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Long Beach, CA

Prayers for Creative Endeavors

A Prayer Before Sermon Preparation

Lord, as I come to the scripture, I remember that they bring life, because You are life. They reveal because You are the Revealer.  There is healing in them, for you are the Healer.  They illuminate the paths of our hearts, because You are light.  Your words provoke and cleanse, because You are unwilling to compromise us, unwilling to let us settle for false comfort or security.  And where scripture wields authority, they do so because You are King. 

People don’t need principles, they need You.  They don’t need more information, they need to encounter You.  They don’t need a clever sermon from me; they need to hear from You.  They need their idols to be torn down in the glorious reality of You and Your muchness.

Fill me now as I prepare my heart for preaching, that I will be soaked not just in scripture or study but in Your very Spirit.  Let me come not as some would-be orator or rhetorician, but as one would humbly love and serve.  Open my ears now to Your whisper.  Let Your grace thunder.   Open my mind to think well, my heart to feel freely, my spirit to dream.  Stir up, I pray, all the gifts you have given me, and crown them with passion.  May they, in thoughtful organization, in depth of meaning, in intensity of feeling, honor in some small part what can never be put fully to words: Your greatness, Your mercy, Your greatness.

Through Christ my Lord, Amen.


A Prayer Before Writing

Lord, now I approach words and poetry, the temple of Creation and Your work in making space for all things.  Bless now, I pray, the yearning of my heart and soul, the thoughts of my mind, the work of my hands and fingers, that to Your greatness, my work may bear fruit in Your kingdom, to  Your glory, to my joy. Let it greet me someday as a tree planted may, in some future time, surprise its gardener with a kiss of all that, once planted, has now grown and borne fruit. And may the use of words bring me, too, to that place beyond them, where I encounter You.