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Prayers: “Pastoral Prayer

Universal Spirit of Life, God of many names, Source of all being in which we live and breath and have our being,

We come together in prayer even though many us struggle with what that means. We come together to stand before that which is greater than us, although we struggle to say what that is.

And so on this day we pray for those things we struggle with. For the conflicts we feel within ourselves and between us and those we love. We pray for guidance, compassion, for the opening of a path.

We pray for those things that give us joy and hope. For those things that we trust in, believe in, will sacrifice for. These are gifts of grace, and perhaps we need not define them in order to savor them, rejoice in them, be thankful for them.

What we do know is that we gather this morning with all kinds of needs. Some are facing serious physical problems and are in need of healing. Others need healing of a different kind – emotional and spiritual. Some are facing family problems. Some are weary with the struggles of life and seek assurance that this will someday pass. Others face financial difficulties and the spectre of making difficult decisions for themselves and their families.

For each of us, we speak the deepest prayers of our hearts in different ways, knowing that what it means for them to be answered will look and feel different for each of us. May we, somehow, this morning be met at the point of our differences and also in the places that we are one, of the same breath of life that courses through all living things.

May we always hold in our hearts gratitude for those things that bless us with their presence, forgiveness for the ways we have turned from those blessings, and the willingness to open ourselves anew to this beautiful and hurting world.

In the name of truth, compassion and justice, this we pray.

Amen and blessed be.

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

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Last updated on Tuesday, September 10, 2013.

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