Litanies & Prayers

Good pleasure

With good pleasure, in the beginning, the Beloved aspired all that now breathes. Then again, in the Lovely One, even Christ Jesus, the Wind of Heaven confounds the wail of rancor.

Come, heaven! Come, earth! With mercy so tender, adopted in splendor, all bloodletting malice shall melt into praise.

Riches of grace are lavishing still—breathlessly awaiting the fullness of days, when all will be gathered and richly arrayed.

Come, heaven! Come, earth! With mercy so tender, adopted in splendor, all bloodletting malice shall melt into praise. Read more ›

Go to the hallowed abode

In the face of endless aggrievement and obstinate bereavement, despite hope-contempting fear on display in every mother’s tear,

Let us go, let us go to the hallowed abode of the One who brings solace and cheer.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, where Abraham’s children contend; pray, too, for the peace of Asheville, each fracture and failure amend.

I was glad when they said unto me: Let us go to the house of earth’s pardoning decree. Read more ›

Go tell John

A litany for worship inspired by Matthew 11:1-6

by Ken Sehested

The disciples of John came to Jesus saying, “Dude, what’s up with this? John’s in prison, and you’re out here lollygagging in the boondocks! John wants to know when the revolution is getting underway. Are you the Man-in-Charge or not?!”

Jesus said to them, “Go tell John what you see and hear.”

Go tell John, and Mary, too: The blind are being hired as wilderness travel guides. And the lame have signed up for ballroom dancing classes. Go tell John. Read more ›

Give wisdom to legislators

A litany for worship inspired by Psalm 72 and a new congressional session

by Ken Sehested

O God of justice, ignite the hearts of our legislators with your commitment to truth and your demand for justice.

Give them wisdom to match their passion, intelligence to match their zeal.

May their eyes be sharp enough to behold Your vision of righteousness. Read more ›

Gird up your loins

In the book by his name, Job is addressed directly by the Lord God: “Gird up you loins, oh human one! I have questions for you. See if you can answer.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the children of God shouted for joy?

“Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst forth from my womb and fashioned its garment with clouds?

“Have you commanded the morning, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth to shake the wicked from its folds? Read more ›

Getting in the way

Jesus said to his disciples:
     Want to travel the Way with me?
     Then get over yourself, step out on the road,
     get in the way of every hostile host,
     and follow my lead.

Gonna get on the Way, walkin’ every day, no matter what
     they say or think, we’re gettin’ in the way. Read more ›

Gethsemane’s garden

And after they had eaten, Jesus took his disciples, walking east, away from the Old City of Jerusalem and its Temple Mount, descending through the Kidron Valley, and up again to the Mount of Olives and a garden named Gethsemane. Maybe he was tempted to keep on going.

But he stopped. To watch, to wait, to pray.

And the text says he was sorrowed and sad, anxious and anguished, troubled and tried and tempted to run.

Sorrowed and sad, troubled and tried, we come to the garden of refuge to pray. Read more ›

Get over yourself

Picture this, if you can: The Lord God of Hosts stands at the church house door, at the pulpit, at the communion table, maybe even at the potluck dinner counter, hands perched on hips, lips pursed and brows furrowed, voice wavering with a parental mixture of broiling anger and urgent affection, saying:

What in heaven’s name has gotten into you dimwitted people of the Promise, you ninny-headed, shallow-hearted sucklings of the Most High God!

From the lofty perch of Creation’s spire, your presidents and parliaments, your bankers and barons—they all look pretty puny to me.

Do you think your sorrows languish, unheard; your groans muzzled, unheeded? Read more ›

Gather my faithful ones

One: The mighty One—Blessed be the Name!—speaks and summons the earth, from the rising of the sun to its setting.

All: Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines in brilliant radiance.

One: The Beloved comes and does not keep silence; a devouring fire lights the way, and a mighty tempest marks the moment.

All: God calls to the heavens above and to the earth. Read more ›