by Jim Winkler
O Thou who hast shaped both the world in which we live as well as our lives as individuals and nations according to seasons,
we thank Thee
for realities changeable and unchangeable,
for gentle mornings and cool evenings,
for gifts that sensitize and deepen our spirits
and for the mounting anticipation of holy days and holidays.
We thank Thee for lives deepened and nurtured by loving relationships,
the warm acceptance of friend and family,
the deep ties nurtured within Thy holy Church
and the peace of Thy Spirit in the midst of the struggles of war and torture and debasement.
May these and all Thy blessings shape us into people
more prone to giving than receiving,
more given to gratitude than complaining,
more aware of need than our own self-satisfaction.
Thou knowest, O God, that there is another side to us:
discouragement often tempts us to despair;
anger leads to depression;
tension grows into anxiety;
grief makes us withdraw;
incapacitation tempts us to self-pity;
rejection leads to loneliness.
We bring such subtle turns of mind to Thee, yielding our lives to thine inestimable grace, seeking trust in Thee and Thy will. Lead us from the deserts of unfaithfulness into the rich plains of hope. Guide us from the dark caves of doubt into the illumination of faith. Heal our spirits, give us new life.
Complete the work Thou hast begun. Because of our blessings, release us through a flow of gentleness and mercy that will bring
healing where there is hurt;
peace where there is violence;
beauty where there is ugliness;
justice where there is brokenness;
beginnings where there are dead-ends.
O Thou who art beyond our grasp yet within our reach, past our knowing but answerable to our searching, disturber of the assured and assurer of the disturbed, grant thy grace to those for whom we especially pray:
those who live in darkness of poverty and need the light of prosperity;
those who live in the light or prosperity and need the grace of sharing;
those who live in the midst of defeat and need the peace that passeth all understanding;
those who suffer pain and those who give their lives to healing ministries;
those who have heard the Word and strayed away and those who tell the Truth.
O Keeper of Promises, renew the promise in us and in those we love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.