Fashioning Prayers

Fashioning Prayers

In my sermon on April 18, I invited the congregation to practice praying one or both of these prayers as a means of inviting God to fashion us for life in this world. We remember how God fashioned garments to clothe the first humans for a new way of life in the world (Genesis 3) and Jesus’ promise to his followers that the Holy Spirit will come to clothe us for a new way of life in the world–a life lived in the Way of Jesus.

In a time when we are mindful of devastating pandemic news in Ontario and as we celebrate Earth Day in the wake of devastating news about climate change, may we pause in prayer to be clothed as people who care deeply for this world.

A prayer when putting on our masks (by Rev. Richard Bott)

as I prepare to go into the world,
help me to see the sacrament
in the wearing of this cloth –
let it be “an outward sign
of an inward grace” –
a tangible and visible way of living
love for my neighbours,
as I love myself.

since my lips will be covered,
uncover my heart,
that people would see my smile
in the crinkles around my eyes.
Since my voice may be muffled,
help me to speak clearly,
not only with my words,
but with my actions.

Holy Spirit,
As the elastic touches my ears,
remind me to listen carefully –
and full of care –
to all those I meet.
May this simple piece of cloth be
shield and banner,
and each breath that it holds,
be filled with your love.
In your Name and
in that love,
I pray.
May it be so.
May it be so.


A meal time prayer (adapted from a Jesuit community)

Earth maker and Lord of all creation,
we are mindful that this food before us
has already been blessed by the sun, earth and rain.
We pause to be grateful
for the hidden gifts of life in this food.

Justice bringer, friend to labourers,
we are mindful that this food before us
has already been blessed by the ingenuity of scientists,
the sweat of farmers and harvesters,
the work of mariners, stevedores, truck drivers, grocers, and cooks.
We pause to be grateful
for the multinational community present in this food.

Spirit who clothes us for life in this world,
bless our eyes and taste
so that we may eat this food
in a holy and mindful manner.
May it nourish us for life in this world,
and call us to give ourselves back
to the world that has so blessed us as we
follow in the loving Way of Jesus. Amen.


You may also be interested in the article, “Learning to Say Grace: The Theology and Politics of Eating” by Norman Wirzba (I quoted from this article in the April 18 sermon). Norman Wirzba was raised in Alberta, is a Baptist minister, and now teaches at Duke Divinity School. He is a leader in the field of eco-theology.

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