The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

O Shelter and Shield, O Shepherd and Guide, your word is a lamp to our feet, your love, a light to our path.

Be with us here.

As the night watch resolves, and day break brings a return to community and friendship, we come to this wide open place, so that we might consider and reflect on your nearness. So that we might give you thanks.

We trust you, forever, Lord. All generations have delighted in your presence, and in every age, we have sought your insight and knowledge. We need your kindness. We know you delight in our prayer. So hear us, O God. Hear our song of prayer, and be for us a word of truth.

We give you thanks for the steady rain, for the bring morning sun, for the droplets still clinging to the tree leaves.

We give you thanks for the sweet dissolve of tension, for the places in our lives where pressure and distress has lifted. We give you thanks for the sparkle of summer, where renewal takes place.

As we live somewhere between permanence and transience, we ask that you receive us, homebody and traveler, on our great sojourn through this life. Be with those we love, O God, especially those who whisper the truth of their suffering, a muffled but honest reflection on pain.

Be with those for whom these lengthened days mean more lonesome hours, and those who cannot cross the ocean of distance to be with those they love.

Be with those who try to outrun sorrow by distraction or detachment, and those who try to give the impression that all is well, when it is not.

Be with us and those we love, O God, especially those who near the end of this full and marvelous life, the ones we celebrate and grieve in the same breath, whose love touches us even now, from the distance of time.

Be with those we love, O God, in every corner of your kingdom, for our love is knit together by your love, and your love expands in every direction, teaching us to love the stranger, the sojourner, the one unknown to us.

Be, God, in every relationship, in every place of power, in every decision, in every place where there is room for more peace, more justice, more understanding, more compassion, more truth, more love.

May it be so, in every way.

Walk with us on the trail of life, O God, be with us. Amen.

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