Sanctuary Prayer

I weave a circle of prayer around this sanctuary

Protect, dear God, this space from sin.

Let evil thoughts be dropped in the parking lot

along with petty quarrels and all bitterness.

Let selfishness be relinquished on the steps

and pride be renounced at the threshold.

Let quarrelling be left at the door

and all hard feelings be hung up in the cloakroom.

Help us enter this hour of worship simply,

as children, eager to meet you here.


I weave a circle of prayer around this sanctuary.

Equip, dear God, this space for worship.

Let love be present in every handshake

and every meeting of eyes.

Let spirits be open to your presence,

and let our hearts be eager to feel your embrace.

Let music touch our deepest chords

and let our prayers be the melody we hum as we go.

Let us leave this hour of worship carrying no baggage,

only the blessings of your sacred congregation.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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  • Worship resources in a Mennonite voice for ears of all kinds

    Are you looking for resources for a Christian service? Feel free to use or adapt my prayers, poems and litanies. They are written in a Mennonite voice, for ears of all kinds. 

    Feel free to use these orally in a worship service (in-person or broadcasted)  , but if they are printed in a bulletin please use the following credit

    “Copyright Carol Penner”

    Contact me for use in newsletters or printed resources, I am happy to grant permission but I would like to know how my writing is being used.  You can reach me at