness,” where there is loneliness, where there is deep grief, or the feared diagnosis, strengthen us with your grace and open new possibilities. Bless especially the most vulnerable in the human family: children, those who live on the edges, the poor, those who are ill in body, mind, or spirit. Knowing you desire the flourishing of all people, we trust them to your care and recommit ourselves to love our neighbors.
Where there is weariness with work, the heavy labor of caregiving, or the repetitiveness of mundane chores, “coax our hearts to gratitude” for the small beauties around us. “Refresh us with inner vision.” Make each new day a “path of wonder,” an invitation to live with “the preciousness of time.”
You meet us, O God, in the depths, on the frontier, by the shoreline, in the unknown. Be our threshold of hope. Return us to the home we have in you, that we might joyfully proclaim all that you have done through Jesus who teaches us to pray…Our Father…. Amen.