Litanies & Prayers

Strangers we were

A litany for worship inspired by Ephesians 2:11-22

by Ken Sehested
 

Listen, O people of the Way, and take note. Your ancestors were once illegal aliens in the land of Southern Appalachia.* Boat people, all of you, undocumented immigrants. Scots-Irish trash; crackers and kaffirs, wetbacks and wops; gooks, goyim, gringos and gypsies.

Strangers we were, with no stake in the Promise; hopeless, helpless, beggarly-born. Read more ›

Rouse yourselves

A litany for worship inspired by Ezekiel 2:1-5

by Ken Sehested

Rouse yourselves, O creatures of clay, for it is I, the Potter of Heaven, who commands your attention!

We tremble, but trust that your grace is sufficient.

On your feet, O mortal ones! The One whose Name is whispered in the wind now summons your presence! Read more ›

Arise and arouse

The Blessed One is a stronghold of safety for those crushed by the world.

In every season of trouble, cling to this promise.

May this Name be upon your lips in every waking hour.

In every storm of despair, hold fast to this assurance. Read more ›

Let Wisdom’s Way endure

A litany for worship inspired by Psalm 107

Listen now you who linger in wasted lands, consumed with wanton hearts: The Blessed One has eyes and ears opened and tuned to the cries of your distress.

Give thanks and rejoice you faint-of-limb and sick-of-soul: An open gate of Quenching Delight stands eager to receive you.

Listen now you who languish athirst, bowels rumbling in hunger: Bountiful tables—too wondrous to behold—are spread as ransom for your ruin.

Give thanks and rejoice you prisoners of misery: The Counsel of Mercy now argues your case in the court of the Most High. Read more ›

Amnesty

A litany for worship inspired by Psalm 130

If you, O God, should keep track of all our failures,
none of us would make the grade.

But your hands heap pardon on all the penitent.
Forgiveness is your middle name.
Mercy is your mandate; pardon, your provision.

Declarations of amnesty flow from your lips.
Read more ›

Morning by morning

A litany for worship inspired by Lamentations 3 and Luke 19:41-42

Be gracious to me, Blessed One, for I am in distress.

My eyes are awash with grief; my bed swims in tears.

My bones bulge under the weight of unlived life.

Sighs crowd my heart and swell my tongue. Read more ›

All manner of things

Blessed are those whose hearts bow and whose hands fold in reverence to the Source of all life.

The bounty of the garden will fill their houses.

Their hope of redemption will guide the tempest-tossed to Heaven’s sheltered sanctuary.

Mercy is their guiding star; and justice, the blaze on their trail. Read more ›

Bewildering Word

When Jesus began his ministry, Rome was the sole superpower, governed by Tiberius, adoptive son of Caesar Augustus, whose praises were carved in stone.

From untamed territory a voice resounds: Prepare the Way! Unlock the gate! Make straight the reach of Love renowned.

Caesar was the “redeemer” who brought “salvation,” establishing “peace and security for the world,” the only true “Lord” in whom all should have “faith.”

Rise up you valleys! Recline you mountains! The Word breaks, unleashed, from every empire’s rule, every temple’s sway. Read more ›

Greater love hath none than this

A litany for worship inspired by John 15:13

by Ken Sehested

Greater love hath none than this:

Than to caress the battered heart of one whose hopes have collapsed.

Greater love hath none than this: Read more ›

Come again and feed the earth

A litany for worship inspired by IEzekiel 34:11-22.

by Ken Sehested

Enough! says the Insurgent of Heaven. I’ve had enough of your bank-bailing politicians and private-jetting executives! Enough of your trickle-down economies and your holiday-charity binges! Enough of your bloated-budget militaries and gated-community developers! Enough of your water-wasting, soil-squandering, air-fouling habits!

Hear, oh people of provident pasture: Judgment is coming. Heaven’s Reign and earth’s regimes are destined for collision.

You who feed on good pasture, why must you trample every meadow? You who drink pure water, why must you muddy the entire stream? Read more ›