The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Lord of Lords,
Very God of Very God,
Spirit of Embodied Love,
the glow of morning tugs us awake,
and your presence stretches out
across the shimmering day.

Sunlight glitters off the windowsill
as sparrows flock and goldfinch forage.

This day is set in motion
by the spark of your presence,
launched by your grace,
drenched in the mystery of this life
in which you bend and tend and prompt and call,
you in whom we live and move and have our being.

We give you thanks
for the hummingbird hovering just beyond reach,
and the flash of tiger lilies across the way,
for the unexpected gift from a neighbor
and the generosity of a new friend,
for the return home to a place of comfort
and the surprise meet-up after way-too-long.

For the proposal,
the wedding,
the birth-announcement,
the baptism.

For the summer vacation,
the joy of returning to a place made sacred
by time with loved-ones.

There is a puzzling abundance in this life,
even when our heart is abuzz,
a hive of longing for something more,
even when our spiritual hunger
brings us to this sanctuary
full of questions, doubts, desires
and an ache, a longing.

We surrender to our desire to draw near to you.
Draw near to us.

We pray when our hearts are full,
just as we do when our hearts are broken.

We hand over to you the joy of life,
just as we do sorrow.

For the unplanned loss,
the abrupt grief,
the untidy reality.

For the staggering pain,
the steady heartbreak,
the sudden appearance of medical professionals
advising, predicting, prescribing, diagnosing.

For the lonely loop of mental anguish,
the intrusive thoughts,
the night’s sleep replaced
by strange and fragile worries.

We long for the something-more
found at the trembling edge
of your goodness and mercy.

We extend our arms, our hearts,
our minds, reaching for your peace
that passes understanding.

We pine for your spirit to be our balm and relief.

For the 500th day of war in Ukraine,
ammunition running out,
peace feeling far off.

Those near and far long for
malice, conflict, enmity, and friction to cease.

For the sake of the innocent.
For the sake of the vulnerable.
For the sake of the strong
who become weary
of one more day in which
one more round is loaded
into an unwanted weapon
of an unwanted war.

For NATO and it’s upcoming
world-bending decision-making.

For the possibility of warfare’s ceasing.

For the dream of another way,
a more just way,
paved with dignity and resilience and ease.

Lord hear our prayer.
Lord draw near.
Lord, let us be ready for your tender mercy,
for your pervasive calling,
for your love undenied.

And hear us as we pray the prayer Jesus teaches us saying: Our Father… . Amen.