Prayers and Blessings
Gracious God, at my beginning, you breathed into me the breath of life, so that I would become a living soul. I offer you my thanks for continuing to sustain me, day by day, with that breath of life. Help me remember how precious a gift it is, and give me an awareness and attentiveness to my breath throughout the day. Keep me from being so distracted with life's activities that I forget the one activity that makes all the others possible. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.
Awareness of Others Suffering
Gracious God, all around me people are suffering. When I turn away from my own problems, I feel sorrow for the problems of others. Through the news, the media, and my conversations, I am daily confronted with the pain and suffering of so many innocent people in my life and in the world. Suffering seems to eagerly eat at the edges of life until people are worn down with sadness and despair. Even though I do not understand the reasons for suffering, I believe that you are a God of love, a God of compassion. I pray that you will be with all those this day that are in pain, who suffer silently and alone, who feel abandoned and left by the side of life’s road. Wrap your arms of grace around them, until they know they are safely held in your embrace. And, I pray, that you will fill my heart with the same compassion, and give me eyes to see how I can lovingly be a part of their healing. I ask this for the sake of your great love. Amen.
Awareness in Marriage
Gracious God, thank you for placing me in a relationship of love and the sharing of life. Fill me with a sense of awe and gratitude that my spouse and I have the opportunity to give love to each other and receive love from each other. When we find love challenging because our personal desires become a wedge between us, or troubles seem to slice us apart, help us always find in each others eyes and arms the balm that soothes the ragged edges that have left us hurting. And always, may the love we share be a witness to others of your love that is boundless, unconditional and eternal. Amen.
Awareness of Self
Gracious God, I ask you to plant a seed of stillness in my soul. Everything in my life moves ever more quickly, and I am continually expected to fit more things into time that is already brimful with activity. Even when I have moments that require nothing of me, my mind races and I seem unable to locate a switch to turn it off. Give me, each day, the desire and capacity to breathe in the wonder of air, to envision a still lake on a windless dawn, to drop deep into the well of my own being and find there the peace of your presence. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.
Awareness at the Computer
Gracious God, even in the wondrous tangle of wires and connections, you make yourself known. May my computer be more than a machine of information and become an altar on which I am able to offer my thanks for the abundance of gifts in this richly textured world. As I scan through images, as I learn and explore, as I create and produce, bring my soul to the awareness that I am not alone in this vast world of human energy. Fill me with that energy and give me a heart of gratitude. Amen.
Awareness of Anger
Gracious God, sometimes anger seems so near to the surface of my life. An unwelcome word, the remembrance of a past hurt, a disappointment I had not expected can make my emotions swirl with the force of a small cyclone. Sometimes my heart feels hot, my nerves feel edgy, my mind feels like lit dynamite. And sometimes, I just turn silent, go inward, cut myself off from anything and anyone that could ease the throbbing inside. I hold on to my anger, as if to let it go would render the reason for my anger meaningless. I pray that your great love will burn away my anger and leave me settled in the cool breeze of your presence. Help me let go, not only of the anger, but of what made me angry in the first place. Let me breathe deep the wonder and peace of love. Amen.
Awareness of Those Who are Alone
Gracious God, so many of your children are alone in this world. They face each day and night with the aching knowledge that they have no one else, and wonder if anyone will remember them after they're gone. I pray that your great love will comfort the hearts of those with no helper, no advocate. Assure them of their worth and fill them with the peace that only you can give. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.
Awareness of Those Who are Different from Me
Gracious God, it's sometimes hard for me to understand or accept or love those who are different from me. I find myself wanting to change them so that they fit my accepted patterns. I know that the difference between us need not separate us, but my lack of understanding makes me want to stay within the safety of my own perceptions rather than embrace what seems foreign. Give me curiosity of mind so that I am open to the perspectives that others can offer me. Help me see the similarities that bind us together. Give me the courage to freely enter their experience in order to find you in a surprising new way. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.
Gracious God, in the busyness of my day, I sometimes forget to stop to thank You for all that is good in my life. My blessings are many and my heart is filled with gratefulness for the gift of living, for the ability to love and be loved, for the opportunity to see the everyday wonders of creation, for sleep and water, for a mind that thinks and a body that feels. I thank you, too, for those things in my life that are less than I would hope them to be. Things that seem challenging, unfair, or difficult. When my heart feels stretched and empty and pools of tears form in my weary eyes, still I rejoice that you are as near to me as my next breath and that in the midst of turbulence, I am growing and learning. In the silence of my soul, I thank you most of all for your unconditional and eternal love. Amen.
Gracious God, I feel such joy in my heart this day. Somehow the sun seems brighter, the air clearer, the colors more alive. It is as if the shadows that have kept me in the forgotten places of life have been swept away. I pray that your grace will protect my joy so that I taste and smell it with full attention. When the mighty feelings begin to wane, I pray that joy’s scent will remain, so that no darkness will ever be so black that I cease to believe in the light. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.
Gracious God, at times my days run together into weeks, into months, into years without any conscious thought on my part. Then, suddenly, I come to myself in the space of a moment and realize how unaware and without purpose I have been. Yet, when I try to define my purpose, it seems strangely elusive. What did you have in mind when you breathed the breath of life into me? I ask that you will give me clarity of purpose; that you will reveal to me my own reason for existence; that you will give me the sure and certain assurance that even when I have lost track of myself and my life, your purpose, though unknown to me or forgotten by me, is still being lived out through me. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.