Oh God, you lean into us. We lean into you. A flow of relationship that has no end.
We are grateful.
We are invited to pray without ceasing.
This is not a burden but a freeing gift, an invitation
to stay present to our constant dance with you.
As we pray in each moment our breath is with us always.
We breathe Your peace as many are holding their breath watching the tensions on the border between Russia and Ukraine and the diplomatic talks trying to stave off war. May your peace which surpasses understanding swoop into the hearts and minds of those with so much power. May we become transparent about why we fight wars and realize that our life-style choices are involved.
We breathe Your comfort on those whose lives were impacted by the devastating mudslide in Petropolis, Brazil. We breathe Your comfort for those who grieve for the dead and missing from the Spanish fishing trawler that sank off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
We breathe, grateful for the gift of life, as we pray for those for whom each breath is a struggle. We breathe with the many globally who have COVID-19. We pray for Hong Kong where cases are spiking and hospitals over-flow. We pray for health officials in Austria, Germany, the United States and other countries as they make decisions to lift mask mandates. May science and common good guide our decisions, not economic and political pulls. We pray for peaceful resolution to protests in Canada and France around COVID protocols. We breathe into all of our exhaustion, grief and the longing to breathe again safely and free.
We breathe aware of the oxygen we gain from our living tree kin. We grieve the reported loss of 8 million trees this winter in the United Kingdom due to storms, with thousands more threatened. We grieve the loss of record high deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon in January. We confess to our complicity in life-style choices that affect the trees we depend upon and love.
We breathe in gratitude for policies that expand freedom to be who you created us to be, as lawmakers in New Zealand unanimously voted to ban conversion therapy, protecting those who are persecuted because of their gender or sexual orientation, and in Kuwait where they have overturned a law that criminalized cross-dressing.
We breathe in awe of the beauty of the earth You create as those of us in the northern hemisphere gaze upon the gentle light of the February Snow Moon shining over us all.
In each breath when we are aware and unaware—
You are aware, leaning toward us, holding us in magnificent love.
May each breathing one feel this profound love.
Editor’s note: The Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal, Honorary President of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, has written a prayer for use during this time of heightening tensions in the Ukraine. With permission, we share this prayer here with you.
We hold before you all who live close to war and conflict; and all who live close to the threat of war and violence.
We remember especially at this time, people in Ukraine and Russia. We pray for nonviolent and peaceful resolutions of conflict.
Give to us all hearts of hospitality and sanctuary, forgive us all our hostility and hatred.
Bring all people to the humanity you give us, and to the reconciliation and healing for which you give your life.
Strengthen us all to work with you to build justice and peace, reconciliation and healing, in our hearts and homes, in our streets, in all communities, neighbourhoods and nations.
Bless all who live lives for the peace and wellbeing of others, and make their service fruitful.
In the name of Christ.