An Old Man’s Prayer: Pastoral Prayer


oldmanpraying

Heavenly father, this past week I chuckled when I received an email newsletter for young clergy.   At first I shook my head.   I am 42 years old.   I have a daughter in high school.   I am thinking about 401ks and College funds.   I am no longer a young anything.   I have reached middle age.

At first, it was funny to think that in your church 42 may be young.   As I thought about it further, the laughter faded.  I realized it was a bit scary too.   God, I don’t want to grow old.   I don’t want any part of it. None of us, when faced with the choice would embrace the uncertainty of the future at the expense of today.

We are not ready for the changes that time brings, but God, since we have no power to stop the clock, our prayer is simple: Let our time here pass with Grace.

Be with us and show us the way.  Grant us physical, mental and spiritual health.  Give us strength to overcome the challenges laid before us.   Teach us to overcome our need for control or our own vanity. Teach us to move beyond self pity.   Teach us to always be young at heart and avoid becoming set in our ways.

Let the wisdom that comes with age, flow from our hearts to those around us. Let that wisdom flow from not only our mouths but from our example.   Let people see in us an authentic faith that speaks to the God we believe you to be. May the love of our family, friends, and church be the reward for working so hard, and struggling through so much.

There are so many things we so often take for granted. May we not ignore them today.  As we consider the truly young among us, let us find a renewed commitment to helping them grow in Grace and discernment.   Let us be faces of comfort, and let this be a place of hope for them, and not old fashioned stubbornness, hypocrisy, or irrelevance.  Let the church stand as truly the place she was meant to be.

As we offer these prayers help us to remember that our lives are blessings, that our health is a gift, and that today is filled with awesome, limitless, and unimagined potential.  Help us to meet each day with a questioning heart, searching out that new and unique thing, that we have the opportunity to introduce to this world.

Help us to remember to be kind, to work towards change, and to stay true to the people we are called to be.   When we remember all those in our church, our community, or all the circles of our lives that are sick and need healing, help us to be people present in their need.   Help us to be their hope, their strength, and their promise.   Help us to be the Jesus they need to see.

Teach us to see all the beauty of your creation, that we so often ignore, and in that beauty see both your Grace and your promise.   Together as your disciples we offer your prayer, and together we say;  Our Father….

(Pic Source: Babraindette, Flckr.com(2012)

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A Pastoral Prayer for the Uncut Lawn


Lord all to often my life, our lives, are hectic and out of control.    We rush from place to place and task to task.   Along the way, we groan and moan,…and find ourselves loosing motivation, excitement, and passion.    Today we thank you for the everyday things.

For the everyday things we offer our thanksgiving.   Lord I thank you that I have a lawn that awaits me to be cut this afternoon, and I thank you that I am of able health to do just that.    I thank you for the bills that need paying, and that I have a job that allows me to do so.      I thank you for all the aches and the pains that remind me that life is just about the running or the back and forth.   I am thankful that in them I am reminded to slow down now and again.

Even though our lives never look like the pictures in the magazines or on TV, and often our days are at times not balanced, we thank you Lord, for what we have, when so many have so little.   Even though we grumble and moan over our fate from day to day and wish our circumstances were not so modest, thank you Lord for all these most wonderful gifts.

We thank you for all our blessings large and small.   May we see your love and presence in all times no matter how great or how small. May we experience the joy of all the moments;  the joy in the everyday of yesterday, the hope of today, and the promise of tomorrow.

When life takes turns beyond our control, let these things help us through.   May they be the anchors we hold on to.  

When we are afraid, or the aches and pains are something infinitely greater ,help us to be strong.   Help us to face the uncertain times with a certainty of you.   Help us to see the moments of brokenness not as periods when you are absent, but opportunities when your presence can be most vividly and wonderfully felt, and realized.  

Be with those who face these moments without this assuredness or without this promise.   Help their families and their loved ones find strength.   Help them to see that there is hope and there is promise, even when our physical bodies fail us.   Remind them, and remind us, that there is always something that we can offer to another.  Be with those who lose sight of that promise, and can only see the darkness.

We thank you for all that we so often overlook.   Remind us, in our coming and going, and in the tackling of the ordinary and the extraordinary, that all sing of your greatest gift;  life itself.    Lord we thank you for that life, using the very prayer we were taught to offer you in all times,….  Together we pray, 

Our Father….

A Pastoral Prayer; In His Arms…


Dearest Lord,

On this day like every other, we raise before you a great many prayer requests.    Some are prayers of thanksgiving and celebration, while others are prayers of strength and comfort.    This morning our hearts are filled with both.

I remember a time that seems so long ago, when Sophie was just a tiny girl.  

Frequently the one to hurt herself in her absentmindedness, one afternoon she tripped and fell, and proceeded to break into the loudest of tears.  Despite her pleas to fix the cut or the bruise, all I could do was get down on my hands and knees and hug her close.   

The tighter I squeezed the quieter the tears became.

Heavenly father, remind us that prayer is like that. With simplicity of heart we open ourselves up to you. We allow ourselves to be gathered up into your arms and let you make the tears go away. Help us to learn to let go of ourselves and learn to trust in you. Help us learn how to WAIT in the gracious grip of you, our heavenly father.

We give our thanks for the many simple ways you have shown your love to us.    We thank you for the flowers that poke through our gardens, and the laughter of children.    We thank you for the cool spring breezes and moments of laziness.  We give thanks for the smell of freshly cut grass after a long winter.  

Help us to not rush past these things.   Help us to slow down and enjoy them.

We give our thanks for those things that have changed our lives for the better.   We thank you for the love of friends, family, and children.    We thank you for the gift of the church and all her ministries.    We thank you for the family that is born through the bonds shared within our sanctuaries.

We also raise our prayers for the hurts and the challenges in our lives and for our family members and neighbors who struggle with the stresses and challenges of life, and turn the wrong way, in hopes of finding a way out.   We pray for those whom we love, who through age, accident or sickness are seeing their bodies fail them.    

Let us turn everything we have…both the good and the bad back to you.   Help us to see your willingness to carry our burdens and to ease our pain.   Help us to see the moments of joy as reminders of who you are.    Let everything we have and all that we are be committed to showing your Glory.   Let us be reminded to live a life of those called apart.  

May our word and our action be our testimony to one another, our families, and this community.

All these prayers are the cries of our heart, given up to a Lord who listens and a Lord who responds.   In your name, and with hearts that patiently await your answer; we pray.  

Amen.

 

 

(Pic: Drety, Flickr.com, CCL 2012)

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