Nancy H. Sehested Sermons & Writings

Call to prayer & pastoral prayer

June 10, 2018

by Nancy Hastings Sehested

Call to Prayer

I visited my friend Ralph while he was plowing the community garden with his shovel. The garden helped to supply a small neighborhood lunch program offered by his church. I looked at the tools of his work. He’d used the same tools for so many years that they subtly shaped themselves to the contours of his hand. The tools welcomed his hands, allowing their full heft and grip to attune with his body.

Perhaps that is what happens in prayer. We are becoming one instrument, shaped by practices made holy by divine forces, plied into plowing the ground beneath us, praying with body and soul for a good harvest.

Pastoral prayer (adaption of a prayer from St. Augustine)

Watch, O God, with those who wake
or watch or work or weep tonight,
and give your angels charge over those who sleep,
and over those who can’t sleep from worries and troubles and all-too-real fears.

And please don’t let sleep overcome any of your angelic forces that are hovering around our world leaders. Keep your Spirit vigilant, tireless in efforts to instill an uncommon concern among them for the commonwealth of all nations.

Tend your sick ones, O God,
Rest your weary ones.
Bless your dying ones.
Soothe your suffering ones.
Embrace your afflicted ones.

Shield your joyous ones.
Grace your shamed ones.
May the love that abides and
      never dies stay secure in us,
      around us, and beyond us,
      forever and ever. Amen.

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©ken sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org