I Am of the Whole World One Part



Praise and Worship

A Universal Prayer

I am of the whole world one part
My body, soul and heart
One sigh
One cry
Of the Master’s universal art

A Hymn of Praise

Praise!  Do not stint
Love!  Do not limit
Worship of the Gorgeous Spirit!
By dint of joy
Never cease to celebrate
The day which brings the light to play!
Come holy creatures dance with me
In adoration be made free!

Celebrate and Praise

To celebrate
To praise
To celebrate a personality behind the universe
To praise the exact, extravagant, exotic wonder of that universe
To celebrate a purposeful creation
To praise the beauty of that unfolding
To celebrate the divine origin of humankind
To praise the excellent diversity of that humanity
To celebrate a Holy Word which speaks a Holy Way
To praise the excessive love that guides our steps
To celebrate a God who becomes a man
To praise the compassionate life of that Jesus who liberates and saves
To celebrate a cruel death?
To praise that love!
To celebrate the defeat of death by love
To celebrate the rebirth of hope
To celebrate the Spirit's wild irruption
To praise a God extravagant and excellent
To praise a God and far beyond
To praise a God the writ of human words

The Rhythm of God

Rhyming God, you are the eternal Word
The lover
The singer
The being of everything that can be heard
The song which created beast and bird
The maker
The shaper
The poet of life and living Word
Remake me in your song
Rhyme me
Verse me
Return me to the rhythm where I belong
And write me in your world:
A seed curled, a song hurled


To our words, God of the prophets, give fire
To our music, God of the singing, give beauty
To our prayers, God of the wisdom, give love
To our silence, God of the listening , give stillness


Wide-eyed joy

God of this gorgeous, wondrous world
I thank you
Teach me to celebrate her beauty
to dance her wonder
to embrace her challenge
And so live within her that I become a human being
full of thankfulness and wide-eyed joy

A Thanksgiving for my Life

God of life
God of death
God of flesh
God of breath
I thank you for my life
the weight of it
the breath of it
the flesh of it.
Sometimes it is too heavy
too burdened
too bodied with being
that I feel unable to carry it
and death seems preferable
it is life
and you are in it
and you breathe it
and you flesh it
and it is good

A Thanksgiving for Home

Loving God
Thank you for my home
For its roof keeping rain outside
For its light keeping night bright
For its kitchen keeping my stomach full and happy
Generous God
Thank you for my home
Where I can be safe and still and silent
Where I can be loud and proud and angry
Where I can learn the meaning of being me
Heavenly God
Who came to earth and made it your home
Protect my home when I feel fragile
Shield my heart when I’m invaded
And make my home no castle but a temple for your Spirit

A Thanksgiving for the World

For the glory of this world
For its beauty all unfurled
For swallows in the air
For bodies stripped and bare
For the kindness of tender care
For the spark to risk and dare
For life that's free and full and fair
For the sun in bright and dazzling glare
For gracefulness of field-run hare
For mighty grizzly in his lair
For leaping stallion and mare
For juice of autumn pear
For all things hidden, secret, rare
For new-weave cloth without a tear
For everything and everywhere
For the beauty
For the glory
Oh God, a humble, thankful prayer


A Long Confession

Eternal God
you are light
you are life
your love
Your mystery is beyond my comprehension
Your strangeness is dark to me
You are always beyond my grasp
but I love you
but I need you
but I am drawn irresistibly toward you
hungering for your goodness
exulting in your beauty
thirsting for your love
but often I forget
often I deny and mistake and diminish your goodness
often I damage and spoil and bruise your beauty
often I ignore and twist and profane your love
and for this I am sorry
I repent
and ask your forgiveness
for I know you are quick to forgive
all who turn to you
all who trust in you
all who reach out to you through the darkness
for this is your nature and your essence:
a forgiving God
full of mercy, abundant in love
and longing for your children to return home

A Short Confession

Eternal God
who is beyond my grasp
I love you
and am drawn irresistibly to your beauty
but often I forget,
often I deny this very beauty that I love
For this I am sorry and ask forgiveness
knowing that your nature is to be merciful
and welcome all your children into your loving arms

A Very Short Confession

beautiful and strange
I love you
but deceitfully
Forgive me
rescue my calloused heart

A Prayer for Forgiveness

Forgive me Holy God
For Love I have forsaken
Save me Holy Love
For God I have forgotten
Chosen not Love
but my hurt
Living not free
but in dirt
Forgive me Loving One
Remake my crumbled heart

Prayers through the Day


On Waking

In stillness of morning, stay
At breaking of light, pray
Heart open
Thought stilled
Let day with life be filled

A Kyrie

Holy God
holy and true
have mercy on me (x2)
Oh Thou eternal beauty
Oh thou love without limits
Oh thou breath of the spacious universe
have mercy on me
Father God
Mother Spirit
Brother Christ
have mercy on me (x2)
Oh thou strength of the morning
Oh thou heat of the sun
Oh thou cool of the evening rain
have mercy on me
have mercy on me
have mercy on me
a sinner

Blessing the day

This day, I lift before the Holy One
All that will pass beneath the sun
All deeds done
All seeds sown
The contemplation
The relaxation
The births, the deaths, the paths trod
And races run
Today, may time teach me
May these hours that I live allow learning
And these years that I thirst upon earth
Be for wisdom desiring and for truth yearning
The way of Jesus
may I walk in it
The light of Jesus
may I love in it
The life of Jesus
may I grow and bloom and root in it


At day's center
At day's heart
Let God enter
into every part


Now day fades towards its ending
Light stutters
Night hovers
And we draw closer to the final sending


In the evening when day
Hangs between life and death
Come gentle Spirit
And fill it
With what words can never say


Who am I now?
What is it that I love
and what is it that I long for?
How feels the flesh?
What has the body done
and what the mind wrought?
Those that I love:
Where are their bodies
and what thing is it that they have thought?
And the world?
How does the world turn?
What terror
What love
What twist has time brought?


A prayer for the end of the day

To God I now give up the day
Release its weight
Forgive its fate
That passing through night's quiet gate
I rise to the light of tomorrow's way

A prayer for sleepless nights

In silence
I wait
In stillness
I watch
Through the long slow hours of night
Through the darkness which dwells between the light


Prayers of Struggle

A prayer for hard times

Heart sorrow grows
Soul joy fades
Pray God carry me
Through the heavy sea

Another prayer for hard times

Out of self
and into God
Out of ruminating on my feeling
into wonder at world's being
Out of gnawing on the bone
into joy at beauty grown
Out of self despising thought
into love and worship wrought

A Prayer for Anxiety

I pray for my fearfulness
I pray for my anxiousness
I pray for terror and dread
I pray for panic and helplessness
I pray against terror and dread and despair
I pray for hope and courage to dare
I pray in Christ's might
I pray with God's light
A prayer for my fearfulness
A prayer for my fear

A Prayer for Resurrection Life

God of life
when the weight is heavy
lift the burdens and ease the fears
God of life
when the way is dark
clear the path and shine the light
God of life
when despair is near
whisper hope and kindle love
For you are the life that never dies
the light that never dims
the love which is always near
to your broken ones

A Prayer for Someone with Chronic Illness

Loving God
I am broken
and I come before you in need of love
that love which would lift me up into your internal arms
and make everything better
but it is not so
sometimes you bring healing
sometimes illness is just a passing storm…
but it is not so for me
So loving God
I pray for these three gifts:
Thankfulness in the midst of sorrow
Openness to healing however it might come
And, in due time, release into your loving arms

Be Not Afraid (in the Storm)

Be not afraid
Be not afraid
On the unsteady seas
On the rolling waters
On the tormented deep
Hear the word of the God-man
Be not afraid
(Love yourself
Make friends with your flesh
Be acquainted with your pain)
Be not afraid
On the unsteady seas

God I need you

God, today, I need you
I do not have sufficient strength
I do not have that peace from which all good things proceed
I do not have enough love
Today I struggle to love this tumultuous, selfish, slovenly world
My thoughts turn to anger too quickly
Fear stalks me
And I feel anxiety breathing on my bare neck
I need an intervention of new ways of seeing things
I need the emergence of a new manner of being
I need hope
God.  I wish to walk in the way of Jesus:
Resilient but generous
Expectant but precisely vigilant for truth
Entirely committed to love
Today, this is my heart's deep desire

In my Fear

Loving God
in my fear be close to me
Loving God
in my anxiety be near to me
Loving God
when the world is dark and I can see nothing
but fear everything, come close to me
Loving God
hold me
for I am small and full of dread…
draw near to me

Psalm for Someone in Trouble

O Loving mystery, how many are my troubles
Many confront me and rise up against me
Many are saying to me "Love will not help you, God is not real"
But you Loving Mystery
But you Divine Presence
But you Holy Mother
But you Dancing Sister
Are a warm blanket wrapped around me
My hope and my joy
Who lifts me tenderly out of despair
So I shout aloud to Love
And from the mountains wreathed in cloud she answers me!
Exhausted I lie down to sleep
But Love is with me in my dreams
And with tender gentleness she summons me to life once more
So although I am beset by fears
So although I am surrounded by anxieties
So although the demands multiply
I will not be afraid
For in love I was made a brave and beautiful woman
And by the strength of tenderness
And by the gentleness of truth
Love will overcome
On my own I can do nothing
But in the trust of friendship
But in the solidarity of love
The blessing shall come to all people

A Prayer for times of sorrow

Heart sorrow grows
Soul joy fades
Pray God carry me
Through the heavy sea


Prayers of Longing


Deeper into the wisdom
Deeper into the worship
Deeper into the darkness
O loving God
Take me deeper into the wonder of your ways

Hurt: a prayer for mercy

For the hurts which still weigh in me
For the thorns which still catch in me
Lord! Have mercy!
For what has twisted me
For what resists in me
Lord! Have mercy!
For what inveigles my mind
For what invades my heart
Lord! Have mercy!
For what I cannot forget
For what I always regret
Lord! Have mercy!
For the anger undying
For the fear unsleeping
Lord! Have mercy!
For all that was not as it could be
For all that is not as it should be
Lord! Have mercy!
For my heart in its raging
For my soul in its caging
Oh Lord, have mercy, have mercy
tender forgiveness

Passionate God

Passionate God
I find my desires so troublesome:
that grumbling of hunger
that keening for justice
that tug of sex
That I find it hard to accept
the depths of my longings
the desires of my heart
or even
(in the tumult of this world
full of the swirling search
of other people’s longings)
to know quite what they measure is
O Passionate God
whose desire is as hot as the sevenfold fire
liquefy my longings
melt my desires
that they might be poured out in the liquid gleam of love

Root me

Earth me loving God in this living world:
root me in its soil
wash me in its waters
release me into its wild winds
And in this flesh may I know
the brightness of spring
and the lightness of summer;
the ripeness of autumn
and the slow sleep of winter
Yes return us dirt-God to the weight of the earth
Free us from the illusions of control
Join us together as one people:
Serving, celebrating, enjoying the feast of your creation


May I learn wisdom
may I listen
may I probe
may I delve
For she is your soulmate loving God
your beloved daughter
your breath
your word
in the wide wide world
May I yearn wisdom
May I eagerly
May I utterly
May I lovingly
Yes, may I love

Bountiful Tree

who is the scene of light
and the breathing of breath
and the touching of truth
Come in your strangeness
Come in your strongness
Come in your closeness
And plant in my anxious heart
your quiet
your stillness
your loving kindness
And cause it to grow a tough and bountiful tree
A permanent investment in my soul


Prayers for Help and Guidance

A prayer before any activity

For this deed, a blessing
For this endeavor, a grace
May it do well and be done well
And bring joy to heaven's face

A Prayer for Poets

God of imagination
God of beauty
Grant me insight into the nature of things
May my religion
be shaped by the truth of poetry
reaching beyond the boundaries of language
into the words which tell a wiser truth
May my poetry
be shaped by the wisdom of religion
rooted in an earthy love
and seeking the divine


Generous God. Teach Me to Give
with a Warm and Gentle Heart
Generous God. Make Me a Good Steward
Careful and
with Loving and Patient Thought
Generous God. Turn Me Hospitable
Kindly and
with an Open Mind and a Generous Soul


Loving God
as we travel through the wilderness of this world
be with me in all our transitions and changes
strengthen me for the journey
hold me
and never let me stray far from your purposes.
Comfort me in times of stress and panic
Inspire me in times of opportunity and challenge
Embrace me in the flow of your Spirit
and enable me
at all times
to move
in harmony
with your

St. Guthlac Prayer

St. Guthlac pray for me
Holy Melangell pray for me
Pega, Godric, Cuthbert pray for me
All holy hermits pray for me
All holy men
All holy women
Saints of the Saxons
Saints of the Welsh pray for me
For I am alone and I need the help of the Holy One
Be with me in my distress
Oh holy saints of God
Oh holy hermits of swamp and fen, forest and mountain, sea and islands, be with me
Help me, comfort me
Lift me to the throne of God that I may see him face to face and receive His love, His grace, His healing touch
St. Guthlac pray for me
Holy Melangell pray for me
Pega, Godric, Cuthbert pray for me

Teach me to Hold

Loving God
Teach me to hold
the pain, the hurt, the anger
Teach me to celebrate
the life, the living, the love
Teach me patience
Teach me and trust
Teach me and peacefulness
O Loving One!
Teach me forgiveness
and the flesh shared
and the heart open

The Art of Listening

Teach me God
the art of listening
The attentiveness
to words spoken
and signs given
The empathy
for things felt
and thoughts shy
The ability
to interpret
without hearing what I have already decided I am going to hear
Teach me O God
to listen
as an act of love
for the world
and your breathing in it

The Simple Way (the way of the desert)

Lord of life, teach me the simple way
Like Poemen who did not judge
but rested the sleeping heads of his brothers on his lap
Like Arsenius who laid aside his learning
an sought wisdom from the wild men of the desert
Like Anthony who seeking to overcome the demons
learned the simple way of love

The Spirit in the World

Inspire me, holy God
to listen
for your Spirit in art, music, literature and drama
Teach me to catch the echoes of your wisdom
in dark notes of tragedy
in jig of holy laughter
in insight sharp and kind
Protect me from the cynicism that forgets love
the sensation that exploits pain
From everything
that demeans and degrades our holy world
O God of beauty
make me sensitive
to the whispers
of your grace and truth

The Way of Justice

Lord God
teach me the way of justice
lead me in the paths of peace
not vengeance: using the sinner to placate the anger in my soul
not envy: judging my neighbour for my own ill mannered greed
not hatred: bathing in the warmth of my own self-righteousness
but working always for the harmonious land
where injury is healed
relationship mended
and love is the precious coin of our humanity

For letting go

Let go of striving
Let go of straining
Let go of worry
Let go of work
Rest in God
Rest in peace


A Prayer for Individuals

I remember N
I hold N in my thoughts
and in my heart
and I let our spirits touch
God’s blessing upon you
God’s healing within you
God’s Spirit alight in your heart today

A Prayer for the Church

God of community. I pray for my church
God of the church. I pray for my community
May we be loving
May we be kind
May we speak of You and live as if we meant it
Sweeten any bitterness
Mend any divisions
Heal our wounded hearts and fractious thoughts
Draw us deeper down into your mysteries
Earth us in your compassion
Open our hearts to each other
that we might see your glory glowing in each forgiven heart

A Prayer for the World

A prayer for justice
A prayer for peace
for good government
and the rule of law
politics uncorrupted
civil society strong and active
community groups, activists and volunteers
A prayer for an end to unjust rule
the overthrow of oppressive regimes
the extinction of bribery, torture and ethnic cleansing
A prayer for international organizations
and nation states
and the good ordering of our global life
A prayer for the unjustly imprisoned
for the ignored and forgotten
for the little people
who slip between the fingers of justice
who have never known the shalom of God
who hunger for life with thirsty strength
May they know, deep in their bones, the goodness of love
May we build together the new creation


Meditation and contemplation

A body prayer

I breathe life
I listen to the life in my body
and in my body I wait on God

A moment of contemplation

Out of the day I slide
Into the soul: open wide



Prayers from and about the Bible

A Prayer before reading Scripture

To the Word I am sent
To the words I am bent
That I might drink deep of the ancient ways
To walk wise in the present days

Holy Words

For the rumbustious energy of the Bible
For its flagrant, contrary diversity
For its beauty
For its passion
For its unsettling intensity
Or, to be exact,
For the sweeping myths of Genesis
For the exhilarating liberation of Exodus
For the legal inventiveness of Leviticus
For the careful numbering... of Numbers
For the dutiful retelling of Deuteronomy
For Joshua, I suppose, and his uncomfortably ethnic cleansing
For the wild archetypes of Judges
For the steely commitment of Ruth
For the pained wisdom of Samuel
For the tragic sadness of Saul
For the canny passion of David
For the cosmopolitan sagacity of Solomon
For the reckless awkwardness of Elijah
For the stumbling faithfulness of Josiah, Jehosaphat and Hezekiah
For the anguished faithfulness of Amos, Hosea and Jeremiah
For the scholarly persistence of Ezra
For the political nous of Nehemiah
For the terrifying depths of Job
For the joyous, raging, overwhelming singing of the Psalms
For the calm confidence of Proverbs
For the knowing chuckles of Ecclesiastes
For the sensual extravagance of the Song of Songs
For the serenity of Daniel
For the style of Esther
For the extravagant optimism of Isaiah
For the keening of Lamentations
For the apocalyptic imagination of Ezekiel
For the serious pantomime of Jonah
For the brief shard of Obadiah (and all those other so-called minor Prophets)
For the final exclamation of Malachi
For Mark exploding Jesus across the page
For Matthew weaving the old with the new
For Luke stretching the story from Bethlehem to Rome
For the eloquent meditations of John
For the universal gospel of Romans
For the serious, passionate letters to Thessalonica, Corinth, Galatia, Philippi, Colossae and Philemon
For passionate, serious Paul
For the unfurling theology of Ephesians and Hebrews
For the stiff earnestness of Timothy and Titus
For the tough kindness of James
For the suffering church of One Peter
For the deified church of Two Peter
For the brief contribution of Jude
For the majestic, eye-popping, fantastical myth-making of the Apocalypse
We thank you, living Word of God, made flesh


Our Father, unlimited by human concepts
Our Mother, the power beyond human thought
Our Creator, beyond, yet always present to your children
We respect, love and honour you for you are the energising presence that inhabits all life
We desire that your love and goodness be made known to all humanity, that the powers of evil be overthrown and that the new creation be revealed here in the midst of us
Help us every day so that we might have the food, shelter and companionship we need
We acknowledge our failings, our greed, our self-righteousness, and as we receive your generous forgiveness may we be generous to those who frustrate or mistreat us
God of all life we need your protection.  We fail often and the world can be a frightening place.  Guard us, we pray, in your expansive love.

Mary's Song of Liberation

I am ecstatic
shocked, awed... joyful
I'm shaking with every emotion God has created!
I was a poor woman of no significance
but God reached down,
down into chaos of human history
and said "You Mary.  You are to be the vessel of my liberation"
How...?  Why...?  My words fail...
But why am I surprised?
This is always the way God works
The mask of celebrity is shown to be worthless
But the labour of the poor never loses its value
Pure-blooded superiority is toppled
And the oppressed prisoner becomes the ruler of the nation
The empire of the tycoon falters and fails
But the work of the unknown craftsman lasts for years
And now by the turbulent Spirit
I will be a symbol of hope,
A sign across the years
Of God's upside down story:
The Liberation of All Humanity

Simeon’s Song of Resignation

I have seen the world in its terrible beauty and ever changing pain
I grow tired of its wars and its anger
And I am ready for silence and stillness
For I have caught a glimpse of the final liberation which is offered to all people
I have been dazzled by the shining of the light
And I have been caught by the Glory which covers all
And I cry out to God who made everything
I reach out to the one who is love without measure
And I let go of all my strivings and all my plans

General Prayers

Prayer of a Disciple

For God so loved the world
    That his One Son he gave
    That all who trust the Son
    Should never die
 But live eternally.
    For God did not his One Son send
    To judge and End the world
    But to save it from all bitterness
 And see new life unfurled.
Jesus is the image of the invisible God
The first born over all creation
For by him all things were created:
Thrones and Powers
Rulers and authorities
All things were created by him and for him
He is before all things and in him all things hold together
    I know O Lord that a man's life is not his own
    it is not for a man to direct his path
    Instruct me O lord in the way of your Kingdom
    guide me to the cradle of your love
I offer you my life
I offer you my fears
I offer you my hopes
We offer you our lives
We offer you our fears
We offer you our hopes
For together we can be one,
As we offer up to you our love.
    Open my heart, Open my heart
    Open my heart O Lord!
    To the heavenly realms, to the spiritual blessing
    Open my heart O Lord!
Show me your way, loving God, Show me your way,
Show me your way, loving God, Show me your way,
Open up the way into your Kingdom,
Stop me from going wrong
And lead me down your ressurection road.
That I may add to faith; goodness
And to goodness; knowledge
And to knowledge; self-control
And to self-control; perserverance
And to perserverance; Godliness
And to Godliness; love
That I may share in your divine love:
That love which makes all things
heals all things
transfigures all things
That love which created all and shall end all.

To Cross Come

To cross come
with limp, with limb dragging
with heart heavy, hard with sorrow
with memory mumbling, moaning
To cross come
sad soul, sore that you are
flesh flaky, skin raw
To the clawed cross
to the Christ beaten
battered, abused
in your gentle humanity
loved, delightful one
brimming with beauty
through rabble deaf
through bigots
through prejudice, poverty of thought, imaginations puny and pusillanimous
to the cross
to the shining cross
flush with forgiveness effulgent
miracle of mercy
To cross come
clean in the coming
A new babe bright in the burning

God of Eternity

God of Eternity
you have placed us in the close embrace of time
that each morning we might praise you
and each night rest in your love
As the seasons pass we enjoy the diversity of the earth
As the year turns we follow the circulations of the sun
and mark the holy passage of time
through birth, death and resurrection
And so, loving God, as we continue our journey towards death
as we live the rhythm of birth
may we return each minute, each second, each day
into your everlasting goodness and your deathless love