“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
God of peace,
Bringer of shalom to a world of unending conflict,
Maker of unity amidst currents of angst,
Giver of the gift of the Lamb who takes away sin and death
by dying and rising in miraculous power,
guide us through this wearisome way
that we might enjoy abundant life in You.
Equip us in the midst of weakness
that we might follow Your word and walk in Your will.
Work in us what brings You greatest pleasure,
for living in Your joy and delight we find You as our greatest treasure.
We look to You, our loving Father.
We look to You, the glorified Son.
We look to You, the ever-present Spirit.
Three in One, thrice holy God,
our lives are Yours,
now and forever.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. (1 John 1:1-4)
Lord, teach me Your ways; the ways of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Although I have not seen and heard You in the flesh quite like John the Apostle, take me into that same fellowship with You which John describes.
I confess that I long for deeper life with You. I know there are ways I need to grow and aspects of my life that need Your transforming touch to a greater degree than I have yet experienced. Grow me with You, my God.
I confess that my thoughts are often set upon myself, Lord, instead of upon You. I know I need to be set be free self-centeredness, seeing myself more clearly in relation to You who is at the center of all things. Please speak to me, set me free, and show me the way.
I long for the full, abundant life that is found in You. I long to be satisfied in the center of my soul through You. In Your great love, God, have mercy upon me in and take me into the abundant life and way of Christ.
Put two fingers on your neck
and feel your pulse—
the current of blood coursing life
from your heart throughout your body.
You did not think to your heart, “Beat!”,
or to your blood, “Move!”,
and yet here you are:
alive, upright, and living.
Quiet yourself amidst
the din of the world
and listen to your beating heart.
In every beat, God whispers,
“I love you! I love you!”
Pause and take in a deep breath
followed by a deep breath out.
Feel the air filter up your lungs
as you inhale
and carbon dioxide release
as you exhale.
You did not think to your lungs,
“Take it in! Let it out!”,
but instead you have been breathing
since you awoke and eve while you slept.
As you breathe in and out
rest in the breath of God,
Who made you and sustains you,
Who whispers in each breath,
“You are mine!”
Walking through this day
let each breath, in and out,
remind you of God’s gracious presence with you.
Let each heartbeat, thrumming through your body,
remind you of God’s loving presence with you.
These simple rhythms of the body,
persistently present in each day and minute,
become pathways of prayer in the everyday.
Let each breath and heartbeat whisper back to God,
“I, too, am Yours!”
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit,
That my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit,
That my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit,
That I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,
To defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,
That I always may be holy.
By St. Augustine of Hippo, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
For the Lord is righteous,
he loves justice;
the upright will see his face. (Psalm 11:7)
My life is small, imperfect, and needy,
yet I lift my eyes to You, my God.
Although You are holy and majestic,
thank You for also being full of mercy and grace.
I look to You.
All around, the world is mixed with awesome wonder and sharp pain.
Human lives yield inspiring love and shaking hostility.
I see this same mixture in myself each day,
so I humbly call out to You for myself and the world.
I look to You.
Trees and mountains tower above me, yet You are higher.
The surging lake depths yawn beneath me, yet You are deeper.
The shimmering stars stretch far beyond me, yet You reach farther.
The blood in my veins pumps all throughout me, yet You are nearer.
I look to You.
Have Your way in me as I consider this day.
and please form Your life in me as I live this, my only life.
Guide my steps in Your pathway of life
and reveal Your presence which is full of true joy
for I look to You.