Category Archives: Prayer

A prayer for the children

I sat to entertain myself, O God.

I smiled as the movie rolled,

and the story flowed.

Then the cannon balls began to fly

and the children began to cry

and cinematic illusion blurred with harsh reality.

I imagined shells falling on Mariupol,

drone attacks in Yemen,

bullets tearing flesh in Tigray

and always children cry.

“And how are the children?”

asks the Masai people.

God, you know.

In places the children are well.

In places the children are strong.

In places the children are safe.

But you also know, O God,

that in places,

too, too many places,

the children cry in terror,

cry in pain,

cry as loved ones suffer and die.

cry from hunger.

The children are not well.

in any conflict,

in every conflict,

the children suffer.

O God, in the name of Jesus,

who bade the children come to him,

I pray for the children of

Mariupol,

Yemen,

Tigray.

I pray for the children

caught up in every conflict and any conflict.

I pray for the children who cry.

Protect the children, O God.

Hear their cries.

Watch over them.

Guide the nations of the world

to end conflicts

and establish the justice

that leads to wholeness and peace

in which children may thrive.

Guide me to discern my part

to support such efforts.

I pray in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

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Filed under Current Events, Human Rights, Prayer

A prayer for peace

Again, God, we pray for peace.
Dona nobis pacem.
Still, God, we pray for peace.
Dona nobis pacem.
For the people of Ukraine, we pray.
Dona nobis pacem.
For the people of Russia, we pray.
Dona nobis pacem.
For the people of Europe, we pray.
Dona nobis pacem.
For the people of the world, we pray.
Dona nobis pacem.
For peace rooted in justice, we pray.
Dona nobis pacem.
Again, God, we pray for peace.
Dona nobis pacem.
Still, God, we pray for peace.
Dona nobis pacem.

23 February 2022

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Filed under Current Events, Prayer

It comes this night

It comes this night.

Faintly, 
ever so faintly,
it comes.

Above the roar
of anger and hatred,
Above the howl 
of prejudice and bigotry,

Above the maelstrom
of systems and structures,
Above the crash 
of violence and war,

Above the groan
of doubt and despair,
Above the dis-ease
of heartache and heartbreak

Above the tumult
of turmoil and trouble
Above the clamor
of struggle and strife

Above it all,
despite it all
because of it all,
it comes.

Faintly,
ever so faintly,
it comes.

A baby’s cry,
proclaiming
life and
love and 
justice and
peace and
hope,
this night
and all nights.

It comes.
Thank God, it comes.

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Filed under Advent, Prayer, Worship

A prayer, September 11, 2021

Gracious God,
twenty years on
we remember.

We remember
your precious children killed in
New York
Washington, DC,
Shanksville.

We remember
your precious children killed in
Afghanistan
Iraq
and around the world.

We remember
death
wounded bodies
wounded spirits
wounded souls.

We remember
acts of terror
acts of valor
acts of violence
acts of peace.

We remember
fear
anger
hate
prejudice.

We remember
kindness
courage
grace
generosity.

We remember
people coming together to
reach out
weep
sing
embrace
care.

We remember
songs ended
songs gone
songs created
songs begun
songs lived
songs shared.

Remembering,
may we take bold, faith-filled, hopeful steps
to unlearn the ways of war and
turn to ways that might make peace between people;
to overcome fear of one another
and recognize the dignity and value of every person;
to seek understanding of suffering
and nurture the empathy needed to work to alleviate it; and
to walk the paths of love
that leads to peace and justice.

Remembering Jesus,
in response to your Holy Spirit,
we pray. Amen.

with thanks to Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Chris Shelton, leaders of the United Church of Christ and Come from Away

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Filed under Current Events, Family, Friends, New York, Prayer

Psalm 46 (Koenig revised version)

God is our refuge and strength,
Though the virus should mutate,
though events shake our hearts;
though would-be pundits rant and rage;
though the tumult make us tremble;
God is our refuge and strength.

Selah

God is our refuge and strength.
We don our masks.
We receive vaccines (if we are able).
We wash our hands (often).
We physically distance.
God is our refuge and strength.

Amen.

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Filed under Current Events, Poem, Prayer

A prayer for India

God of every country,
we pray for India and its peoples.
Comfort bereaved families.
Work quick recoveries
foe those who battle COVID.
May those who have managed to stay out of harm’s way
continue to stay safe.
Grant the country’s leadership the wisdom
to focus its energies on fighting the virus
rather than on controlling the narrative
about its handling of the crisis.
Lord, in your mercy! Amen.

inspired by and adapted from Dr. Raj Nadella, professor of New Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

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Filed under Current Events, Friends, Prayer

Virtual prayer vigil

Joining, from afar, the ecumenical prayer vigil held on Sunday, March 21 in the parking lot of the Gold Massage Spa to honor the victims of the Atlanta shooting. This vigil was organized by Korean Central Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, St. Andrew Kim Catholic Church, Emmanuel Korean United Methodist Church, and Lutheran Church of Incarnation. Here are some prayers for the moment.

Christ have mercy.
We thank you for your beloved children whose
lives were taken too soon, too violently in Georgia.
Draw us together to work
against racism and racist violence against Asian Americans.

Christ have mercy.
Inspire us to see each person
in the wholeness you create;
inspire us to see each person
with your gaze of love;
inspire us to see and honor
your image in each person.

Christ have mercy.
Provide love and courage for those who fear
for their safety because of who they are.
Guide us to disrupt systems and practices
that lead to fear and to create a society
in which no one need be afraid.

Christ have mercy.
Grant rest and comfort and strength
to your children who are wearied
by resisting white supremacy.
Sear the consciences of
those who have accepted privilege without interrogation
those who responded with apathy,
those who have expected people who endure racism
to provide the answers and to do the work.
Move us to care for one another
by dismantling systems that wound and drain
your children, our family
and deny your justice and love to all.

Christ have mercy.
Lead us to learn our history –
the history of Asians in America and of Asian Americans –
the history of the violence too often
inflicted by white supremacy
on Asian nations and on Asians in this nation.
May our learning lead us to recognize wrongs done,
repent, and begin the journey to repair.

Christ have mercy.
Move us to demand that
elected representatives in our nation,
in each state and in every community
speak and work to end hate and violence
directed at the Asian American community.

Christ have mercy.
We have work to do.
So much work to do.
Search our hearts,
guide our feet,
hold our hands,
stand by us
as we do the needed work
to disrupt white supremacy
and dismantle the systemic racism
that impacts Asian Americans
and Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Prayer

Praying with action after the shooting in Atlanta

Sometimes we pray with words. Sometimes we pray with actions. After the horrific shootings that left eight people, six of whom were Asian Americans and seven of whom were women, dead; today, in a time when hate and violence against Asian Americans is increasing; today seems a time for actions and words both. Here are some action ideas. What would you add?

Contact the President by email or on the contact line at 202-456-1111 and contact your Senators and Representative with the simple message: “What will you do to end anti-Asian hate and violence?” Additional asks could be:
Investigate and prosecute instances of hate crime and hate speech against Asian-Americans;
Increase the level of security and safety for Asian American individuals and communities;
Educate people about Asian history and the significant contributions Asians and Asian-Americans have made to this country.
With thanks to So Jung Kim who suggested a number of these advocacy points in a Facebook post.

Support the work of organizations such as:
Asian-Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
Asian American Christian Collaborative
CAAAV (Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence)
Asian Americans for Equality in New York.

Take part in a bystander intervention training offered by Asian-Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago.

Learn about the history of Asians in America. Here are some places to start. What else would you add?
Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian AmericansRonald Takaki
The Chinese in America – Iris Chang
Everything You Need to Know about Asian-American History – Himilce Novas and Lan Cao
COVID at the Margins: Anti-Asian Racism in the wake of COVID-19 – a Presentation by the Rev. Laura Mariko Cheifetz, organized by the Presbyterian Self-Development of People Committee
The Chinese Exclusion Act – A special video presentation of American Experience
Asian Americans – a PBS documentary that focuses on discrimination experienced by Asian Americans, the perseverance of Asian Americans, and the roles Asian Americans have played in shaping the nations’ story
With thanks to the Rev. Phil Tom and the Rev. Samson Tso for assembling this beginning list

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Prayer

Words fail and tears flow

A prayer poem in the aftermath of the killing of 8 people of whom 7 were were women and 6 were women of Asian descent
Words fail and tears flow.
They squeeze out of the corners of my eyes,
roll down to tangle in the underbrush of beard
until they break free and splatter on the keyboard.
Words fail and tears flow
for Asian and Asian American women
killed in Atlanta; lives violently taken;
your beloved children too soon gone.
Words fail and tears flow
for mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers
partners, lovers, children,
family and friend
who bear this unspeakable horror tonight
and who carry this unbearable pain into the future.
Words fail and tears flow
for communities terrorized and intimidated
by this and countless other violent acts of hate.
Words fail and tears flow
tears of grief; tears of rage.
As words fail, tears
become prayers for
those who were killed,
those who bear wounds,
those who mourn,
those who know fear,
those who would honor your image in all your precious people
and who would work for a better world.
In the name of the one whose tears flowed
at the death of a friend and for the people of Jerusalem. Amen.

With thanks to the Rev. Dr. Christine Hong for the reminder to pray for the families of the women who were killed.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Poem, Prayer

A prayer for people in our lives

For those who live in faith,
for those who live in hope,
for those who live in love,
for those who do justice
and love kindness
and walk humbly with you,
for those whose living
melts the hardness of our hearts,
touches our souls,
and draws us closer to you,
we give you thanks, O God.
Amen.

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Filed under Friends, Prayer