Be With Us

God of those who still have to go to work

Be with us

God of all of those who can’t work

Be with us God of those with preexisting conditions

Be with us

God of those who can’t be vaxed/boosted yet

Be with us

God of those who are hanging on by a thread

Be with us, All we pray

Amen

Feel free to share/use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

End the Plague Prayer

Pharaoh thought
the plagues
were the problem

He wouldn’t love those at risk
Plagues resurged

He’d yell & scream about the plagues
Until his own son died

But really God
You knew
The hardened-heart of the matter

Selah

Melt our hearts

So we can end the plagues
We pray
Amen

In the Shadow: A Prayer in Memory of Desmond Tutu and bell hooks

God,

I want to write a great prayer

in memory of the Black excellence of Desmond Tutu and bell hooks.

Something that shows their fierce dedication to freedom and compassion.

But all I can picture is Desmond laughing in heaven,

overjoyed by every person he meets

And bell hooks, finding new womanist, queer, feminist aspects we didn’t know yet!

The Rosa Parks and Toni Morrisons who didn’t make the history books

making notes and translating it to us in a language we can feel in our souls!

God, I keep reflecting on how much of Tutu and hooks’ theology

is part and parcel of my everyday theology

“find why the babies are in the river”

“Love is an action never silly a feeling”

“if you are neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor”

“queer is the self which is constantly at odds with everything else”

I am fluent in the love of bell hooks and Desmond Tutu, without ever having met either one of them, or even having heard them speak.

It was mostly informal–through osmosis, their love broke through!

Here I am– standing in the shadow of Black beauty and knowledge

Thanks to them.

Thank you for the gift of their lives God. Thank you for their work, their bravery,

their love,

their imperfections, their power

and most of all their willingness to teach us all.

Thank you God.

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Images From: https://assets.vogue.com/photos/61ba2fdf8dfa948c34e8914c/4:3/w_4159,h_3119,c_limit/GettyImages-1178375349.jpg

and

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/imageserver/image/%2Fmethode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fbb16d142-6666-11ec-98df-0bb0132add1b.jpg?crop=4324%2C2883%2C30%2C20

Countdown to the End of the Year, A Prayer

Ok God,

I don’t know when you have ever,

ever

Asked for our resume,

or our qualifications

(In fact you call us no matter what)

Nor do you ask us to make an accounting

of our year’s end accomplishments and goals

**

Instead I picture you.

Sitting down with us, at the end of the year–

Like a good friend does at the end of the day.

Allowing us to reflect

on the good and the bad and the ugly.

***

And you don’t mind if the language is crass , or the tears start to flow,

**

…Or sometimes we feel like we have nothing at all worth saying.

***

We humans like to mark time, because that’s how we are made.

And you like to sit and mark it with us, because you God, understand.

Our obsessions with days and weeks and hours and cups of coffee.

***

So God, when I start counting,

You remind me that I can’t count the stars,

and our blessings outnumber those–

and you remind us that every single person,

is beloved and no one is forgotten.

**

Neither is our small joys and accomplishments.

**

Everything Counts,

And we don’t need to.

Only you God, can make both true.

Thank you God,

for keeping track of the important stuff,

and letting the other stuff Go

And sitting with me, as I take stock.

Amen.

Please feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

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Blessings for a Gentle Holiday (full text)

Blessings for a Gentle Holiday

May you have a gentle Holiday

Full of kindness, and understanding

and moments of warmth and coziness.

May you have a holiday with enough space and time

to be alone or together

to weep or sigh

to remember…

***

May your holiday give you the kind of rest you need

with reading or physical activity or doing nothing

or to do the crafting or peopling or not peopling

or sleeping or creating or not knowing

or caring…

whatever it is that you need to do,

or not!

***

May you have a gentle holiday

with the permission you need to not have to be “Merry”

but to be your full authentic self,

and to be kind to yourself, your boundaries, and those you love.

This is both my blessing and my prayer for you this season.

Amen.

Tapped Out

I’m so tapped out of prayers.

I’ve been writing them for almost two years…

words have been ripped from my soul.

I’ve learned and yearned and earned

and still I find myself turning to God.

Anguished.

I think in my heart of hearts

that if I say the right words

everything will be fixed.

When instead, God….

you know.

You know God,

The right prayers do the opposite.

Cutting open the wounds,

Allowing myself to emotionally

throw up for the entire world to see…

and ironically

that helps

So here I am.

Stubbornly

Being Sick on the Page one more time.

Saying WHY GOD

WHY THE HELL WON’T WE DO THE THINGS WE NEED TO DO

to Bring a PANDEMIC to AN END.

Never in my life will I EVER use the expression

“Avoid it like the Plague”

Never will I take supply chains for granted.

And I look forward to being

a weird old lady

with tales of school from home,

when the church FINALLY got tech

after me a young-in pleaded for years with it,

Shutdowns, BLM, masks, baking

and that time when

we all learned to appreciate

science and vaccinations

(and hopefully redesigned how we

allocated ALL the national budget)

So here we are God,

just you

and me

and the world,

and a prayer

Trying to fix things.

I’m not going to stop.

Let’s go.

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

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What is Sacred, Christmas Prayer

No photo description available.

God I approach this Christmas season

with some trepidation,

and a lot of fear and trembling.

Because I don’t know if I really

understood before,

what was really sacred,

before now.

All the pomp and circumstance of Christmas

lies by the wayside now, like crumpled wrapping paper.

After all, we are not here to impress anybody.

What is left, is the Christ Candle,

burning the conviction into our hearts,

that life is sacred,

precisely because it is all so

unique and beautiful and brief.

The fact that a young girl, a shepherd and a magi

could each magnify God

in their own,

and yet important way

makes me want to cry

silent tears

at the magnitude of the meaning of Christmas

So here we are…

Fill us up,

with what Christmas

means for each of this year

Reminding us

that God sent a baby

in a manger

for each and every one of us

and God values us–

enough to send

babies and angels

and teachers and doctors and nurses

and vaccines and masks

and phone calls and cards

and candles and stars

and every other symbol that we need to remind us

that we are beloved.

And that we are here to fill the world with love

any way we can,

because that is the Christmas miracle

turning emptiness into something else.

Let us Go, and be comforted by the Love of God.

May God Bless you

and Keep you

in Belovedness–

wrapped in the miracle

that God is here.

Amen.

Always, forever,

God is even now. Here.

Alleluia.

Amen.

Feel free to use/share/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

More Advent/Christmas Resource

Comfort My People, A Prayer for Celebrating Christmas This Year

We don’t know how we are going to get through this season,

They sat through my office and said,

And their pain sat visceral in the room.

And I nodded along and prayed that they could find places

where their grief could be invited along with them and given a place at the table.

God, this is a prayer that Christmas can be more of a season of comfort

for those who need it.

I sat in the cards shop the other day,

and could not find one card

that expressed the comfort that I wanted to say during this season

of pandemic-Christmas tide. And I think, God

of what it exactly it was that the shepherds,

and the (actually unnumbered) Magi

and John the Baptist and Mary were looking for on that dark night.

The tidings were Good News of Great Joy yes,

but also, I think, it was comfort that they hungered for

Wasn’t that the fulfillment proclaimed in the Magnificat?

Wasn’t that the first title given to Jesus in Isaiah?

Not mighty* or everlasting father! No!

The first thing named for the Savior to come Counselor! Comforter, and a Wonderful one at that.

Because Lord knows this advent we are black with mourning and grief.

There is no comfort candle on the advent wreath (at least not traditionally)

But that’s who you are, Holy Spirit, Comforter.

And Lord knows we need comfort!

God, may we let this season be one not just of Joy or Hope–

if we aren’t feeling those things, let that be ok.

Help us to make this, for those who need it,

be a season of Comfort.

Help us to create a Season of Comfort, for the lonely, the lost, the grieving, I pray.

Comfort your people. Please God, because you know, we sure do need it.

And maybe next year, we will add a comfort candle to the wreath–

Til then, comfort your people we pray.

Amen.

Feel Free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Thanks to @byAndriaIrwin for the inspirational tweet

*note that the Hebrew word for this actually translates as God of many mounds, which means God of many worships spots (powerful/accessible) and God of many breasts/nourishing places. We have later shorthanded it as mighty.

An Advent Prayer for the World Weary

Here’s a Prayer

for anyone who is going into Advent Tired

Weary of almost two years of

pandemicking

Two years of pastoring or preaching or caring or writing prayers for people

who are ill, or caretaking,

or trying to find a bed in the hospital, or a spot for surgery.

Here’s a prayer for a timeframe where the hard things have been harder

and the loneliness has felt excruciating,

and the reassessing has hit like a hammer

and the promised whisper of the baby Jesus

is hard to hear over the to do lists,

and the worrying

and apocalyptic understanding of health/political/biogotted infrastructures and economies

of this time and space.

And Lord,

It makes us wonder if this is some of what Mary felt in tumultuous and occupied Jerusalem

when she faced the angel,

overwhelmed by it all

We too feel her determination

As she opened her mouth and

found that the words that tumbled out were

It doesn’t have to be this way!

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It doesn’t have to be this way!

Magnify the Lord!

Bring down the Mighty

Fill the Hungry with Good Things.

So as we enter this Advent, tired and hungry and lonely God.

Remind us that,Advent is a good time for these feelings, Lord.

Advent is about preparation,

and understanding that we are ready for Jesus!

Lord,

I think we need Christ right now,

And that’s ok,

Remind us that it’s ok,

It’s ok to really, truly need Jesus!

and traditional to be world weary at Advent.

And help us to sit with that a bit I pray.

Amen.

Here’s a Prayer

for anyone who is going into Advent Tired

Weary of almost two years of

pandemicking

Two years of pastoring or preaching or caring or writing prayers for people

who are ill, or caretaking,

or trying to find a bed in the hospital, or a spot for surgery.

Here’s a prayer for a timeframe where the hard things have been harder

and the loneliness has felt excruciating,

and the reassessing has hit like a hammer

and the promised whisper of the baby Jesus

is hard to hear over the to do lists,

and the worrying

and apocalyptic understanding of health/political/biogotted infrastructures and economies

of this time and space.

And Lord,

It makes us wonder if this is some of what Mary felt in tumultuous and occupied Jerusalem

when she faced the angel,

overwhelmed by it all

We too feel her determination

As she opened her mouth and

found that the words that tumbled out were

It doesn’t have to be this way!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2021-12-01-at-9.49.13-am.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2021-12-01-at-9.48.10-am.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2021-12-01-at-9.47.27-am.png

It doesn’t have to be this way!

Magnify the Lord!

Bring down the Mighty

Fill the Hungry with Good Things.

So as we enter this Advent, tired and hungry and lonely God.

Remind us that,Advent is a good time for these feelings, Lord.

Advent is about preparation,

and understanding that we are ready for Jesus!

Lord,

I think we need Christ right now,

And that’s ok,

Remind us that it’s ok,

It’s ok to really, truly need Jesus!

and traditional to be world weary at Advent.

And help us to sit with that a bit I pray.

Amen.

Complete List of Pandemic Prayers and Resources

With Thanks to April Fiet, Andre Henry, David Hogg and Kevin Miguel Garcia for the Inspirational Tweets

Originally Published at RevGalBlogPals https://revgalblogpals.org/2021/12/03/an-advent-prayer-for-the-world-weary/

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