Collective Prayers and Benedictions

The prayers and benedictions collected here, were originally written by Brandon for specific liturgies, but are often recycled when they fit a particular week.

Benedictions:

Benediction: Empathy 

May we have ears to hear + eyes to see the human
beings that live on the other side of our beliefs.

May our hearts be soft to the pain of others

     even if we don't understand it. 

May we feel what they feel + sit with them

     in the place of raw feeling. 

May our shared humanity be a bridge of empathy
leading to understanding + love. And,

May we together imagine a new world where
there is MORE love + empathy + connection + life
and LESS rage + mean words + nastiness + disrespect + violence + broken bodies lying in the streets. Amen.

Benediction: Scripts:

May God free us from the ways we are bound to scripts that blind us from seeing dignity in those around us. 

May we find the courage to look up and step out of line

May the presence and grace of Jesus rush into our houses and remind us of who we truly are. 

May our hearts overflow with the generous love God and be moved to care for the poor, and 

May we take responsibility for the ways we’ve broken our world with open hands to receive our part set it right.

Benediction: Ocean of Love

God, you are an infinite ocean of Love + Peace unmoved by the stones humans cast about in their hubris. As we bray and stamp about you calmly hold the universe together.

May we know your tranquil ocean of love this week as we are assaulted both by our fears and by the real injustices present in our world. 

May we sound out the depths of your infinite peace, finding calm amidst the noise of our hearts and the clambering of angry men. And... 

May the relentless tide of your love wear away every sharp edge of fear and hate, in our hearts and in the world around us, until only hopeful endurance and fierce love remain.

Benediction: Courage

Christ Jesus, creator, substance and sustainer of all life, generously poor out your peace on your people. Help us to move from hostility toward you and our neighbors, toward love, grace, and peace. Give us the courage to join you in your work of rescuing and restoring the world, even when it means joining you in your suffering and bring your church to full maturity.

Benediction: Love and Holy Action

Let us love one another.
In the presence of wolves

    In the presence of need and fear

    In the presence of divisive politics

    In the presence of injustice and struggle

    In the presence of change and doubt

Let us love one another. 

May our love become holy action.

    Intentions transformed into solidarity

    Words growing to full activism
Privilege paid forward + disadvantage shared.
Diverse bodies sharing meals + dreams

Let us love one another with Holy action. Amen.

Benediction: for Christmas

May our hearts be full of room, 

    for this Prince of Peace,
who is God with us.

May His unwavering love draw us deeper
and fuller into this life we have been given
and light our path as we continue walk in this ways. 

Benediction: A Prayer about Showing Up.

Loving God

Give me the courage to show up today 

- To see the face + humanity of those I encounter.

- To attend to my tasks, formal + universal. 

- To receive the universe of grace + beauty around. 

- To remain grounded in love, present + peaceful.

Help me keep the space between the presenting chaos  

              and my growing knowledge of who I am.  

Remind me to bring life with my power, 

                                               my voice,

                                           + my permission. 

Keep my thoughtful engagement rooted in grace + peace.

I am grateful for your enduring presence + love,

Amen.

Benediction: for Perservance

Perseverant God, Through countless ages,
You have persisted in love

Casting your kingdom seeds through the words of our fathers and mothers, poets and prophets.

Even when we nailed your son to the tree of our sins and cast him out of your garden, you did not give up on us.
You continued to persevere in loving us and outlasted our hardness and stubborn hearts.  

May we too have the perseverance to keep going.

To keep loving. To keep sowing peace.

Let our persistence outlast the birds and rocks and hardened soil, until life breaks through

May we never give up -
dedicating our strength to others
as you so dedicated your strength toward us.

And let us persist in grace + peace + love,
until these virtues flourish in abundance. Amen.

Benediction: Spirit of Christ Upon Us

"Spirit of Christ, be upon your body

     anointed us to bring good news to the poor.

  Use our lives us to set free those who are captive to fear,
      to circumstance, and to oppression,  

Restore sight to those blinded by malady
       and to those blinded by fear and ideology. 

Grant us wisdom and strength fight for the oppressed 

       until they are all free and flourishing and
      the whole world experiences justice and favor. Amen.

Benediction Sixty-Six:

(*Inspired by Galatians 6, Isaiah 66, and Psalm 66)

Come now and see the works of God,
    how wonderful she is in her doing toward all people.

Her eyes keep watch over all the nations, 

    as a mother comforting her children

Come and join her in this universe of care, 

     Lifting one-another’s burdens 

Opening our hearts to the burdens of all our neighbors, 

      across the street and around the world. 

Come let us carry the burden of love together,

     For she who holds our life, will keep our feet secure.  Amen.

Confession:

We Confess Together

(inspired by Luke 18)

God, be merciful to us, sinners.

Together, as a species, we confess the pain and suffering we have caused each other in our human experiences. 

We confess that we have pointed our fingers at each other and even at you, rather than opening our hand and receiving our responsible share. 

We confess that our hands have shaped and ordered the world as it is - and the fruits of our labors betray our unjust hearts, no matter how innocent and good our intentions. 

God, be merciful to us, sinners.

We confess that:

 Our hands have fed some, and not others.

 Our hands have healed some, and hurt others.

 Our hands have pulled triggers, dropped bombs, drew swords, made fists, and choked life from the face of Your good earth. 

God, be merciful to us, sinners.

We confess that, with unrestrained appetite, we have devoured your planets resources without gratitude, gorging ourselves on our brothers share  while locking our doors and our hearts to keep our treasure horde safe.

We confess that we love walls and gates and all the lines in the sand that allows us to feel like we are inside and the evil is out. 

God, be merciful to us, sinners.

We confess we have pointed out the “sinners” while ignoring the system. 

   A system rigged to have winners + losers. 

   A system designed to care for some but never all

And we confess that we were not sorry that we benefited from this corrupt system, but our sorrow arose from our fear when our benefits were threatened. 

May we beat our breasts and see our many sins.

God, be merciful to us. Amen.

A PRAYER OF CONFESSION - FOR WHITE CHRISTIANS

Most Merciful God.

We confess our great sins before you.

What great atrocity have we not committed and benefitted from in the founding of our great nation.

What great sins have we tolerated and allowed in the forming of our great churches

How great the arrogant words, attributed to you, that we shout from our great platforms of condescension.

How great our lack of love for those we fear + those who need.  How great the number of our own whom we have greatly wounded. 

We humbly confess and repent.

May You in Your loving kindness so greatly transform our hearts that we may be saved from our pride and fear in order to live lives of great love, with gratitude and generosity.

Amen.

A prayer of Remembering + Repenting.

Our God you so love the whole world, 

You refused to hurt those who hurt you, to insult those who insulted you.

You forbid favoritism

You judge religions + empires on how they treat the less powerful - historically women, orphans, poor +  foreigners,  presently also LGBTQ, racial minorities, and refugees -

You call those who claim to be your people into account first.

You strongly demand that we be careful about who and what we attach Your name to, and you made it clear that you do not belong to one tribe or ideology or team.

You call us to show our devotion to you by loving our neighbors + enemies with our hands and feet and ears and mouths and our coats and food and health care too.

You challenge us to renounce our petty hates and fears and to cling to love and hope and resurrection.

You invite us to love our “others”  first as we have first been loved. 

You have time and again shown up in strangers and in the least of these, and you call us to treat each soul as if they were You.

You value love over accuracy + hospitality over theology.

You lifted up the lowly and humbled the boastful.

You asked those who have ears and eyes to HEAR and to SEE, and then…

You invited us to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

We remember, and We repent.

We remember the LOVE you have demonstrated for us.
A love that changed our lives + that we didn't earn. 

We Repent both of our personal actions + words + partisanship and also of the inconsistent + hypocritical ways WE, Christians, have failed to demonstrate such a noble God in a noble and beautiful way. 

May your LOVE save us from all the ways we are blind and lost while thinking we are found.

May our hearts so expand that we join You in so loving the whole world.

Seasonal Prayers:

A Prayer for Easter:

O Murdered and Resurrected God

You arrived unwanted in a world you created.

Our hearts were set on a different God,
and You were a disappointment.

In our thirst for retribution, We didn't recognize your beauty.

We preferred you angry, smiting our enemies
and letting us win at our little games.

Your presence and teaching and life interrupted our status quo and shook the foundations of our Babels

Rather than the shedding the blood of our enemies,
you reminded us of the blood of all our Abels.

So we murdered you and we buried you in a tomb.

We expected you to stay buried with our other victims,
your blood forgotten under a fancy monument.
But again you interrupted. 

Your resurrection opened our eyes to the evils and horrors we blindly participate in

Your blood called out from your resurrected mouth,
speaking not revenge, but forgiveness and peace.

Your vengeance is Peace. Your wrath is love.

Transfigure and resurrect us too, that we might arise from our tombs of fear and violence, joining you in life, peace and love.

A Prayer for Veteran's Day: 

Almighty God, we recognize those who have stood in harms way, many laying down their lives, in order to secure and protect those they loved most. 

- Their courage inspires us all with a powerful image of the quality of valor of which humans are uniquely capable.

- Their sacrifice reminds us of the tragically high cost of war and why we must continue to cry out for peace on earth.

- May the day come soon when the world's best and brightest no longer are called to stand in such difficult and deadly trials 

- May the day come soon when the blood of the world's youth would no longer be spilled on the battle grounds of nations. Amen.