The earth and all that is in it…

Holy One,
The earth and all that is in it
is yours.
We are yours.
All that we delight in
all that sustains us
is yours.
Hear the thanks we pray now.

And since all is yours,
we know that all that we suffer
all that we mourn,
is your pain, too.
Hear our hearts, the cries we pray now.

Sometimes it is hard to understand
how the fullness of our lives is possible,
how so much pain can exist
alongside so much beauty, so much promise.

And we know that the world is wide,
that all people, and all creatures,
struggle and celebrate,
but that some bear an unjust burden,
that some struggles never let up.

So, Holy One, teach us, we pray.
Teach us to be tender with one another
and to walk tenderly on the earth.
Turn our hearts toward compassion and care
of one another, and all of creation.
May we know your presence,
and tend to it, in all the earth, we pray. Amen.

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When we do not know….

There is this one promise we trust –
That when we do not know what to pray,
the Spirit intercedes for us,
with sighs too deep for words.
…Come now, Spirit…

We have been praying and sobbing
and stuttering and crying out
and our own thoughts and our own words
make no sense to us anymore.
…They go out from us –
our thoughts, our words, our hearts –
they stretch to Connecticut, they stretch to Syria,
they snap back to our own homes, our own families.

Take what is in our hearts, Spirit –
Take our jumbled thoughts and prayers –
Take the hopes we dare to speak –

Know that this is what we do
when we do not know how to care.
Make of our halting efforts a blanket of compassion
to wrap around all who mourn now, and all who fear.
Be near us, Lord, and near all who call on you, we pray. Amen.