Pastoral prayer for unsettled times

You might want to adjust your position for comfort, close your eyes, or soften your gaze. There might be a posture that helps you feel more prayerful. Whatever works for you. Do whatever you need to do to get into the right state of body and mind for us to pray together – to be fully present here and now, in this sacred time and space – with ourselves, with each other, and with that which is larger than ourselves. [pause]

Spirit of Life, God of All Love,
in whom we live and move and have our being;
as we turn our attention to the depths of this life –
the cosmic mystery and wisdom that abides in All-That-Is –
we tune in to your Holy presence within us and amongst us. [pause]

In these strange and often unsettling times,
there is a lot of change and confusion in the air,
a lot for us to cope with which we wouldn’t have chosen.
We face each day, each hour, each mood that arises in us as best we can;
we may often find ourselves fearful, lonely, irritable, frustrated, or just plain weary.
There may also be precious moments, at least, of consolation, uplift and peace.
In the quiet of this hour, may each person find what they most need, to face the days ahead.

As we look back over the past week, let us silently
give thanks for those joys and pleasures we have known:

moments of love, friendship and camaraderie, [pause]
experiences of wonder and delight; reassurance and relief, [pause]
bursts of playfulness, spontaneity and generosity, [pause]
feelings of achievement, creativity, and flow [pause]
all those times when we felt most alive and awake.

Let us also ask for the consolation, forgiveness, and guidance
we may need, as we acknowledge our sorrows and regrets:
times of loss, pain, anger, and fear, [pause]
periods of uncertainty and anxious waiting, [pause]
realisation of our own weaknesses, mistakes and failings, [pause]
awareness of missed opportunities, those things left unsaid or undone, [pause]
those moments when we struggled and felt like a mess.

Expanding our circle of concern, let us bring to mind those people, places
and situations that are in need of prayer right now, and hold them in the light:

– maybe friends or loved ones, those closest to our heart. [pause]
– maybe those we find difficult, where there’s a conflict going on. [pause]
– maybe those we don’t know so well, who we’ve heard about in the news. [pause]

God of all love, we offer up our joys and concerns,
our hopes and fears, our beauty and brokenness,
and call on you for insight, healing, and renewal.

As we look forward now to the coming week,
help us to live well each day and be our best selves;
using our unique gifts in the service of love, justice and peace. Amen.

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