The Thought of You

God our heavenly Father,
when the thought of you
wakes in our hearts,
let its awakening
not be like a startled bird
that flies about in fear.
Instead, let it be like a child
waking from sleep
with a heavenly smile.

– Søren Kierkegaard

A Prayer for Generosity

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.

-St. Ignatius of Loyola

A Prayer for Wisdom

When we find ourselves in a new place with new people, wondering exactly how to make a new life that will honor You, we pray …

God Give Us Wisdom

When we are surrounded by more opportunities to worship, serve, learn, work and socialize than we could possibly take advantage of, we pray…

God Give Us Wisdom

When we are struggling to make choices that preserve our integrity and protect your reputation, we pray…

God Give Us Wisdom

When we are confused by questions, unsettled by doubt, and frightened by the unfamiliar, we pray…

God Give Us Wisdom

When we think we have figured everything out and begin to rely on ourselves as opposed to the power of your Spirit, we pray…

God Give Us Wisdom

When we are certain that we know who we are and what you want for us, but have neglected to spend time with you or listen for your guidance, we pray…

God Give Us Wisdom

When we are tempted to abandon our pursuit of you for the promise of popularity or pleasure, we pray …

God Give Us Wisdom

When discerning how you live in a way that delights you and draws others to your saving grace, we pray …

God Give Us Wisdom

 Amen.

– April Robinson, for Opening Convocation, 2010-2014

A Prayer for the Beginning of School

Heavenly Father,

We honor you today as the source of our lives, our dreams, and our hopes.
We give you today our hurts, our fears, and failures.

We ask you today for your forgiveness, your grace, and your strength,
as we begin a new semester
as we teach classes, grade tests and papers, or write and conduct research
as we cut the grass, clean the hallways, dig trenches, or serve food
as we manage money, or technology, or logistics, or people

May we do everything, whether in word or in deed, in the name of Christ
heartily, as unto the Lord
faithfully, with sound mind and with discipline
humbly, considering others more important than ourselves
reasonably, with sober judgment

May we love one another with affection and outdo one another in showing honor
to faculty
to staff
to students
to administrators

That we might be one in Christ,
In whose strong name we pray, Amen.

-written for Faculty/Staff Worship
Samford University, August 19, 2014

Set Us Free

Heavenly Father,

Set us free from the desire to make much of ourselves,
from the constant temptation to build a résumé
in order to find meaning in accomplishment instead of faith.

Set us free from the allure of religion,
from the self-aggrandizement of good deeds that builds confidence
in ourselves instead of You.

Set us free from ourselves
so that we might become like you by dying to ourselves,
and in so doing, find resurrection to true life.

In the name of the One who died so that we might live. Amen.

– A Prayer for the GAP Sunday School class
Shades Mountain Baptist, August 17, 2014

A Prayer for the Ordinary

Heavenly Father, we honor you today with our lives,
our often ordinary lives.

Grant us the contentment to grow where we are planted
to receive everything that you send as necessary
to believe that nothing you withhold is necessary.

Grant us the ambition to lead quiet lives
to mind our own business
to work with our hands.

Grant us the vision to find the sacred in the mundane
to do work that matters
to choose friends who follow you and challenge us.

We ask this in the name of Christ,
who sowed the seed of the Good News
so that we might find meaning and purpose
in our often ordinary lives. Amen.

– for the GAP Sunday School Class,
Shades Mountain Baptist, August 10, 2014

Save Us from False Ambition

God, I am just too busy. Too many people, too many questions, too much to do. We confess we stay busy because we fear acknowledging our emptiness. How amid this busyness do we rest? How do we worship you? Please create space, which may be other people, to make time, our time, to serve you. Force us to rest through the activity of prayer so that all our loves and fears might be made perfect in you. Help us see how such busy service, if it is service, may be just the rest we need-just the worship we need. Finally, and most importantly, save us from false ambition.  Amen.

– Stanley Hauerwas, from Prayers Plainly Spoken

A Franciscan Blessing

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may wish for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

– From Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

Lord Deliver Me

Lord deliver me from me
Lord deliver me to you

Lord deliver me from the desire to be noticed, loved, exalted
Lord deliver me from the desire to be favored, popular chosen or acknowledged
Lord deliver me from the fear of being wrong, forgotten or ignored
Lord deliver me from the fear of being humiliated or left behind

Lord deliver me from me
Lord deliver me to You

Grant that I may seek to comfort rather than be comforted by others
Grant that I may understand and love more than be understood and loved well
Lord deliver me from the desire to be noticed and encouraged
Lord deliver me from the desire to be appreciated and included

Lord deliver me from me
Lord deliver me to you

– Sarah Beth Geoghagan, from her album “Tired of Singing Sad Songs”

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