Archive for the ‘Community and Country 2000s’ Category

A Prayer for Proper Priorities   18 comments

Above:  A Scene from the March for Troy Davis, September 16, 2011

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta



God of justice,

may we have proper priorities.

Taking our cues from the prophets and Jesus,

may we eschew idolatry,

love you fully,

love our neighbors as we love ourselves,

care for widows and orphans,

plead their cases,

feed the hungry,

clothe the naked,

visit the sick and the imprisoned,

resist and condemn judicial corruption and other official injustice,

and value the most vulnerable members of society.

May we love the unloved,

comfort the comfortless,

give hope to the hopeless,

include the improperly excluded,

and recognize your image in each other.

May we succeed by grace and for your glory and our common good.






Unconditional Love   Leave a comment

Statue of Reconciliation, St. Michael’s Cathedral, Coventry, England, United Kingdom

Image Source = Rebecca Kennison


Website of the Cathedral:

Prayer by Jetty van den Berghe, who has graciously granted me permission to reproduce it; She posted it in the Facebook group for the Ecumenical Catholic Communion; I have adapted it slightly for ease of word choice and for punctuation here and there



You offer your love to all humankind,

It’s a gift, your unconditional love,

A love that is repeated every day.

Thou Faithful God, you’ve put in all your love by sending Your Only Son, Jesus.

The essence of this love is that You carried your creation

In the warmth of your heart.

Father, your Son has brought reconciliation in our lives.

Grant that we humans will be as you originally intended.

It is in this love that our lives are completely renewed.

Make us witnesses of this unconditional love,

to love one another,

That our environment may also be touched by this unconditional love.

Father of our existence, accept our honor and glory.


A Prayer Regarding the Future   1 comment

Which Way?

Image Source = Daniel Case


Loving and compassionate God,

when we must choose to follow one path or another,

may we take the proper one;

when we make a decision which affects other people,

may we decide wisely;

when another person makes a decision which affects us,

may he or she decide in accordance with your best plans for us;

for our lives are intertwined with each other.

By your grace,

may we look out for one another successfully,

recognize the image of God in ourselves and one another successfully,

help each other along the way successfully,

and achieve the common good successfully.

In your holy Name we pray.







For Our Enemies   6 comments


Image Source = Wikipedia


Burnt Cross at Coventry Cathedral, England

Image Source = sannse


The second is preferable to the first.


Prayer Source = Lutheran Service Book (2006), of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod

The command of our Lord and Savior to love our enemies is a difficult one to keep.  I have struggled with it in circumstances far less dire than his.  Yet this imperative remains with me, reminding me of how far I fall short.  Like the Apostle Paul, I do what I know I should not do and do not do the things I know I ought to do.  Fortunately, there is abundant grace.  Anyhow, this prayer seems especially appropriate in early Easter Week, just a few days removed from Good Friday.–KRT


Almighty, everlasting God,

through Your only Son, our blessed Lord,

You commanded us to love our enemies,

to do good to those who hate us,

and to pray for those who persecute us.

Therefore, we earnestly implore You

that by Your gracious working

our enemies may be led to true repentance,

may have the same love toward us as we have toward them,

and may be of one accord and one mind and heart

with us and with Your whole Church;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


For All Who Seek or Hold Public Office in Any Land at Any Time   4 comments

Government (1896), by Elihu Vedder, from the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA

Image Source = Wikipedia

Gracious God, you have taught us to love one another actively and effectively, binding us together in common life.

We pray for–not about–all who seek or hold public office.

We ask that they will seek and understand correctly the common good and the most effective and morally acceptable ways to accomplish that goal.  When traditions work well, may they persist.  But when the quiet dogmas of the past prove ineffectual in the stormy present, may our leaders–and we–think anew and act anew.

May those who seek or hold public office appeal to the higher angels of our nature, eschewing appeals to our prejudices, hatreds, and unfounded antipathies, which detract from the common good.  May our leaders and prospective leaders safeguard civil rights and liberties for all persons, protecting inalienable rights and avoiding the tyranny of the majority.

And may we, as a people, be patient when that is appropriate.  Many solutions require time to work themselves out.  Rome was not built in a day, and major problems did not arise overnight; so why should all fixes be quick ones?

In your name we pray.  Amen.





NOTE:  If you are quite observant and well-informed in early U.S. history, O reader, you will recognize references to the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Abraham Lincoln.  Long have I loved that part of my nation’s character which enunciates high ideals and struggles to live up to them, improving with time.  No amount of idealism can erase the baser elements of human nature, but they can show us a better way.–KRT

A Prayer to Embrace Love, Empathy, and Compassion, and to Eschew Hatred, Invective, and Willful Ignorance   16 comments

Loving God, anger is seductive and our self-defense mechanisms lead us frequently to ignore inconvenient facts and truths.  And, when people confront us, sometimes we become rude and obnoxious.  Parts of the mass media feed off this tendency.

Yet reality is objective, and no amount of repetition of mantras, doctrines, and dogmas can change this fact.  Furthermore, nobody is entirely correct or incorrect all the time.  So may we have enough humility to recognize when we are objectively wrong and others are objectively right.

May we embrace love, empathy, and compassion, seeking active virtue.  May our lives become prayer pleasing to you.  May we become Jesus to each other.  May we value people more than objects, and the intangible more than the tangible.  May we reject all phobias and isms which denigrate people.  May we have what Martin Luther King, Jr., called a “revolution of values.”

In the name of the God.  Amen.




Artists and Writers   3 comments

Image in the Public Domain

From Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), of The Episcopal Church:

Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring [N. and] all those

who with images and words have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

A Prayer for Those Suffering from Holiday Grief   8 comments

Above:  A Christmas Tree

Image Source = DRO4



Loving God,

the annual celebration of your incarnation in the form of Jesus approaches.

This should be a happy and blessed occasion.

Yet many people grieve the absence of one or more friends or family members

whom distance,



or death separate from them.

Bestow upon those who grieve

the consolation of your Holy Spirit,

that they may rejoice in your love and mercy.

We pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

fully human and fully divine.  Amen.

Kenneth Randolph Taylor

December 7, 2009

Renewers of Society   Leave a comment

The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., at the March on Washington, August 1963

Image Source = Wikipedia

From Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give life his life for the life of the world.  Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.  Through us give hope to the hopeless, love to the unloved, peace to the troubled, and rest to the weary, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, one God, now and forever.  Amen.


Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.  Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.  Help us, like your servant N., to work for justice among people and nations, to the glory of your name, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Prayers for Forgiveness, Mercy, and Trust   7 comments

The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Rembrandt

Image Source = Wikipedia

From Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Gracious God, your son called on you to forgive his enemies while he was suffering shame and death.  Lead our enemies and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them from us and from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled from you; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.


From the Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.):

Loving God, you want us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing except losing you, and to lay our cares on you, knowing that you care for us.  Protect us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds in this mortal life may hide us from the light of your immortal love shown to us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

Just as a woman caresses her child, O God, you wrap us in gentle care.

Make yourself known to us now to still our anxious hearts.

Within the household of faith comfort us with the gospel of your abiding love.

Nurture us with the Bread of Life that satisfies.

Free us from all earthly securities that we may rely solely upon your strength.

So we may be free at last.



From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

Be merciful, gracious God, to all those in trouble:

those who are exhausted,

those who are in sorrow,

those whose lives are ebbing away,

those who are without friends,

those who are forgotten by the world.

Ever loving God, we entrust them to your care.

In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

O God, you are the light of the minds that know you, the life of the souls that love you, and the strength of the wills that serve you; help us to know you that we may truly love you, so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

O God, Creator of all, help us to forgive others as we would wish them to forgive us.

May we try to understand them as we in turn would like to be understood, in the hope of that forgiveness will be in order.

May we see with their eyes, think with their minds, feel with their hearts.

Then let us ask ourselves whether we should judge them or judge ourselves and accept them as children, like us, of one heavenly Father.



From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

Eternal God, all-powerful and merciful, your word is a torch for our path and a light for our way.  Open our eyes and enlighten our spirit that we may understand your revelation in all its purity and holiness.  May it transform our lives and make us worthy to bear your image; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness and was tempted as we are, yet without sin: give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit; and, as you know our weakness, so may we know your power to save; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

O Dawn of the new creation, spill a ray of hope to lift the hearts of your sons and daughters, for we are bound by a vision that is not always clear to see.  As we live into your promises, help us to help each other, for we truly need each other, as you need us and we need you every day of our lives.  Amen.


From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.  Lighten, if it be your will, the pressure of this world’s care, and, above all, reconcile us to your will, and give us a peace that the world cannot take away, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

Teach us, O gracious Lord, to begin our works with reverence, to go on in obedience, and to finish them with love; and then to wait patiently in hope, and with cheerful countenance to look up to you, whose promises are faithful and rewards infinite; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


Caring God, by whom we are supported day and night, assist us during our waking hours to resist the temptations that beset us, so that, with your help, the graces of Christian character may more and more take shape in our lives.

Give us, O God, a warm heart, that no coldness may chill our love of people, or restrict our charitable deeds.

Give us, O God, a wide vision, that no prejudice may limit our understanding of others, or make us intolerant and unjust.

Give us, O God, a pure mind, that no evil thoughts may corrupt us, or turn the light that is in us to darkness.

Give us, O God, a strong will, that no weakness may cripple our good intentions, or disable us from doing and saying what is right.

Give us, O God, a great desire to put our feet into the print of Christ’s shoes, and to follow him faithfully to the end of our days.



From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

Living God, we seek your presence now.

Our minds cannot understand you, yet our hearts cry out for a living relationship with you.

Our eyes cannot see you, yet without you there would be nothing to see.

Our faith cannot grasp you, yet in you we live and move and have our being.

Our way ahead into this week is hidden from us, but we trust that you have prepared a way through for us.

Renew our vision of the eternal truths in the light of which our day-to-day lives must be lived.

Open our eyes to see your presence in the simple glories of everyday things.

Light up our relationships with other people by the living word of love in Jesus.

Help us to see where we went wrong in the past, that we shall be able to take our bearings afresh for the way ahead.

In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.


From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

God of the quiet places, God of the stormy seas, we gather in your calming presence.

Silence the crashing waves of trouble in our hearts.

Let us hear your promise to us in Christ’s whispered, “Be still.”

And in our stillness, let us know within our whole selves that you and you alone are God.



From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

Dear Jesus, help us to spread your fragrance every where we go.

Flood our souls with your spirit and life.

Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly that our lives may only be a radiance of yours.

Let us thus praise you in the way you love best by shining on those around us.

Let us preach you without preaching, not by words, but by our example, by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what we do, the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you.  Amen.


From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

O God, you are the unsearchable abyss of peace, the ineffable sea of love, the fountain of blessings, and the bestower of affection, who sends peace to those that receive it.

Open to us this day the sea of your love and water us with plenteous streams from the riches of your grace from the most sweet springs of our kindness.

Make us children of quietness and heirs of peace; enkindle in us the fire of your love; strengthen in us the fire of your love; strengthen our weakness by your power; bind us closely to you and to each other in our firm and indissoluble bond of unity.



From Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

God, you are no idol of our making, but the living god, coming, going, revealed or hidden–as you decide.  Give us the capacity to be surprised into new understanding.  Break through our traditions and set phrases, and show yourself alive–the strength of our present and the promise of our future.  Give us the capacity to be surprised by each other: to recognize truth in words spoken, movements made and glances given; seeing new dimensions in each other.

Help us to be startled by grace where we could see no virtue, by kindness where we could see only coldness, by the need of love where we could see only arrogance and ingratitude, by the need of love where we could see only dirt, squalor, and laziness.  Meet us, Lord, in unexpected places; speak to us through unexpected voices; and do not let us refuse to see or hear you anywhere.

Help us of our own free will to love and cherish one another and all people everywhere, until every man, woman, and child becomes aware of being loved, cherished, and accepted by you, and the universe rings with loud and joyful praise to the glory of your name.  Amen.