Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

a prayer for the new year

Dear Father,

I thank you that in this season of life, there are endings and new beginnings.

And that you remind us that there is a time for every purpose under heaven.

So, I thank You for the things that have ended in my life. 
I bless you for new beginnings and new spiritual adventures.

In whatever comes in this new year, I pray for the strength to endure.

Help me to press on and apprehend the mission you have called me to.

In this, I pray to bring glory to you - today and tomorrow.

In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

— from the third chapter of Ecclesiastes

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being real in prayer

Dear Lord,

Our prayers can be so formal and ritualistic.
Help us to drop our guard and invite you into our lives.

Sometimes life can send us into a shell.
Bless us that we might open our hearts to you.

We are sometimes fearful of sharing our dark thoughts with you.
Give us confidence to boldly come to you in prayer.

In everything and at all times, help us to be people who yield in prayer



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embracing the future

Dear God,

With 2023 less than a week away,
Help us to let go of the past and embrace the future.

Give us grace that we might be optimistic about tomorrow.
Bless us that we might remember your faithfulness.

Teach us to plan with an open mind and open heart.
Let us be flexible as we journey forward.

In all things, and at all times, remind us that you are Lord.
And cause us to honor you in our plans and our lives. 



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hope for our souls

Dear Jesus,

Your day is a means and a pledge of peace.

    At your birth heaven and earth were reconciled,
    Since you came from heaven to earth on that day
    You forgave our sins and wiped away our guilt.

You gave us so many gifts on the day of your birth:

    A treasure chest of spiritual medicines for the sick;
    Spiritual light for the blind;
    The cup of salvation for the thirsty;
    The bread of life for the hungry.

In the winter when trees are bare,

    You give us the most succulent spiritual fruit.
    In the frost when the earth is barren,
    You bring new hope to our souls.

— adapted from a prayer by St. Ephraim the Syrian  

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let kindness come with every gift

Loving Father,

Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake.

— Robert Louis Stevenson  

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in this joyous season

Lord, in this joyous season of prayer and song and laughter, we praise you for the great wonders you have sent us: for the shining star and angel's song, for the infant's cry in lowly manger. We praise you for the Word made flesh in a little Child. We behold his glory, and are bathed in its radiance.

Be with us as we sing the ironies of Christmas, the incomprehensible comprehended, the poetry made hard fact, the helpless Babe who cracks the world asunder. We kneel before you along with shepherds, innkeepers, wise men. Help us to rise bigger than we are. Amen.
- Author Unknown  

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let your light shine through us

Almighty God, Who has poured upon us the new light of your Incarnate Word; grant that the same light enkindled in our hearts may shine forth in our lives through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
–Book of Common Prayer  

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a prayer for preparation


The words of Isaiah come to mind this morning as we continue to prepare for celebrating Christmas:

A voice of one calling:“In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord;make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:3) 

May our hearts be prepared for all the ways you are working in them this week, Lord. May we be open to all that you are doing as we rush from place to place. Help us notice You. Help us stop to listen so that our preparation is focused on the truth of the gospel and the beauty of our Lord Jesus.


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blessing the light within

Father of Lights,

Lead us, that we might shine in this dark world.

Help us, that we might live in the light of your words.

Bless us, to hear and heed your words within.

Teach us, to be people of the Light.

May we always shine for you.

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for a strong heart

Strengthen my heart Lord.

When I am tempted to lean on my own understanding,
Help me to discern what my inner self is speaking.

In times when nothing makes sense to my mind,
Direct me to lean into what I am sensing in my heart.

Teach me Lord to do the things that make my heart strong,
Bring people into my life who love and care about me.

I surrender afresh to you dear father and remember that I am your child,
Cause me to live in such a way that people see your heart in my life.

In Jesus name. Amen.
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help us to nurture empathy and kindness

Dear Lord,

We can be so judgmental.
Teach us to empathize when we are tempted to judge.

So often we see ourselves in a superior fashion.
Help us to be kind and helpful towards those who struggle.

When comparison and envy seem to take hold of us.
Bless us to be generous and giving towards others.

In everything, and at all times, empower us to love the way you love.
We pray in the name of the Compassionate One.

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let us be bound together with love

O God, we are one with you. You have made us one with you. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, you dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection.

O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept you, and we thank you, and we adore you, and we love you with our whole being, because our being is your being, our spirit is rooted in your spirit.

Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world, and which makes you witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious. Amen.
- Thomas Merton  

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a prayer of anticipation

God of Eternity Past, Present and Future,

In this busy time of shopping for presents,
Develop in us a spiritual quiet and stillness.

When we are tempted to be frustrated and upset,
Speak to our minds and quiet us on the inside.

As Christmas approaches and expectations rise,
Put in us a yearning for true life and real joy.

At the dawn of each new day of Advent,
Open our hearts that we might be born anew.

When things seem dark and scary,
Help us to be lights that point to the Prince of Peace.

In you we trust and in you we praise.

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He hears

We must remember that when we cry out to God, He hears!! When we PRAY, He listens. And He cares. And He responds.

That TRUTH should fill us up with a deep PEACE and give us thankful hearts…grateful that we have a mighty God who truly cares about His creation.

Get still before the LORD today and pour out all that is within you…. 

He is a God who hears.

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as we prepare

Lord Jesus,

Master of both the light and the darkness,

Send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do and seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day,

We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways long for the joy of your kingdom.

We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.

We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.

To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!'

- Henri J.M. Nouwen

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a prayer of acceptance

Oh Lord,

Sometimes we are our worst enemy.
Often we have so much trouble knowing that you accept us.

Sometimes past struggles lure us into the blame game.
Often we cannot get past our guilt and shame.

Sometimes it is so hard to forgive ourselves and move on.
Often we punish ourselves for things out of our control.

Open our hearts that we might experience your love.
Teach us to be steadfast in your loving acceptance and compassion.

Open our mouths that we might speak words of acceptance to others.
Teach us to be ambassadors of your unconditional love.

In the name of Jesus Christ we give you honor and glory.

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help us to spread your love

Dear God,

Help us to spread your love.

Open our eyes to children who are in need.

Open our arms to people who have fallen and need help to rise.

Open our hearts to the unlovely and unlovable.

Give us the courage, and the power, to minister in your name.

Bless us, that we might bless the world with your love.


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on limits - a breath prayer


I'm getting caught up in the busy nature of the season already, and we are still 3 weeks away. I am overwhelmed, feeling inadequate, sad, and rushed. Help me breathe. Remind me of my limits. 

*inhale*  - then say, "God, you know my limits"
*exhale*  - then say, "And I believe You still can use me"

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when we are weary

I am so weary Father.

Please put your peace in my heart.

I'm worried and anxious.

My mind races and obsesses.

I can't help thinking about my problems.

And the more I think about them, the more depressed I become.

Calm me, Lord.

Slow me down, put your peace in my heart.

No matter what problem I have, I believe that you are bigger.

You are more powerful than my problems.

So I bring my problems to you.

I trust You. I trust Your goodness and Your wisdom.

So I place myself in Your hands.

Please fill my heart with peace.


- from an anonymous prayer 

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help me to discern

Today, O God of all days,

Give me an experience of your heart.

Draw me deep into your very being,
into the core of your love for me, others, and the world.

Give me a glimpse of others the way you see others:
loving them, forgiving them,
and delighting in the way they give glory to God
through their very existence.

Help me to discern out of that open place of deep affection
so that I too might be a useful vessel of your love in the world.

- Author Unknown  

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a prayer of renewal

Lord, open our eyes
that we may see you in our brothers and sisters.

Lord, open our ears
that we may hear the cries of the hungry,
the cold, the frightened, the oppressed.

Lord, open our hearts
that we may love each other as you love us.

Renew in us your spirit.

Lord, free us and make us one.

-Mother Teresa of Calcutta  

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a prayer of release

Dear Lord,

It is hard to let go of our past and the things that we have done.

Mistakes often haunt us in the form of self doubts and condemnation.

Give us the grace to see those mistakes as gifts and not curses.

Remind us that you were, and are, present in our lives.

Help us to let go of control and trust you in all things.

Teach us to release our pain and trust you with our present and future.

In all things we pray that our lives might reflect your grace and mercy.


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a prayer for generosity

Dear Lord,

Teach me to be generous;

teach me to serve you as you deserve,

to give and not to count the cost,

to fight and not to heed the wounds,

to toil and not to seek for rest,

to labor and not to ask for reward,

save that of knowing that I do your will.


- a prayer of St Ignatius  

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open hearts

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.  

Come, O Spirit of God 
and make within us your dwelling place and home. 
May our darkness be dispelled by your light.
and our troubles calmed by your peace; 
may all evil be redeemed by your love, 
all pain transformed through the suffering of Christ
and all dying glorified by his risen life.

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embracing divine mystery

Dear God,

You are present at all times and in all places.

There is nothing hidden from you.

All knowledge is laid bare in your presence.

Yet many things are hidden from our understanding.

There is much confusion and anxiety in our world.

Help us Lord to let go and embrace divine mystery.

Teach us to be patient as we wait upon your revelation.

Bless us, that we might let go of control and trust you.

Give us grace to believe in what we cannot see.

We confess that we believe and trust in you.

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prayer to overcome

Thank You, Lord, for being there for me and hearing my prayers.

I am in awe that you listen to me and care about what I say.

You see the things that are happening around me.

You understand my feelings of fear, helplessness and despair.

In the midst of evil things, I ask for help to persevere.

Help me to overcome the hurt I feel and think good thoughts.

Cause forgiveness to replace my feelings of bitterness.

I commit this situation to you and confess my trust in you.

I ask you for strength and for wisdom that I would be able to overcome.

Bless me that I might live in a way that brings honor to Your name.


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unlocking contentment

Dear God,

It seems that we are always wanting more.

Help us to be content with what we have.

Open the eyes of our hearts to see our many blessings.

Cause us to change the focus of our hearts.

Bless us with thanksgiving and gratitude.

That we might be your witnesses on earth.


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in everything

Dear Father,

In the midst of pain and difficult times.

We give thanks.

When our hearts are broken and despair is so real.

We give thanks.

As Winter approaches and people are struggling so much.

We give thanks.

At all times, good and bad, we choose to praise and give thanks.

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with a thankful heart

Father, we want to thank You.

For giving us the gift of Your Son, Jesus.
And in return we want to give You all that we have.
Our hearts, our lives and our thanks.

Lord God, we thank You.
Thank You from the bottom of our hearts.
For giving Jesus to us.

And we can say when we are weak, "I am strong".
Because You promised.
Your strength will be perfect in our weakness.

And for every financial need we have.
We can say, "I am rich".
Because You promised to provide all of our needs.
According to Your riches and glory.

By Christ Jesus, we say it together.
And now let the weak say, "I am strong".
Let the poor say, "I am rich".
Because of what the Lord has done for us.

Give thanks.
We give You thanks.
Give thanks.
We give thanks.

-from Give Thanks, a song by Don Moen   

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a prayer for unity


We come before You thinking about the holiday season that is coming quickly. For some it is a joyful time, for some a hard time, for some a painful time. For most it is all of those things. You know each celebration, hardship, and hurt we carry. 

Lord, we know you have given us family and they are sinful people, just like us. Sin creates division between us, which makes times of gathering all the more challenging. Open our eyes, Lord, to see the places of hurt in others, to know when it's time to step back in order to guard our hearts from sin, and the wisdom to know what to engage with and what not to engage with.

Remind us, Lord, that unity is not uniformity. That we can be and believe and think differently than those we spend Thanksgiving with, and still love each other. But we can only do this in your strength, with humility and compassion. May we not repay insult with insult, but each speak truth and blessing. Also, show us Lord when we need to keep quiet. May we stand in the truth that you fight our battles for us.

Amen like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. (1 Peter 3:9)

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to have unconditional love

Grant us your kind of love Father,
That we might show the world what you are like.

Give us your eyes and ears Holy Spirit,
That we might see and hear the way that you do.

Bless us with hearts like yours Jesus,
That we might make friends with those who were once enemies.

In all things, and in all ways, may we act with unconditional love,
That we might make your presence known in all the earth.


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bless us with love

Bless us with Love, O Merciful God;
That we may Love as you Love! 
That we may show patience, tolerance,
Kindness, caring and love to all!

Give me knowledge; O giver of Knowledge,
That we may be one with those who seek peace in the world!

O Compassionate One, grant compassion unto us;
That we may help all fellow souls in need!

Bless us with your Love O God.

- Author Unknown  

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Teach us Lord to be quiet that we might hear your voice.

When things are confusing, help us to center our thoughts on you.

In times of hurriedness, cause us to slow down internally.

Bless us with the discipline of waiting and patience.

In all things, lead us and attune our inner ears to your voice.

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a prayer of thanks and praise

Dear Father,

We come to you remembering that you are God in all times.

You are worthy of our praise and thanksgiving in all circumstances.

We thank you for being present in our highs and in our lows.

You cause all things to work together for good in our lives.

We offer ourselves afresh to your mission and purposes.

Let your kingdom come and your will be done in us.

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stir us from apathy

Dear God,

Life can become so hard and apathy can grab hold of our hearts.

Help us to find your life hidden deep inside of us.

Stir us and lead us that we might be passionate witnesses.

Bring friends in our lives that are catalysts of your passion.

That your Spirit might thrive in us and set our hearts on fire.

In all we do, may your love have the last word in our lives.


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The Spirit prays…

So thankful that when we don’t know how to pray or what to pray, the Holy Spirit does… 

(Romans 8:26)

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a prayer for leaders

Dear Lord,

Help those who lead, in civil and religious ways, to find humility.

Surround them with wise counselors and people of integrity.

Grant them grace that they might keep their egos in check.

Bless them so that they might bless those who they lead.

Help us to pray for them more than we complain about them.

We pray that you would lead our leaders and give them hearts to follow you.


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a prayer of submission

Dear Loving Lord,

I am feeling stress, I am worried.

Too many things occupy my mind.

Won’t you help me?

Show me Lord, your order and your plans, are eternal.

Let me trust in your will alone.

Your word tells me where there is love, there is no fear.

Let me be filled with your love.

The perfect love that tells me I am not condemned, but I am saved.

I can do all things through you.

You Strengthen me.

In Jesus name, Amen
- Author Unknown  

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when we are overwhelmed

Calm me, Lord, as you calmed the storm; still me, Lord, keep me from harm.

Let all the tumult within me cease, enfold me, Lord, in your peace.

Calm me, Lord, as you calmed the storm; still me, Lord, keep me from harm.

Let all the tumult within me cease, Lord, enfold me in your peace.

- a Celtic prayer  

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a prayer for veterans

Help us, dear God, to see your face in every Veteran we encounter.

Guide us as we imagine new ways to support Veterans and their families.

Bring healing and peace to all who have been wounded physically, 
mentally and spiritually during wartime.

Help us bring your saving grace to heal the invisible wounds of war.

We ask this in Jesus’ holy name.

-Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington

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grant us simplicity of faith

Lord, grant us simplicity of faith
and a generosity of service
that gives without counting cost.

A life overflowing with Grace
poured out from the One
who gave everything,
that we might show
the power of love
to a broken world,
and share the truth
from a living Word.

Lord, grant us simplicity of faith,
and a yearning to share it.


— Author unknown  

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give us hearts that listen

  Loving God, give us hearts that listen for your word.

  Let us imitate the Good Samaritan, who does not turn away from suffering.

  Help us listen.
     May we listen to those who struggle daily for dignity.
     Let us hear your voice in the stories of those on the margins.
     Help us always see what binds us together as sisters and brothers.

  Help us to heal.
     May we be willing to stand in the place of others.
     Let us be open to difference that we may arrive at understanding.
     Help us to seek reconciliation that our world may reflect justice.

  Help us respond.
     May our faith move us to action in the public square.
     Let us work with others of good will, finding solutions together.
     Help us exercise political charity, seeking the common good and dignity for all.

  Lord, give us the courage to trust in your hand guiding us.

  Give us the courage to respond like the Good Samaritan,
  setting aside divisions to attend to the needs of the other.

  May we know and see your love present in our communities,
  made real in the ways we love one another.

-US Conference of Catholic Bishops  

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for wisdom, diligence and patience

O Gracious and Holy Father,

Give us wisdom to perceive you,
intelligence to understand you,
diligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to see you,
a heart to meditate on you,
and a life to proclaim you,
through the power of the spirit
of Jesus Christ our Lord.

-Saint Benedict  

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when we are in need

Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it.

I am weak in the faith; strengthen me.

I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor.

I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether. O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in you.

In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have.

I am poor; you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor.

I am a sinner; you are upright.

With me, there is an abundance of sin; in you is the fullness of righteousness.

Therefore I will will remain with you, of whom I can receive, but to whom I may not give.

- a prayer of Martin Luther  

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for patience in times of change

God of the seasons, there is a time for everything; there is a time for dying and a time for rising. We need courage to enter into the transformation process.

God of autumn, the trees are saying goodbye to their green, letting go of what has been. We, too, have our moments of surrender, with all their insecurity and risk. Help us to let go when we need to do so.

God of fallen leaves lying in colored patterns on the ground, our lives have their own patterns. As we see the patterns of our own growth, may we learn from them.

God of misty days and harvest moon nights, there is always the dimension of mystery and wonder in our lives. We always need to recognize your power-filled presence. May we gain strength from this.

God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain, many gifts of growth lie within the season of our surrender. We must wait for harvest in faith and hope. Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.

God of geese going south for another season, your wisdom enables us to know what needs to be left behind and what needs to be carried into the future. We yearn for insight and vision.

God of flowers touched with frost and windows wearing white designs, may your love keep our hearts from growing cold in the empty seasons.

God of life, you believe in us, you enrich us, you entrust us with the freedom to choose life. For all this, we are grateful.

-Author Unknown

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when we are stressed

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;

My eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. 

My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning.

My strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.

But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ 

My times are in Your hands.

Lead me and deliver me from the things that stress me. 

Let Your face shine on Your servant; save me in Your unfailing love.

 — from Psalm 31

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Empty out

Lord, help us to begin the process of being empty vessels before you. 

Help us to empty ourselves of anything that doesn’t bring you HONOR or GLORY.

And then fill us up with You, LORD. With all that is good. With all that is merciful. With all that is Holy and Godly.

Fill us up with those things that will bring us eternal satisfaction and Joy. And then help us to spread the Good News of Jesus everywhere we go… 

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a prayer to walk humbly


I must admit, I'm not a fan of being humble. But I am also not a fan of when my pride gets out of control. All day I can proclaim that You require us to "act justly" and to "love mercy" ... but if I'm honest God, I cannot do those things unless I am also walking humbly with You.

I thank you for Your hesed love for me, the only kind of love that enables me to fight the sin of my pride so that I can walk humbly with You. 

 Lord, remind me that in my own strength to act justly and to love mercy ends up being for my own gain, and not for Your glory. 

Teach me to desire a humble walk with You. Turn my heart toward a place of surrender that shows Your face, Your love, Your character, to each person I encounter.


He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

     And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

    and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)


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a sacrifical prayer

Dear Father in Heaven,

We come again with open hands and open hearts.

We confess our need of your presence and love.

We renounce the pride and ego that gets in your way.

We bow to you and submit our lives to you again.

Take our offerings. Take our lives. Take our hearts.

We offer all that we are to you and your purposes.

Strengthen us that we might take up our crosses and follow Jesus.

Make us new again as we submit to your Spirit.

Cause heaven to come to earth and to our hearts.

We give you praise and glory forever and ever.


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to rest in divine love

God of Goodness and Love,

I come into your presence overwhelmed by your unconditional love for me.

I am so aware of my human frailty and my need of help.

Thank you that there is no human experience where your love cannot reach me.

If I climb the highest mountain you are there.

If I find myself in the darkest valley of my life, you are there.

Teach me today to love you more.

Help me to rest in your love.

Bless me that I might love with the trusting heart of a child.


-from an unknown author  

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