PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Day One, Love, by Philip Bochanski

May 26, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit Hymn: Veni Creator Spiritus Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come from thy bright heav’nly throne; come, take possession of our souls, and make them all thine own. Thou who art called the Paraclete, best gift of God above, the living spring, the living fire, sweet unction and true love. Thou who art sevenfold in thy grace, finger of God’s right hand; his promise, teaching little ones to speak and understand. O guide our minds with thy blest light, with love our hearts inflame; and with thy strength, which ne’er decays, confirm our mortal frame. Far from us drive our deadly foe; true peace unto us bring; and through all perils lead us safe beneath thy sacred wing. Through thee may we the Father [...]

PRAYER: Novena To The Holy Spirit—Praying To The Holy Spirit, by Philip Bochanski

May 25, 2017

From: Novena to the Holy Spirit The Fruits of the Holy Spirit Gathered with his Apostles in the Upper Room, Jesus reminded them that he had chosen and appointed them to “go and bear fruit that will remain.” (John 15:16)  At that same Last Supper, he promised them that they would not be alone in accomplishing this mission: “I will ask the Father,” he said, “and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit.” (John 14:16-17)  The story of the early church related in the Acts of the Apostles shows just how Jesus kept his promise: the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles at Pentecost, and they went out to accomplish great things in the mission of evangelizing the world. Although we [...]

PSALMS: Congregational Worship And The Psalms, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

May 23, 2017

In many churches the Psalms are read or sung every Sunday, or even daily, in succession.  These churches have preserved a priceless treasure, for only with daily use does one appropriate this divine prayerbook.  When read only occasionally, these prayers are too overwhelming in design and power and tend to turn us back to more palatable fare.  But whoever has begun to pray the Psalter seriously and regularly will soon give a vacation to other little devotional prayers and say: “Ah, there is not the juice, the strength, the passion, the fire which I find in the Psalter.  It tastes too cold and too hard.” (Luther) Therefore, wherever we no longer pray the Psalms in our churches, we must take up the Psalter that much more in [...]

BLESSING: The Blessings Of God’s Seasons, by Helen Steiner Rice

May 23, 2017

From: A Collection of Blessings We know we must pass through the seasons God sends, Content in the knowledge that everything ends, And, oh, what a blessing to know there are reasons And to find that our souls must, too, have their seasons— Bounteous seasons and barren ones, too, Times for rejoicing and times to be blue— But meeting these seasons of dark desolation With the strength that is born of anticipation Comes from knowing that every season of sadness Will surely be followed by a springtime of [...]

THE LORD’S PRAYER: Food, by Evelyn Underhill

May 22, 2017

In the first part of the Lord’s Prayer, we are wholly concerned with God’s glory.  We pray with angelic spirits; creatures whose purposes are completely harmonized with the Creative Will.  In the second part, we turn from the Eternal Splendor to our Earthly limitations, and bring before God the burden, neediness, and sinfulness of our state.  Give us this day our daily bread.  With the proclamation of our utter dependence, the presentation before God of the simplest and most fundamental of our needs, we pass from adoration to petitions, and enter into the full paradox of Christian prayer: the unspeakable majesty and abiding perfection of the Infinite, and because of that majesty and that perfection, the importance of the [...]

BLESSING: A Blessing For The Senses, by John O’Donohue

May 22, 2017

From: Anam Cara May your body be blessed. May you realize that your body is a faithful and beautiful friend of your soul. And may you be peaceful and joyful and recognize that your senses are sacred thresholds. May you realize that holiness is mindful, gazing, feeling, hearing, and touching. May your senses gather you and bring you home. May your senses always enable you to celebrate the universe and the mystery and possibilities in your presence here. May the Eros of the Earth bless [...]

BLESSING: Unnameable God, by Joyce Rupp

May 19, 2017

From: Prayer Seeds Unnameable God, I feel you with me at every moment. You are my food, my drink, my sunlight, and the air I breath. (Psalm 16; Stephen Mitchell) with each refreshing rain each slant of sunshine each beam of moonlight each whisper of wind in every spiraling thought every turning of the heart every spoken and written word every action large and small you stead, you lead you encourage, you guide you embrace, you never let go one with my soul, one with my life one with me in the first breath one with me in the last you know me now you will know me always and forever I remember I [...]

BLESSING: Paradox Blessing

May 18, 2017

From Celtic Daily Prayer, Book Two May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, superficial relationships, so that you will live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, equity, and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war so that you will reach out your hand to comfort them and change their pain to joy. And may God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be [...]

PSALMS: Names, Music, Verse Form, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

May 16, 2017

The Hebrew title of the Psalms also means “hymns.”  Psalm 72:20 refers to all preceding Psalms as, the prayers of David.  Both items are surprising and yet understandable.  To be sure, at first glance, the Psalms contain exclusively neither hymns nor prayers.  In spite of that the didactic poems or the songs of lament are also basically hymns, for they serve to glorify God, and even those Psalms which do not contain any address to God (e.g., Psalms 1, 2, 78) may be called prayers, for they serve to submerge in God’s will and purpose the one who prays them.  The word Psalter originally referred to a musical instrument, and was first used only in a secondary sense as a designation for a collection of prayers which were [...]

BLESSING: A Blessing Prayer For A Journey, by Edward Hays

May 16, 2017

From: Pray All Ways Blessed are You, Lord, my God, for You have created a wide and wonderful world in which I may travel. Be my ever-near companion, O Holy Guide of Travelers, each time that I journey, and spread the road before me with beauty and adventure. May all the highways ahead of me be free of harm and evil. May I be accompanied by Your holy spirits, Your angelic messengers as were the holy ones of days past. On each trip may I take with me, as part of my traveling equipment, a heart wrapped in wonder with which to rejoice in all that I shall meet. Along with the clothing of wonder, may I have room in my luggage for a mystic map by which I can find the invisible meanings of the events of this journey— of possible disappointments [...]

THE LORD’S PRAYER: The Will, by Evelyn Underhill

May 15, 2017

The graph of Christian prayer conforms very closely to the central action of the Eucharist.  First, the Sanctus, the type of all adoring worship “with angels and archangels glorifying the Holy Name” and lifting heart and mind to the contemplation of Reality.  Then the bread and wine, the ordinary stuff of life raised to the plane of scarifice and freely offered that it may be blessed and transformed by the action of the Holy, made the food and salvation of the soul.  And now we stand at the central point on which all this is poised: where the Heavenly prayer and the Earthly prayer meet.  Our Father, which art in Heaven….  Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  That Will: that mysterious attribute of the Living [...]

BLESSING: The Blessing Of The Trinity (Celtic)

May 15, 2017

From Daily Readings from Prayers & Praises in the Celtic Tradition In name of Father, In name of Son, In name of Spirit, Three in One: Father cherish me, Son cherish me, Spirit cherish me, Three all-kindly. God make me holy, Christ make me holy, Spirit make me holy, Three all-holy. Three aid my hope, Three aid my love, Three aid mine eye, And my knee from stumbling, My knee from [...]

BLESSING: This Day We Say Grateful, by Jan Richardson

May 12, 2017

From: The Painted Prayerbook It is a strange thing to be so bound and so released all in the same moment, to feel the heart open wide and wider still even as it turns to take its leave. On this day, let us say this is simply the way love moves in its ceaseless spiraling, turning us toward one another, then sending us into what waits for us with arms open wide to us in welcome and in hope. On this day, in this place where you have poured yourself out, where you have been emptied and filled and emptied again, may you be aware more than ever of what your heart has opened to here, what it has tended and welcomed here, where it has broken in love and in grief, where it has given and received blessing in the unfathomable mystery that moves us, [...]

BLESSING: A Blessing Of Solitude, by John O’Donohue

May 11, 2017

From: Anam Cara May you recognize in your life the presence, power, and light of your soul. May you realize that  you are never alone, that  your soul in its brightness and belonging connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe. May you have respect for your own individuality and difference. May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique, that you have a special destiny here, that behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful, good, and eternal happening. May you learn to see yourself with the same delight, pride, and expectation with which God sees you in every moment.   [...]

POETRY: Unquiet Vigil, by Paul Quenon

May 10, 2017

Stale prayer from unreal depths— depths I assume are mine— are relieved by real sleep, that awakens me to my real shallows where prayer amounts to almost nothing or less. Such an infinity where almost nothing dividing endlessly never reaches nothing wherein are real depths not mine… Be kind. Myself, to myself, be [...]

THE LORD’S PRAYER: The Kingdom, by Evelyn Underhill

May 8, 2017

Having recognized and worshiped the Name, we pray next for its triumph: Thy Kingdom come.  Here man’s most sacred birthright, his deep longing for perfection, and with it his bitter consciousness of imperfection, break out with power.  We want to bring the God whom we worship, his beauty, his sovereignty, his order, into the very texture of our life; and the fundamental human need for action into the radius of our prayer.  This is the natural sequel to the prayer of adoration.  We have had a glimpse of the mystery of the Holy, have worshiped before the veils of beauty and sacrifice; and that throws into vivid relief the poverty, the anarchy, the unreality in which we live – the resistance of the world, the creature, to God, and [...]

BLESSING: Blessing Prayer For Healing, by Joyce Rupp

May 8, 2017

May you desire to be healed. May what is wounded in your life be restored to good health. May you be receptive to the ways in which healing needs to happen. May you take good care of yourself. May you extend compassion to all that hurts within your body, mind, and spirit. May you be patient with the time it takes to heal. May you be aware of the wonders of your body, mind, and spirit and their ability in returning you to good health. May you be open to receive from those who extend kindness, care, and compassion to you. May you rest peacefully under the sheltering wings of divine love, trusting in this gracious presence. May you find little moments of beauty and joy to sustain you. May you keep hope in your heart. [...]

BLESSING: A Morning Offering, by John O’Donohue

May 4, 2017

From: To Bless the Space Between Us I bless the night that nourished my heart To set the ghosts of longing free Into the flow and figure of dream That went to harvest from the dark Bread for the hunger no one sees. All that is eternal in me Welcomes the wonder of this day, The field of brightness it creates Offering time for each thing To arise and illuminate. I place on the altar of dawn: The quiet loyalty of breath, The tent of thought where I shelter, Waves of desire I am shore to And all beauty drawn to the eye. May my mind come alive today To the invisible geography That invites me to new frontiers, To break the dead shell of yesterdays, To risk being disturbed and changed. May I have the courage today To live the life that I would [...]

PSALMS: Who Prays The Psalms, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

May 2, 2017

Of the 150 Psalms, 73 are attributed to King David, 12 to the songmaster Asaph, who was appointed by David, 12 to the Levitical family of the children of Korah working under David, two to King Solomon, one of the music masters Herman and Ethan, probably employed by David and Solomon.  Thus it is understandable that the name of David has been connected with the Psalter in special ways. It is reported that after David’s secret anointing as king, he was called to play the harp for King Saul, who was abandoned by God and plagued by an evil spirit.  And whenever the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand; so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. (1 Samuel [...]

JESUS: Prayer, by Mark G. Boyer

May 1, 2017

  Scripture:Now during those days Jesus went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God.  And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James, son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Luke 6:12-16) Reflection: If Jesus does anything more than eat in Luke’s gospel, it is pray.  The Lukan Jesus is found at prayer before he is baptized, in deserted places, before he questions his disciples about his identity, before his transfiguration, before [...]


April 28, 2017

She sat there at the table.  One hand covering a part of the other. Her sweetness so profound it creates its own kind of beauty. I want you to pray for a member of my family. I scrabble for my pen and the piece of paper I use in that setting to list those who will go on my general intercessory prayer list. I write the name down. Then, while she is still talking about this prayer of ours, just assigned, she straightens her spine.  And becomes The Brave Girl. Now we know that nothing can be done for him. I stand and watch her until she is finished, then go on with my day. Later, when I get home, I get out my intercessory prayer “notebook.” It’s this large, hard notebook that has massive rings.  When my daughter went to [...]

BLESSING: Blessing Prayer For Mother’s Day, by Edward Hays

April 28, 2017

From Prayers for the Domestic Church God of Love, listen to this prayer. God of Holy People, of Sarah, Ruth, and Rebekah; God of holy Elizabeth, mother of John, of Holy Mary, Mother of Jesus, bend down Your ear to this request and bless the mother of our family. Bless her with the strength of Your spirit, she who has taught her children how to stand and walk. Bless her with the melody of Your love, she who has shared how to speak, how to sing and how to pray to You. Bless her with a place at Your eternal dinner table, she who has fed and nurtured the life that was formed within her while still helpless but embraced in her love. Bless her today, now, in this lifetime, with good things, with health. Bless her with joy, love, laughter, and [...]

BLESSING: 40 Powerful Blessings To Pray Over Your Children, by Debbie McDaniel

April 27, 2017

From Dear God, We praise you for your love and faithfulness. We thank you for your protection and care over our families. Thank you for giving us the power to love well, and the wisdom to lead and teach our children. We know you are for us. We know that you will fight for our families today. You are the Redeemer, the Restorer, and the Friend. We believe you have only good in store for us. We confess, some days, parenting is tough. Many days we can feel anxious or overwhelmed. We ask that you would make us more like you, more aware of your constant presence in our lives. Help us to release our children to you, so that you are free to fully accomplish all that you desire, in them, through them. Please fill our families with [...]

PSALMS: Learning To Pray In The Name Of Jesus, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

April 25, 2017

Now there is in the Holy Scriptures a book which is distinguished from all other books of the Bible by the fact that it contains only prayers.  The book is the Psalms.  It is at first very surprising that there is a prayerbook in the Bible.  The Holy Scripture is the Word of God to us.  But prayers are the words of men.  How do prayers then get into the Bible?  Let us make no mistake about it, the Bible is the Word of God even in the Psalms.  Then are these prayers to God also God’s own word?  That seems rather difficult to understand.  We grasp it only when we remember that we can learn true prayer only from Jesus Christ, from the word of the Son of God, who lives with us men, to God the Father, who lives in eternity.  [...]

BLESSING: My Prayer, by Helen Steiner Rice

April 25, 2017

From A Collection of Blessings Bless me, Heavenly Father— Forgive my erring ways. Grant me strength to serve thee; Put purpose in my days. Give me understanding, Enough to make me kind, So I may judge all people With my heart and not my mind. Teach me to be patient in everything I do, Content to trust your wisdom And to follow after you. Help me when I falter, and hear me when I pray, And receive me in thy kingdom To dwell with thee [...]

THE LORD’S PRAYER: The Father, by Evelyn Underhill

April 24, 2017

The crowds who followed Christ hoping for healing or counsel did not ask him to teach them how to pray; nor did he give this prayer to them.  It is not for those who want religion to be helpful, who seek after signs; those who expect it to solve their political problems and cure their diseases, but are not prepared to share its cost.  He gave it to those whom he was going to incorporate into his rescuing system, use in his ministry; the sons of the Kingdom, self-given to the creative purposes of God.  Thou when thou prayest, pray ye on this manner.  It is the prayer of those “sent forth” to declare the Kingdom, whom the world will hate, whose unpopularity with man will be in proportion to their loyalty to God; the apostles [...]

BLESSING: Traditional Celtic Blessing, adapted by Ray Simpson

April 24, 2017

From A Forgiving Heart This soul did little good to me, O Lord, but this soul was yours. So to this soul I say: I bless the day you were born. I bless your growing up. I bless you, even in your dark deeds. And I bless you, soul, at your end. Travel to the God who transforms. Travel to the Arms so wide. Travel to the Spirit all [...]