Prayers and poems

of contemporary spirituality

O Lord,
Help us to never forget that what people most need is love.  And we bring our advice, our methods, our programs, and too many people are left wondering if they are loved. 

Remind us to love in the smallest details of life -- our smiles, our hellos, our listening to a child, and our goodbys, and  In acts of mercy, compassion and forgiveness, let us show the reality of our love to others -- a reflection of your greater love for all of us. Amen.

To Set Aside The Artificial

Father in heaven, 
Help me to set aside all artificial religiosity, to clear out the clutter of my soul, and simply make some sacred space inside where your dear Son, Jesus Christ may dwell.

Courage To Smile

Help me to have the courage to smile when others are frowning.  I ask for boldness to claim the joy of faith is mine, and to know that this great gift depends, not on the approval of others, but on you alone.  I am willing to receive your joy.  Amen.

  "Rejoice in the Lord; again I say, 'Rejoice."
--the Apostle Paul

  "The joy of the Lord is your strength."
Nehemiah 8: 10

For A Humble, Serving Church

Lord, let your church clothe itself with humility, gird itself with a towel and wash the dirty feet of this world. 

Lead us to know that you oppose the proud, but give grace to the humble. We have too often sought to build up our own Kingdoms of sects, denominations, ideologies, and theologies. We have sought more to make our names known, instead of your love and grace in Jesus Christ.

We pray now to reverence your holy name. We ask that your Kingdom come, even if our little kingdoms decline.
In the name of Jesus who washed his disciples' feet, we pray. Amen.

I Accept, I Believe, I Will Follow You

Dear Lord,

     In the full measure of reverence and humility, I accept your Son, Jesus Christ,

 I believe, I will follow you.  My life is no longer my own, but yours.  I seek not my way, but your way. 

     I believe in your cross and your salvation.  I take your Son as my Savior and Lord.  I rejoice in your resurrection and count it as my rising to the higher life that you intended for me. 

     Now I will follow you and in following I will learn the true, way of life that is in Jesus Christ.   

     I accept Jesus. I believe the Gospel of your grace. I will follow you.

For faith to endure the storms, for power to do what is right, for patience  -- I take the name of Jesus Christ

    I accept. I believe, I will follow.          Amen.


We Have Today  -- a poem of spirituality

Let us love and laugh and live for we have today, but all our tomorrows are questions without answers.
Tomorrows are drops of quicksilver sliding in our hands,
                            slipping away , and

    SH  at ter      in g
                        on the ground.

This moment we have, of the next we know nothing.
Let us live and laugh and love NOW.
Later on, we can chase the horizon,
look for the rainbow's end,
do the wash,
balance the checkbook,
mow the grass,
feed the cat.

We have today, let us live now.

By B. Williamson

Do not tell me the temple bells are polished to a lustrous sheen.  Or that the candles burn brighter from a holy wax, or that thousands crowd your temple. But tell me that the lonely find a friend and the hungry a satisfying meal, then I am impressed.  Tell me the child finds a place to play and youth a place of joy, and then I will attend to your words.

Tell me people have found love, and that the discouraged have found hope, then I am interested.
But parking garages full of cars, soft padded pews, and a minister -- slim, charming, and handsome beyond words -- does not tell me what I want to know.  I want to know faith came down, and that hurting people found hope and love and joy.  Tell me good was done in simple things, then, I will be amazed, impressed with wonder that God that has come down into your temple.

Impresionado     en espanol

    No me digas que las campanas del templo han sido limpiadas con un aceite lustroso.  O que las velas se ven mas brillantes por esa cera especialmente refinada o que miles dee gentes acuden a tu templo. 

   Si quiero que me digas que el solitario encontro un amigo y que el hambriento tiene alimento que lo satisface, eso si me impresiona.  Dime que el nino tiene un lugar donde jugar y los jovenes us sitio de placer, eso si me hara que le ponga atencion a tur palabras.

    Dime que la gente encontro el amor, y que el desalentado encontro esperanza.  Eso si me interesa.  Sin embargo, los estacionamientosllenos de autos, las acojinadas bancas de nuestra Iglesia, y un ministro -- esbelto, agradable y con atributos fisicos dificiles de describir -- no me indica lo que you quiero saber.  Quiero saber que la fe llego a nosotros, y que la gente que sufre encontro esperanza, amor y alegria.

Dime que el bien esta en las cosas sencillas.

Entonces, estare maravillado, sorprendido que Dios ha descendido a tu templo.

                               The Fruit of Unanswered Prayer

                                                       an interpretation of the Anonymous Confederate Soldier's Prayer

                                                        by Bruce Williamson

   I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,

             I was made weak, and learned the limits of my humanity.

   I asked for health, that I might do many great things,

            I was given infirmity, so I learned to choose wisely to do a few things

             of real worth.

    I asked for riches that I might be happy,

            I was given poverty and learned to appreciate what can not be

            purchased at any price.

    I asked for power that I might rule over people and have their applause,

           I was given weakness and knew my need for God, and true friends.

    I got nothing I asked for in youthful years --- but everything I had hoped       for in maturity.

Almost despite myself , my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am truly blessed.