A Prayer for Containment

When  we are tempted to be fearful, teach us peace.

When we are temped to hoard, teach us generosity.

When we want to look only to the wellbeing of our own family, teach us to expand our care.

When we become overwhelmed and disengaged, teach us to feel the pain of others.

When we are financially unstable, teach us to find ways to live smaller.

When we are disappointed, teach us joy in sacrifice.

When we are tempted to despair, teach us to remember that you are still God, and that you are still good.

When we think we know it all, teach us to listen harder.

When we struggle to decide what to do in small ways, teach us to pray for those in positions of authority.

When we are tempted to despise the actions of others, teach us to see behind foolishness and negative behaviour to the hurt beneath.

When we respond to rising tension in haste and without consideration, teach us patience.

When we are tempted to blame others, teach us to have grace for decisions made in a time of fluctuating information and changing conditions.

When we are isolated, teach us to find ways to connect–with you and with others.

When we feel bored, teach us to expand our creativity.

When we feel alone, teach us to ask for help.

When we feel strong, teach us to care for those who are not.

When we are tempted to despondency, teach us to see all the varied goodness that surrounds us.

When we are tempted to be careless, teach us to see each action we take as resonating in the lives of others.

When we feel we can do nothing, teach us how very wrong we are.

Above all this, teach us to love.

Now more than ever.

Amen.

How are you finding ways to reach out to your community despite “social distancing”? How are others reaching out to you? In what ways are you finding beauty, life, and creativity in a time of increasing anxiety? Feel free to leave a comment to encourage others!

17 Comments

  1. Thank you for this, Stacey. May God bless you, your family, and your community during this season of Lent.

    Reply

  2. What a great prayer of sanity, reason, faith, honesty, selflessness, and community. Thank you Stacey. Would you be willing to give us permission to use this in our services some weekend coming up? (possibly tomorrow) Bethel Lutheran Church in Sherwood Park.

    Reply

  3. Beautiful, timely prayer. I posted your page with this prayer on our ministry’s newsletter sending tomorrow morning to 500 recipients. Blessings to you; well-prayed.

    Reply

  4. Beautiful prayer, Stacey! Would I be allowed to share it on facebook, giving you credit? It gives so much hope at this time.

    Reply

    1. Hi Judi. Yes, of course–you are welcome to share. I’m grateful if it provides a bit of hope. There should be a share button at the end of the post that you can use (if you ensure you clicked on the post’s title and are not just on the home page). Let me know if you have any difficulty with this! Blessings!

      Reply

  5. Hi Stacey; Its been awhile since I received something from you, and this one was so timely that I chose to use it at Millwoods church where I was preaching. I did give you credit so I hope I wasn’t breaking any copyright! I must say that reading it made me miss having you lead us in worship. You often had such meaningful prayers or blessings to offer to us. May God continue to bless you and Andrew and enlarge your ministry. Don H.

    Reply

  6. I appreciate so much the thoughtfulness of this prayer, Stacey. The start of each sentence when summated covers all of life. The completion of each sentence is a double-whammy: It helps us pray specifically and it give counsel as to what we need (to do) in our need.

    Reply

  7. Stacey,

    I’m drafting a liturgy for a couple of worship communities who won’t be gathering.  Are you OK with me using your Prayer for Containment (appropriately credited to you, of course). How widely can I share this? Lincoln

    Reply

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