...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Prayer for Holy Week, 2013

Lord, unburden us today. Make us alive and free in gratitude, hope, love and praise! Into our world of not enough you continue to come to us, O Lord, showering us- pouring out your love and your life in generosity and over-abundance! We  proclaim you as King and Deliverer. Hosanna, blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!

We look at the journey ahead, and wonder, who is going to help us- who will be there with us. We discover to our joy that you are our help, you, who made the heavens and earth. You are the One who walks beside us and will be with us! We become free that we are not alone in the universe, that you are our resting place, and that there is no part of our journey or ourselves where you are not present. Free of the chains of our worst fears because you make your blessing and home wherever we are.  

We start with our hearts and we hold before you each feeling of resentment, anger, bitterness that still may be lurking there, asking that your grace will make us yield to love someday- if not right now. Teach us to look at others, as you do, making allowances, seeing ignorance, not malice. We cannot love our enemies, Lord, unless we know you are beside us, teaching us in your dying words, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

And we seek peace. We lift to you the worries that disturb our peace and we place them in your hands, Lord, trusting that this act of worship will bring us respite from anxiety at least in these moments we share together.

We choose to pray for others- for the people whom we love. We pray for each one your grace, for safety from harm and evil. We move onto to people we dislike- or who dislike us. Over each of them, we pray your forgiveness, blessing, and peace.

For those we know who are depressed and anxious, Lord, we pray that peace and joy would cover them.  For those who are disabled and in pain, we bless with courage and strength, praying that our prayers would unleash resources within each of them.  For the young, we pray your promise and a fruitful life. For those who share our lives each day at home or at work, we pray that all our contact be a grace for both of us. 

Lord, to the lonely and unloved, give your faithful companionship, for those who face the reality of their approaching death, your comfort, your grace, the gift of finally letting go, of saying with our Jesus, "Holy Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit."  

In the One whose name is Love, we pray.  Amen.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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