Prayer for Canceling Christmas (again) Prayer

This is a prayer
For all those
in the middle
Of canceling Christmas

Because everyone is sick
Or the storm is raging-Mr. Freeze Miser or Elsa is Raging
Or the Hell has frozen over, and the weather is downright Disrespectful

This is a prayer, for the pastors
boards and and councils who have to figure out
If they are videoing, scrounging
or just calling the whole thing off
After years of hoping to finally be in the warmth of one another’s company again

We thought it would be Hallelujah chorus again
And we were looking forward to lighting the Christ candle again
And were happily scrapping and squabbling about service on Christmas day
When…it came to this…!

And even though, Pastoral Leadership Promises
That Christ will come anyway (every time)
This year is bitterly Hard
So I will not say these words to you

So I’m going to pray
And validate every curse word
Every Sigh
Every Grunt
Every Frustration
Every Headache
And remind you that Yelling at God is an Option

And the the “wise men” got lost
Joseph had no idea what he was doing
Elizabeth and Zechariah were clueless
The Shepherds were fairly uninvited
and pretty much no one knew what was going on but Mary

Prayers friends…I hope you get some support this Christmas
Some affirmation
And some kind of God moment in the mess
Because, truly is what Christmas is all about,
Amen

Feel free to share/adapt/use these words as they are helpful. Please give credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Look at my broken cross cookie, seems appropriate

Election Day Prayer

Do not put your trust in Princes
God says
-Vote

Care for the widows and the Least of these-
Lord Hear our Prayer
as I walk towards the booth, wary of those who are in line with me

Care for the Stranger and Immigrant, for you may care for Angels Unawares
echoes in my brain, as I trace the bubbles with smudgy pen

Woman, I hear you, I picture Jesus saying
as I see the name of the candidates who disregard
the healthcare of pregnant people and victims of abuse

Put not your trust in any human power–but my hope is in the Lord
who gives justice to those that suffer wrong
and bread to all those who hungers

God keeps promises better than any human
or politician.

This is why good administration is ministry
This is why voting and crying is ministry
This is why we do our best to care.

This is what I carry to the ballot box
That God will open the eyes that need to be opened
and lift up those who are bowed down
and free those who are bound–

Turn the wicked UpsideDown God.
I’ll help where I can.
And watch you work miracles.
Amen.

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

Surgery, A Prayer

God,
is there any prayer like going into surgery?
Closing your eyes to the world–
Holding your beloveds close to you.

Somehow you try to remind yourself to breathe

Is that how it felt Christ,
when you healed?

Did you hold their beloveds close to them?
And remind them to breathe?

Bless those undergoing surgery
their beloved
the doctors, nurses, and all the technicians, custodians, secretaries and support staff who we work too hard along the way

May we all be granted
Belovedness
and Breath.

Amen.

Operation Game with a lot of blue gloved hands around it

Image

Feel free to use/adapt/Share with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

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Let’s Write Liturgy Workshop

Do you want to learn how to write prayers and liturgy? Psalms and Calls to Worship? Confessions and Personal Prayers? This Zoom Workshop is designed for all levels and experiences for people to engage in prayer writing–using the scripture as your guide. 

Sunday November 20th 4pm-6pm (Eastern) $40
Thursday Dec 1st 12pm-2pm (Eastern) $40

Led by Katy Stenta, Pastor, Writer and Educator

For more information to sign up, email Katyandtheword at gmail.com. Titled “Liturgy”

Katy Stenta is a regular contributor to Sermonsuite, RevGalBlogPals, and is published in Enfleshed, Presbyterian’s Today and Outlook. She received her undergraduate in English and History and Minor on Philosophy at Oberlin, her M. Div. and MA in Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is currently pursuing her D. Min. in Creative Writing as a Public Theologian at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She also writes personal prayers regularly at katyandtheword.com.

Limited to 10 spots

A Halloween Prayer

A Prayer for the Weird Ones
the ones who don’t fit
the ones who take comfort in being scared

Here’s a prayer for those fascinated by magic
the mystical
the liminality, those marginal places in-between

Here’s a prayer for the lonely–
those who identify with the goblins, the witches and trolls
the ones who want to be able to go up to strangers and demand hospitality

This is a prayer for all those who can find beauty in what others find ugly
the ones who are fascinated with the inner workings of bodies
or diseases, or want to study psychology
or fear, or loneliness, or liminality

Here’s a prayer for the kind of holiness that comes from being different
The kind of prophecy that comes from telling the truth
the kind of radicalness that comes from opening your doors to the mess on the street

What kind of holiday is All Hallow’s Eve?
Where we say, life is messy and ugly and beautiful and short?
Where we acknowledge all that is scary in the world,
and fill it with the laughter and joy of children?
Here’s a prayer to celebrating that kind of holiday

Here’s a prayer for the children–who always understand it first
Who confront death with a sharp honesty that is refreshing,
And help us to confront our fears with real questions,
and the worrying answers of “I don’t know.”

Here’s a prayer for All Hallow’s Eve, where we celebrate
the complexity of humans, humanity
and human life.

Halloween Blessings to all who need it.

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

Image and Prints of this image can be bought Here: https://www.johnhendrix.com/prints/the-holy-ghost-holidays

Little/Big Things Prayer

Lord God, Almighty in Heaven
When 2 people dying
becomes blip
on the news…

When Anti-Semitism
needs to become
A Roar of despair
for a major
German distributer
to drop a name

When this flood gets
lost with the last one
And the fires
And tornados
weary your soul

I want say
God,
Come get
Your Humans

And I worry about
the next political arguments
I will have
About gender, sexuality
and disabilities–
Because they are not political
but about people

I admit to deep weariness
with this thing
we call
you call
Humanity
God

But then

I find rest and restoration

In

Children’s laughter

Red Autumn leaves against cloudy skies

unexpected time for naps

the right to complain to you God

the taste of chocolate upon my tongue

cats who snuggle

a text from a friend

It is amazing how the smallest things
Can be the most important–
I fully admit, you designed thing well

We humans would have focused
on only the big things

But a moment to notice the good things
the space to rewatch a favorite show

a hug

a cup of coffee

playing our favorite song on the loudest volume

How did you know that we would need these things?

Thank you God–for all the little things–

Keep sending them please.

Amen.

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

Dark Red fall leaves drenched in little droplets of rain
Red leaves drenched in little droplets of rain

Let’s Write Liturgy

Do you want to learn how to write prayers and liturgy? Psalms and Calls to Worship? Confessions and Personal Prayers? This Zoom Workshop is designed for all levels and experiences for people to engage in prayer writing–using the scripture as your guide.

Sunday November 20th 4pm-6pm (Eastern) $40

Led by Katy Stenta, Pastor, Writer and Educator

For more information to sign up, email Katyandtheword at gmail.com. Titled “Liturgy”

Katy Stenta is a regular contributor to Sermonsuite, RevGalBlogPals, and is published in Enfleshed, Presbyterian’s Today and Outlook. She received her undergraduate in English and History and Minor on Philosophy at Oberlin, her M. Div. and MA in Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is currently pursuing her D. Min. in Creative Writing as a Public Theologian at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Let's Write Liturgy written in almost cursive by a quill pen melting into the holy spirit dove

Justice, A Prayer.

God,

I long for justice
I ache for it so much
that when I go to bed at night
I am convinced that it whispers to me
In a language too complicated for human ears.

And when I wake up and hear
of courts
and punishments
and other things

My soul sits confused
unable to responds to these paltry efforts.

I want justice that feeds the hungry,
frees the prisoner
and yes breaks the teeth of my enemy–but
in such a way that I am too busy partying to notice.

Jesus, did every meal with you taste like justice
or hope
comfort and freedom?

Or was it enough to just sit with you?

Holy Spirit, I find that this longing for justice is really something.
It is not the gift I asked for, and yet it was given to me–unasked
and so here I am

Not waiting for justice, Because we all know, justice does not allow one to wait.
But still,
Walking,
Running,
Resting
towards justice, because I do not know any other way to be.

And that’s why I talk, yell and cry to you God.
It’s this justice hole in my soul.
You poke it and prod it with me, like the great physician you are.

And say, where does it hurt?

And confirm.

Yes.
Yes, We should work on that.

Here we go again God.

Amen.

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

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My Friend, God, A Prayer

God,

Sometimes I wonder if you want to just be friends,
When I hear the rather cringy Jesus is my lover Christian rock songs
filter over my neighbor’s fence, into my yard
and I see the latest news of extremists rallying for or against things
in your Holy name–I think of how you used to walk,
with Noah in the garden, and just hang out.

I think about Jesus, and how much he loved to go to friend’s house a grab a meal,
or wash their feet
or chill under a tree.
I think about how the relationships Jesus sought the most
were friendships,
and how Jesus cultivated those
Like the gardener he was.

I think about the Holy Spirit,
How she is an encourage, inspirer, and comforter
and that I love to picture her in a room of artists
or an anonymous group
or on the grass with students who are doing nothing
coaxing the miracles of communication and consensus
building community, wherever she goes.

I think about our friendship God,
How sometimes I’m mad, sometimes we talk
Sometimes we do not

And you get it either way.

And I love that you value friendship,
because truly you created us because you value
companionship.

It’s so beautiful God.

Thanks buddy.

Amen.

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

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Worry Prayers

God,

If worry were a string,

I’d be tied up.

If worry were my food.

I’d always eat, and never be filled.

If worry were my companion;

I’d be haunted til the end of my days.

But instead worry is my prayer–

allowing me to shape in sighs

and words and silence

all the things that tense my neck and shoulders

and fidget my fingers

and make me lose my keys and phone (again).

And because worry becomes my prayer–

you take it like a gift,

and don’t let it tie me up, or become my food, or my companion.

Instead you tame it, and teach me to live with it, and remind me that it is just one piece of life.

And that there are other things like kittens and clouds

and children blowing bubbles.

And sunshine, and raindrops to cool the summer days.

And you teach me to cry tears of relief,

and to call a friend,

and to turn the worry into prayer,

as many times as I need to.

So here’s a worrisome prayer–wrap it up for me Jesus,

and spin it with the Holy Spirit, so it loosens up around my soul I pray.

And be with me while I pray it please, God.

So I might breathe a little easier, I pray.

Amen.

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

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