In the prayer I share today, gratitude, grief, and the hope of transformation all find a place. The words lead into and through the daily mixture that are part of our lives, where hope butts up against chaos and mercy falls upon us in the midst of exhaustion. For me, three significant themes emerged from this prayer and I share those below as preparation for the prayer itself.



In a mantle of awe I stand enwrapped.

The basis for our existence on this earth is the active, sustaining love of God. That love of God is visible in each moment of our day if we look for it. The sun rising, the water we drink, the bread we eat, each person we encounter, are all brought about and imbued with love. God's care is all around us, every day, both in things we feel deep gratitude for, and in things we take for granted.

Do we recognize that and do we verbalize our gratitude for this to God, the creator and upholder of this world? If our gratitude has been scarce in recent times, a refresher might be useful. Perhaps right now is a good time to take note of some of the things in our lives that embody God's love for us and bring us joy.

Artwork on the wall that separating Israel and Palestine.


All manner of suffering and questions press into my soul.

The primacy of gratitude doesn't deny the suffering that is also around us and within us. This earth and all its creatures experience deep suffering. For most of us, grief is not something we have to be reminded of. It beats regularly on our doors—through news reports, conversations with friends, what we see with our own eyes, what we fear in our own hearts. Unlike the conscious effort required for gratitude, recognizing our grief and suffering comes naturally.

However, praying for concerns beyond our own comes less naturally. It is easy to be caught up in our own particular suffering and not always see the suffering outside of ourselves, or within those who are different from us. We can be so focused on our own suffering that we can't see the suffering of a creation that groans in a language we do not easily understand. But to feel compassion makes us more able to act in healing ways; we need to be willing to see and voice this grief in order to alleviate it—having courage to acknowledge it even when we fear we may be overpowered by it.

Seeds of Change

Call and Transformation

May small, deliberate actions grow seeds of Earth justice.

Prayer rooted deeply in gratitude can voice grief without losing its way. Trusting that our days are immersed in love, despite the grief we encounter within it, gives us courage to act with compassion toward those who need that compassion.

When our actions are transformed by and into love, we can act courageously, knowing the outcome is worth the risk. We can show love and generosity because we have been shown love and generosity. When we know the magnitude of the gifts we are given, and we acknowledge the damage around us, we can act in ways that resemble the God of All Names and Beyond All Names.

I encourage you now to pause, center your heart and mind, and take a deep breath. When you are ready, I invite you into prayer using the words below.

Attributed to Howard Shapiro, from "Full Circle"

O God of All Names and Beyond All Names,
I pray in great gratitude this holy day for Love.
Love raises the sun and greets me
in each drop of water I drink,
in each crumb of bread I taste,
in each smile and tear I touch,
in each child I meet.
In a mantle of awe I stand enwrapped.
My feet rest upon Earth and my head meets the moon.
O Holy One, our times are fraught with challenge.
Our Earth suffers climatic chaos,
Men, women and children suffer from wounds of conflict,
droughts, floods and crumbling economic systems.
All manner of suffering and questions press into my soul.
My small beating heart does not seem large enough…
yet daily it keeps expanding beyond body boundaries into Compassion.
Each morning Love rises beyond a known horizon in the unknown day.
Each morning Hope beckons me into my stardust destiny.
Each noontime Grace feeds me with Love.
Each evening an invisible Breath enfolds me in a shawl of mercy.
O Holy one Who Is Love, Hope, Grace and Breath
transform our sadness and doubt into songs for Life.
We pray for our beloved planet and all brothers and sisters.
May healing waters bathe the rivers and oceans.
May small, deliberate actions grow seeds of Earth justice.
May one prophetic note of the smallest birdsong courageously sung
on a busy street at dawn inspire leaders to free their voices to speak
for the Common Good and future generations.
O God of All Names and Beyond All Names, Whose Face is Love
May I and we collectively
Be the face of Transforming Love
In this moment, In this day, In these times.


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