Open Us Congregational Prayer

God of great gifts,
for the world as we know it, we give you thanks!
The world in all its nearness,
our own special corners, our own dearest vistas,
the way it meets us each morning when we open our eyes.
For the food you provide, we give thanks,
the shape and feel of it in our hands,
the taste of it in our mouths,
a rich harvest produced by your rain, your sun, your soil.
We open ourselves to this bounty. 
We give thanks for the way you people the world,
the particularity of each special person we know and love,
the shape of their smiles, the way they tilt their heads,
the warmth of their embrace, the quality of their company.
We open ourselves to love. 
We give thanks for all this world in its immense beauty,
its staggering strength, its heights and depths,
the breadth of it, beyond our knowing.
And yet you know it, you know us,
you have made yourself known.
We thank you for the contours of your love
in the form of a son who is bread and wine and water and truth.
We are eager to be like him, to be born again in his likeness.
Open us to the Holy Spirit:
thank you for the possibilities that await us this week,
that love can win, that hope can blossom,
that faith can find a way in this world even in hard places.
We pray for all who need comfort and peace and help,
especially those near to us; fill them with your goodness.
We long for your healing power for those we know who are sick.
God of the great wide world and ourselves in this corner of it,
make us into a community that is open–
cratered by the splendour of your creation
and filled to the brink with thankfulness.

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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