Prayer on Fasting and Abstinence

My Gracious God,

Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer
Father, Mother, Brother
Protector, Comforter, Friend

When I abstain from food
Help me also to abstain
From judging myself or others
By body image

When I abstain from favorite things
Help me also to abstain
From judging myself or others
By achievements and acquisitions

When I fast, emptying my stomach,
Help me also to empty my thoughts
Of harsh judgments and unkind opinions

When I fast, emptying my stomach,
Help me also to empty my feelings
Of anger and envy, self-loathing and despair

Whether I abstain from food
And favorite preoccupations,
Whether I fast to empty my stomach,
Help me to fill my soul, my spirit, my life
More and more with Your Spirit,
Your Grace, You Wisdom. Amen

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A Woman’s Prayer

The gospel reading today is Mark 5:21-43: the story of the raising of Jarius’ young daughter, with the almost parenthetical story of the healing of the bleeding woman.

Reading this as an older woman, I experience an immense welling up of gratitude that on His way to raise the young to new life, Jesus paused to heal and bless an intrusive, desperate, devalued older woman.

My woman’s prayer:
Continue, please, Lord Jesus, to raise the young to new life and heal the wounds of the old.

Measurement

But grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

(Ephesians 4:7)

What, then, is the measure of a gift?

Do I measure by satisfaction:
Is it what I needed?
Is it what I wanted?

Do I measure by comparison:
Is it better than other gifts?
Is it better than what others got?

Do I measure by value:
How much did it cost?
How special is it?

Do I measure by the giver:
How much do I care about the giver?
How much does the giver care about me?

Do I measure by the effect:
What does the gift do for me?
How does the gift make life better?

I have measured gifts
In all those ways
And more, at times.

I have felt hurt by gifts
That didn’t measure up.

I have hurt others
By my reaction
To their gifts
That didn’t measure up.

I have given myself gifts
That didn’t measure up.

“According to the measure…”
What is the measure of Christ’s gift?
What is the measure of my gratitude?

Ah, Paul, you tricky apostle.
There is no measure, is there?

An immeasurable gift
Calls forth immeasurable gratitude.

God, Person without measure,
God of steadfast love,
God of enduring faithfulness,
God of all my days and ways,

Let my response, my gratitude
Be as immeasurable as Your gift.

What I Heard When I Prayed

I do not promise healing now
Only holding (whether you feel it or not)
I do not promise knowledge now
Only wisdom (sometimes)
I do not promise success now
Only contentment (sometimes)
I do not promise power now
Only purpose (sometimes)

I do not ask for greatness now
Only gratitude
I do not ask for achievement now
Only effort
I do not ask for riches now
Only generosity
I do not even ask for faithfulness

For I am faithful (always)
With enduring faithfulness
I am loving (always)
With ceaseless loving
I am salvation (always)
Once and for all

So you can
Live
As best you can
Knowing
I am power in weakness
I am success in failure
I am knowledge in ignorance
I am healing in sickness
Soon and forever

Doxology

This began during meditation after yoga, I found myself praying with my breaths :

Glory be to God my Father,
Glory be to God my Mother,
Glory be to God my Brother,

Glory be to God Holy Spirit,
Glory be to God Lady Wisdom.
Glory be to God Divine Teacher.

Glory be to God of enduring love.
Glory be to God of steadfast faithfulness.
Glory be to God of unfailing forgiveness.

Glory be to God of beginnings.
Glory be to God of now.
Glory be to eternal God forevermore. Amen

The Lord’s Prayer – More or Less

Creator God
Loving Mother and Father
Sustaining Spirit
My truest home
With me but not of me
Holy and wholly different
Grant me Your grace
To live embodying Your love
For all of Your creation
Each one of Your creatures
(myself included)
Nourish me each day
With Your sufficient, sustaining grace
Forgive my falterings and failings
Look lovingly on me
So that I may look lovingly on all others
Even those whom I feel do me wrong
Protect me from my demons
From doubt, depression, despair
From rage and bitterness
Protect me from all evil
Within and without
Please let it be so
Sovereign Creator
Omnipotent Redeemer
Glorious Lady Wisdom
From everlasting to everlasting
Amen

A Sunday Prayer

Lady Wisdom, guide me
Mother of all, hold me close
Father of all, protect me
Teacher of all, teach me
Creator God, grant me a share of Your compassionate love

Lady Wisdom, thank You for my faith, troubled though it be
Mother of all, thank You for holding me, even when I feel abandoned
Father of all, thank You for protecting me, even as I wander
Teacher of all, thank You for Your patience, as I forget time and again
Creator God, thank You for all that I am, all that I have, all whom I cherish, all my joys and sorrows, triumphs and difficulties, youth and aging, those lost and those found

God Eternal, accept my praise, though I be like the dust mote praising the sun that makes it sparkle

Amen