Litany for Growing

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At the turn of the year, many of us set aside time to reflect and set intentions for the coming year. How do we want to be? What do we want to carry forward? What do we need to let go of? What changes do we want to see made in the world that we might be part of.

I personally have a going list of hopes, dreams, and intentions. There are things I want to accomplish, changes I want to make, goals I want to meet, and ways I know I need to grow and evolve. My intentions range from the physical (improve fitness level, etc), to career (make my writing practice sustainable!), to spiritual, emotional, and relational; to collective and societal.

So, if you are on that journey of looking forward and speaking and imagining new things into being, I invite you to pray this prayer asking for patience to play the long game.


God, we stretch out our arms,
Reaching toward heaven.
We stretch out our hearts,
Reaching toward the timeless.
We stretch out our vision,
Reaching beyond our horizons.

There’s so much to be done.
So much change to be made.
That sometimes it’s hard to remember
That everything is as it should be:
Collectively, we are growing.
We are evolving.
And despite evidence to the contrary,
Things are progressing.

So we ask for help in being still and present
When the world is hectic;
And we ask for help in taking right action
When we are overwhelmed.
We lay ourselves bare before you
Nothing kept hidden or held back,
Trusting you to meet us in our need
And provide for us in our process.

May all we do,
And all we work toward,
Every imperceptible expansion,
Every slow millimeter of growth,
Make your community more welcoming,
And the world more truly peaceful (1).

.
Amen.

  1. Jeremiah 6:14

Litany for Year-End Reflection

God, in everything that’s happened this year,
Both good and bad,
We know that you were with us,
Always loving and present.

We’re spending time looking backwards, in hindsight,
Assessing our own progress and growth;
What worked, what didn’t,
What helped, what hindered.

And we’re spending time looking forwards, toward the new year,
Setting intentions and voicing our hopes
What we’d like to accomplish and improve,
What we’d like to experience and enjoy.

But we are also learning
To be in this moment,
To breathe deeply into our bodies
Right here, right now.

Because we know that the doorway to the Community of Heaven
Is right now -
Accessible always, no matter the circumstance,
Timeless and reliable.

And so we celebrate the year -
Its beginnings and its endings,
Its triumphs and its failures,
Its gifts and its receipts -
By turning our attention to you, Great Present,
Divine Attention, Conscious Now,
And leaning into the eternal flow of Love
As Christ has taught us.

We offer gratitude for each experience
For each person,
And we put our hope in the continued revealing
Of the peace, joy, and love of God.

Amen

Litany for a New Year

God, in the past year
We have been tested and tried.
We have been given joys and pains in their measure
Laughter and sadness in their measure.
And now we look forward into a new year,
A new leg of our journey,
Knowing that not everything will be easy
Joy and pain, laughter and sadness will meet us in turn.

Help us to live this year with intention
With compassion
With attention
With assertiveness
With kindness toward all (including ourselves)
With purpose
With calm
With gratitude.

And whatever storms we must navigate
Whatever roads we must travel
Be present with us.
Speak to us of your mercy;
Speak to us of your love,
That we may in turn speak mercy and love into being
In this world
And in this year.

Amen

Litany for Imagination

God, we are made by you:
Imagined by you,
Formed in your image,
Created by your love.

We often forget that we are creatures of imaginative potential,
Of creativity;
That our imaginations, like yours, can be generative and life-giving
Useful to your Kingdom.
We often forget that our assumptions about you are limited
     By our experience here;
     By words on a page,
     By culture and tradition,
     By our ego,
     By our smallness.
But with these starting points, and with imagination, we can let go of assuming
And move closer to you.

We struggle, because we only know things that you are like
     Like water
     Like bread
     Like wind
     Like a parent
     Like a king.
But we know that these are incomplete comparisons:
Nothing we know can define you.

We pause now, and open our minds
To the fullness of God;
Of which we can contain only a little at a time -
A portion that gives us life
And makes us hungry and thirsty for more.
Fueling our imaginations.

This is what we ask for:
To be able to move past what we can see, feel,
Taste, touch and hear with our mortal bodies.
Toward a new horizon, a new reality:
A Kingdom you are imagining
And inviting us to imagine and embody.

Amen
 

Litany for New Year’s Day

Faithful God, we look back on the year behind us and appreciate Your presence with us through it. We look ahead at the year before us with hope, and anticipate Your continuing love and the fulfillment of your promises.

In this new year, grant that we may become
more faithful
more committed to your kingdom work
more knowledgeable of your ways
more familiar with your spirit
more pliant to your instruction
more willing to give of ourselves to others

We pray for increase
of love
of storehouses full of good things to share
of relational harmony and peace
of health
of meaningful work
of balance among work, play, and rest
of personal growth and wisdom
of grateful hearts
and most of all, of your presence and power among us.

May we hear your voice more clearly, and heed it.
May we be aware of the limits of our understanding, and work to expand them.
May the words of Christ dwell in us richly.
May we be vigilant for those around us who are in need and tend to them.
May we experience anew the rebirth and resurrection life of Jesus.
May we complete the tasks you set before us, love well those souls you give to our care, and make good use of the time we are given on the earth.

We are grateful for Your love, kindness, and care.
Amen