Prayer Lifting Up MLK’s Principles of Nonviolence

In this place made holy by many generations who gathered before us,
We turn our attention to that which is Sacred.
In this religious community made holy
by the dedication of the spiritual ancestors who came before us,
the trust of the children among us,
and the promise of generations who will follow us,
we give thanks–
for the leaders, musicians, teachers, preachers, artists, and change agents
who helped shape our world today.
We lift up our hearts in gratitude for the ministry
of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Even though 47 years have past, we mourn his life violently cut short.
We wish he were alive to continue his prophetic ministry,
To organize non-violent direct action,
To speak truth to power,
To expose the triple evils of Poverty, Racism, and War
that exist today in a vicious cycle
and stand as barriers to our living the Beloved Community.
In the Spirit of Dr. King, who we honor with a national holiday,
Let us not only celebrate his message one day or one weekend a year,
Instead, may we recommit ourselves to the Freedom Movement.
May we recognize that “Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people”.
In our own times, may we “seek to win friendship and understanding;”
May we “seek to defeat injustice, not people;”
“Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform.”
Let us “choose Love instead of hate”
And be steadfast in our belief that “the universe is on the side of justice”.
Today we join our prayers with people of every color and creed,
May our religion, our faith, be a source of strength and vulnerability,
So that we may continue the long march toward Freedom.
Amen.

–Rev. Amy Freedman

[This prayer was inspired by “Six Principles of Nonviolence” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.]

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A Prayer for the New Year

Dear 2014, thank you.
I am grateful for all that I experienced in the past year.
To be sure, not everything went as planned.
There were many times when I thought I knew
how my life was going to unfold only to be surprised by the unexpected.
This past year, I had to say goodbye to people
who I envisioned would be with me here in the New Year.
Whether they are separated from me now by distance or by death,
I pray for peace and healing.
This past year, I faced obstacles that I did not anticipate.
Whether I found resolution or remain in the midst of struggle,
I pray that I may have strength for the journey.
This past year, my heart was broken, yet again,
By the suffering and violence of our world.
2014, I am grateful that you are behind us.
Now, as I face a New Year, a fresh start,
I pray for the resolve to truly live my values,
To open my mind to different perspectives,
in order to create new partnerships.
Dear 2015, thank you,
For the gift of life,
For the opportunity to be of service,
And for the embrace of Love.

Prayer for Wholeness

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O, Love,

We are in your presence

As close as our beating hearts and the cycle of breath that nourishes us.

May we feel held in this sacred space—

Letting go of the responsibilities that tug at us,

Laying down the worries that jangle our nerves.

For now—there is nothing to do or any more to achieve—

We pray for wholeness.

Let us take a moment to bring to mind any loved ones, neighbors, colleagues, or friends who are going through hard times.

We offer healing prayers to all who are in pain whether in body, mind or spirit.

May Love break through barriers of isolation and loneliness

That peace may be found.

Our prayers reach around the globe.

May this be a time of turning away from Business-As-Usual

to form new partnerships and create positive change.

In the week ahead,

May we find energy and vision for facing life’s challenges

And may our actions bring more love and understanding into our broken world.

Advent Prayer

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During this time,
We pause from our usual activities, our preoccupations, our busyness,
to reflect on the meaning of our lives.
We step back from our work, our chores, our distractions,
to rest for a moment, to be held in sacred space and time,
to open our minds and our hearts to deeper insights about life.
As alone and independent as we may sometimes feel,
We are part of an Interdependent Web of all Existence.
Our lives are sustained by many gifts beyond ourselves,
just as our lives touch others in ways both known and unknown to us.
We pray for Healing for our loved ones, strangers, and ourselves
that all may move toward greater Wholeness.
We pray for the Energy to do the hard things we know we are called to do.
We pray in this Advent season, to wait with an expectant heart
for more Light and Love to break through.
May we remember the true spirit of the season comes not
through sales or busyness
but through quiet moments when Mystery and Beauty enter our hearts.
May we invite a greater degree of Joy into our days
Not through over-eating or over-drinking or over-spending
But through Gatherings where we take time to truly share with one another.
And let us be Grateful, every moment of our lives,
For all the Blessings that sustain us,
and for the opportunity to be a Blessing to one another.

~Rev. Amy Freedman

Labor Day Invocation

We Can Do It!
Labor Day weekend is not an ordinary time
as we do not rush headlong into our usual labors.
The sacred is found not only in houses of worship, but in time set apart.
Let us turn our attention to what is sacred in our daily living.
For the rewards of work and all those ancestors
who boldly advocated for safety, fair wages, and better working conditions,
we lift our hearts in gratitude.
May this time of recreation energize us to bring forth
an even more just and sustainable world.

Intergenerational Invocation

Spirit of Infancy, be with us now.
Bring all of your vulnerability and softness.
Bless us with loud cries and captivating smiles.
Teach us to trust.

Spirit of Childhood, be with us now.
Bring all of your energy and curiosity.
Bless us with giggles and hugs.
Teach us to play.

Spirit of Youth, be with us now.
Bring all of your insight and courage.
Bless us with passion and intelligence.
Teach us to grow.

Spirit of Adulthood, be with us now.
Bring all of your responsibility and loving.
Bless us with your gifts and fears.
Teach us to connect.

Spirit of Elders, be with us now.
Bring all of your answers and questions.
Bless us with your stories and hopes.
Teach us to believe.

Come, let us worship together.

Prayer for the New Year

This moment, I take a deep breath in gratitude for my life.

May I make more room for what matters most and less for what subtracts from it.

Instead of trying to purchase happiness,
may I savor the wonders of Nature, the support of family, the opportunity to be of service, and foster stronger connections with my neighbors and friends.

Instead of running frantically,
may I become more attuned to the rhythms of Nature, simplify my days,
and nurture relationships that help me experience a more fulfilling way of living.

Instead of thinking of religion as one more thing to do,
may I remember that being a part of a spiritual community inspires me to become my best self, and more truly realize my place in the interdependent web of life.

Blessed Be.