Litany for Compassion Fatigue (Proper 11, Year B)

In this week's Gospel reading, we see a tired Christ surrounded by tired disciples, looking for some rest and respite from their work. But they can't find it, even when they get on a boat and sail away to an empty place. Crowds of the sick and needy still find them there. And Christ sees the crowd and Mark's gospel says "he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd."

If you are suffering from compassion fatigue in these times, you're not alone. Maybe this litany will be helpful to you.

 

God, we bear witness to Christ:
In scripture,
In spirit,
And in our own experience.

We see the times when he and his disciples were exhausted
By the constant cries of distressed people,
By exerting themselves in service
By crowds and noise and need.

We have felt those same feelings,
And needed similar rest.

Help us not to grow irritable or resistant
To the needs of human beings;
But to have compassion for your people,
The sheep of your pasture.
For we are among them,
Hungry and in need of healing;
Hoping to touch the fringe of Christ’s cloak (Mark 6:56),
Hoping for miracles.

Help us to find respite from noise and distraction
And find connection with you,
Life with you,
Nourishment with you,
Peace with you,
Rest with you.

As as we daily enter the quiet place of restoration,
May we find you there.
And when we must go a little farther, pour out a little more,
May we receive our strength from you.
Amen

Lent 4 (Year B): Litany for Sickness

This week's Lectionary selections include the account of Moses raising up a bronze serpent in the desert for the healing of the Hebrews, then the later comparison in John 3 of Christ being raised up; so that all who see him can receive healing.
 

God we are sick in so many ways -
     Some from trauma,
     Some from our own sinful ways,
     Some from hardship,
Not a one of us unaffected
By humanity’s broken choices.

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (1)
So was Christ lifted up (2);
That, by seeing him and becoming awake to his work
We might be healed (3).
For in him there is no condemnation
But healing for the nations (4).

By grace we have been rescued
It is the gift of God (5) --
From sickness and death
To wholeness and life --
You have raised us up with Christ
And seated us with him in the heavenly places (6).

We thank you, God, for your steadfast love
For your wonderful works to humankind:
You sent out your word to heal us
And delivered us from destruction (7).
We were asleep through our sickness.
You are making us awake with Christ (8).

Amen

  1. Numbers 21:8

  2. John 3:14

  3. John 3:15

  4. John 3:16,17

  5. Ephesians 2:8

  6. Ephesians 2:5,6

  7. Psalm 107:20,21

  8. Ephesians 2:1,5

Epiphany, Year B (Week 5): Litany for Healing

God, we look to you as Healer.
Heal us, oh God.

We look to the message of Christ for our hope:
The Kingdom, the Way of God is near.
You give power to the faint,
And strengthen the powerless. (1)
You heal the brokenhearted
And bind up their wounds. (2).

From our physical infirmities
Heal us, oh God.
From our spiritual blindness,
Heal us, oh God.
From our emotional woundedness,
Heal us, oh God.
From our weakness and corruption,
Heal us, oh God.
From our mental illnesses,
Heal us, oh God.
From our brokenness and trauma,
Heal us, oh God.
From our carelessness and apathy,
Heal us, oh God.
From our generational burdens,
Heal us, oh God.
From our hatred and violence,
Heal us, oh God.

Those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
They shall mount up with wings like eagles
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. (3)

We wait for you,
God, our healer.
Amen.

 

  1. Isaiah 40:29

  2. Psalm 147:3

  3. Isaiah 40:31

Litany for Ten Lepers

The Lectionary passage for October 9 from the Gospels is Luke 17:11-19. It is the story of Jesus healing ten lepers. Of the ten healed, only one returns to worship at Jesus' feet and express gratitude. The lepers would have been considered the dregs of society, the forgotten, the most avoided. They kept their distance from Jesus, and yet they are recipients of his mercy even from afar. All ten were healed, but only the grateful one drew near to him to worship.
 

God, who sent Christ
Who has mercy on the leper, the foreigner, the unseen
On those who keep their distance
Hovering on the edges of society:

You bring the unclean near to you.
Draw us near, now, to your merciful love.

We want to be like the one who came back:
The one who receives healing with a grateful heart
Who asks for mercy, and in receiving it,
Rejoices and worships at your feet.

We thank you, Oh God,
You heal our diseases and make us clean.
You give a home to the homeless,
You give food and drink to empty bellies,
You care for the foreigner and the orphan.
You raise up those who are powerless and forgotten.
Hallelujah!
Thanks and praise are yours forever!
Hallelujah!
Peace and healing are in your hands.

May our hearts be attuned both to the mercy we may offer,
And to the mercy of God we receive daily in drawing close to Christ.

Amen

Litany for Grief

I am hoping this prayer will be of use to those looking for resources for expressing grief and lamentation in a congregational or small group setting; but I also hope it will be helpful to some individuals experiencing personal grief. The opening lines are taken from a song I co-wrote called "I Cannot Live Without You" published by Vineyard, which can be found here.


God of Mercy, God of Tenderness, God of Nurture, God of Love
God-Provider, God-Comforter, God-Sustainer, God-with-us:
Be with us now in our mourning, and in our sadness.

We acknowledge that the only way out of our grief is through it.
We acknowledge that we must pay attention to our emotions in order to be whole persons.
We acknowledge that we would often rather avoid our sadness than pay attention to it.
We acknowledge that grief can be sticky, unpredictable, and hard to shake off.
We acknowledge that there are some mountains we cannot move under our own power.

Over and over, You have shown us that You are good, and Your love endures forever.
We know that You lovingly show us this often, because we are apt to forget.
We know that Your goodness does not necessarily safeguard us from pain. 
We know that our pain does not negate Your goodness.

Help us to walk faithfully through our pain and sadness.
Help us to engage in lamentation, in the tradition of the saints who came before us.
Help us to remember that our anger, sadness, disappointment, and grief do not put you off.
Help us to be moving forward:
     Toward growth
     Toward wisdom
     Toward emotional health
     Toward wholeness
     Toward reconciliation between our faith and our emotions.

We are helpless, and require Christ’s assistance.
We are undone, and require re-making.
We are brokenhearted, and require healing.
We are poor in spirit, and in need of the kingdom of Heaven.

Amen