Preparation for Prayer
As you quiet yourself for prayer, notice the deep care of the Holy One flowing around you as you listen to the ringing of the bell.
“#18—As now the sun shines down at noon”
When sadness o’ertakes your heart
When light and hope are hid from view,
It is God’s love that stands secure,
Love’s peace will soon descend on you.
Text: Renée Miller
Music: "Conditor memoria, plainsong, Mode 2"
When a melancholy malaise settles over our soul, we are being nudged inward where the Holy One waits to spread light over us.
“For I am convinced
that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor
things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all
creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our
—Romans 8:38, 39
“For God alone my soul in silence waits;
Truly, my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
In God is my safety and my honor;
God is my strong rock and my refuge.
Put your trust in him always, O People,
Pour out your hearts before him, for God is our refuge.”
—Psalm 62:1, 2, 8, 9
A Reading from
“For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
—Romans 8:24, 25
followed by Silence
Now close your eyes for a time of reflection and meditation. Take a deep breath and quiet yourself.
When our heart is as light as a feather falling on soft grass, we find it hard to consider that the light will fade and we’ll move into a time of interior darkness. Consequently, we are surprised and anxious when our soul suddenly feels heavy, when tears creep and flow unbidden and unwanted, when days and nights stretch somberly before us without meaning and purpose. We shake like a weak timber, wanting only to be free of the grasp of pain that seems to hold us against our will. Rather than trying to break free of what we fear is stealing us of life and joy, we would do better to relax our soul into what seems so unwelcome. We will find to our great surprise that, hidden in the shadow of sadness, is a gem that could not be gazed upon in the light of the sun. Let the gem dazzle in the darkness until light floods you once again.
Take some moments now to offer the concerns of your heart to heaven. Remember those who are in pain, those who are afraid, those who are alone, those whom you love, those who are dying, and those who are already in heaven, and pray for the needs of your own life.
“O God, you know the emptiness of my heart. Sometimes I wonder if you are there—if you hear—if there is any hope that my situation will be different. When loneliness looms around me, when my questions are unanswered, when no one seems to care, when days and nights go on and on with no change, when I fall deeper into despair, I pray that you will let your peace fall upon me as gently as the spring rain that waters the earth. Remind me of your unconditional and eternal love for me. Assure me of your presence. Fill my heart with the hope that my life is held in your hand. Lift my pain from me so that joy may flow freely again through me. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.”—from Prayers for Living
In your quiet sadness, may you feel the blessing of God working in your soul to bring it peace.
Whatever happens this day, know that you are loved by God—boundlessly, unconditionally, and eternally.
Let your soul be fully still, safe in God’s embrace.
Let your heart be opened, to receive God’s grace.
Joy is standing at the edge, can you see it there?
Look with eyes attentive, trust God, if you dare.
Text: Renee Miller
Music: "Adoro devote, French church melody, Mode 5,"