God, we call out to you!
From the depths of our hearts, we cry,
“Lord, hear our prayer!”
We are consumed by grief.
The events of the past few days have overwhelmed us—
it’s hard to sleep,
it’s hard to eat,
it’s even hard to pray.
Where are you, God?
Deep down, we know that you love us—
we’ve experienced your mercy and your faithfulness in the past,
and it has sustained us through many difficult times.
We refuse to believe that you have deserted us,
or that you are unaware of the pain that we’re feeling.
And so we turn to you again,
longing for your presence,
looking for your comfort and peace.
Surround us with your unfailing love.
Remind us that you alone are God,
and that you hold us in the palm of your hand.
Give us courage and strength to face the days ahead,
and strengthen us in the knowledge that we do not face them alone.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, we pray.
Christine Longhurst, Worship Professor, Canadian Mennonite University
I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted. Continue reading
to remove anything which separates
me from you, and you from me.
Remove anything that makes me unworthy
of your sight, your control, your discipline;
of your speech and conversation,
of your benevolence and love.
Cast from me every evil
that stands in the way of my seeing you,
hearing, tasting, savoring, and touching you;
fearing and being mindful of you;
knowing, trusting, loving, and possessing you;
being conscious of your presence
and, as far as may be, enjoying you.
This is what I ask for myself
and earnestly desire from you. Amen.
Peter Faber, 1506-1546, Jesuit Priest and co-founder of the Society of Jesus
Hearts in Fire Praying with Jesuits
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
my house or apartment, my dorm or condo;
my neighborhood, parish and local community;
where I work, where I study, where I pray;
my dwelling places are many….
First of all, I thank you, Lord,
to a place, to a room with a roof overhead,
the place I call home,
but how many in need would deem it a palace
for its locks and safety, its light and warmth, a fridge with food,
for it’s being a place to return to each night
I thank you for my dwelling place, Lord:
let me not take it for granted
and keep me generously mindful
of those who have no place they might call home…
And how lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts…
Your dwelling is the universe and all the heavens
– and beyond the heavens, Lord…
Your dwelling has no roof, no walls,
no beginning and no end…
The beauty of your dwelling’s beyond anything
my mind might conceive or my dreams imagine
and yet – your dwelling place is with me and in me…
You who cannot be confined,
you choose to dwell within my soul
and make your home within my heart…
You, whom all creation can’t contain,
you enter my humble quarters,
the spare, simple chambers of my heart,
and there, in Spirit, make yourself at home…
And, Lord, as you can see,
I’m seldom ready for company,
for receiving any guests at all,
let alone, you, the greatest guest of all…
So, please forgive me,
(indeed, forgive me, Lord!)
for my house is not in order, not yet or ever ready
to be a place where you might dwell
a place you might call home…
And yet, you come, you enter and you stay
and you don’t leave, you don’t go away,
you remain within me, always,
and in making my heart your home
you make of your heart a home for me…