A Prayer for a Thousand Tongues

God of every tongue and nation:
thank you for the multiplicity and beauty of languages,
each one a treasure, each one unmatched and irreplaceable.
Thank you for the slow growth of languages over time,
their plasticity and adaptability,
their ability to convey and carry culture,
the heart of a people.
As a white Canadian, I mourn the colonial decision
to declare only two languages official,
the languages of white people.
Settler peoples waged war on First Nations and Inuit,
doing everything possible to eradicate their mother tongues;
kidnapping and torturing children,
trying to deafen them to the voice of their people.
We lament the peoples and languages that are no more.
We give thanks for the resilience and ingenuity
of indigenous people who refused to forget.
Strengthen all who are working to resuscitate languages
known only to small communities.
When newcomers to Canada
feel they must shed their languages
like coats that no longer fit,
help us to be welcoming of diversity,
celebrating the plural voice.
Open our ears to the virtue of the vernacular.
Set us the multilingual task of learning our own
and each other’s languages by heart,
taking seriously the challenge of
a thousand tongues to sing your praise.

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 www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

Recent Posts

Posts By Month
  • Popular Tags

    Your browser doesn't support the HTML5 CANVAS tag.

  • 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  www.leadinginworship.com.”

    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 carol@leadinginworship.com.