Kids Back to School Prayer

Thank you God for warm sunny weather,

    for blue skies

    and blue lakes.

Thank you God for big trees to climb

    for city streets to explore

    for cool shady places to hide in

    for parks with slides and swings.

Thank you God for swimming pools and diving boards

    for baseball diamonds

    and soccer fields.

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Blessing for Parents

We pray today for a blessing on parents;

two parents in one home,

two parents in two homes,

single parents,

extended family caregivers,

foster parents,

and all who are in a parental role.

Give patience when love wears thin.

Give tenderness even in the face of anger.

Give clarity in the face of difficult decisions.

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Bed-time Prayer

Day is ending.

Shadows lengthen

and night falls.

Draw me close to you, God.

Pillow me on your love.

Blanket me with your peace.

Keep me safe in the darkness.

Shut nightmares out

and protect me from anxiety’s cold grip.

Meet me in my dreams tonight

and in tomorrow’s gift of a new day.

In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

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Prayer for Openness

Jesus, you open us

to new life, new hope, new possibilities.

You conquer the way we

close up, close down, and close in.

Jesus, lover of us all,

open our hearts to feel your compassion

for people we would rather walk by;

open our ears to hear the cries of the suffering

deep inside where we cannot fail to be moved;

open our understanding to new ways of living

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Prayer to the Prince of Peace

Perfect love casts our fear

and so today we pray for your spirit of love on our world.

Cast out the shooting of bullets into people’s bodies.

Cast out the explosion of bombs in crowded places.

Cast out the desperation that leads people to terrorist acts.

Cast out the making of walls that divide and imprison us.

Cast out the prejudice against people of a certain race or culture.

Cast out the political structures that perpetuate violence.

Cast out the hatred that produces fear.

Send down the courage to reach out in peace.

Send down the resolution to not return evil for evil.

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Prayer about Sexual Attraction

Thank you God for sexual attraction,

for the pull of thoughts and emotions and bodies.

Thank you that we are creatures

who feel for each other and with each other.

Give us wisdom in this give and take,

    to give our best with kindness,

    to take what’s given graciously.

Preserve us from dangers of intimacy,

    from giving ourselves too hastily,

    from taking without reverence.

In the flesh and blood of our relationships

    may integrity and fidelity kiss.

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Age-old Chorus

In the hospital for sick seniors

each pillow cradles a face 

framed with white hair

underscored by bony knuckles

clutching white sheets.

Bodies, getting older together

join in a choir of symptoms;

the deep voice of bones broken

the tenor of organs failing

the soft alto of senses dulling

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Doubtful Prayer: Don’t Go

Blank disbelief was my reaction

the day faith disappeared into the black hole.

My life’s experience of God,

a rich storehouse of meaning–

suddenly and inexplicably empty.

There was no painful grappling

with an angel from God,

no kicking and screaming as religious certainty

was dragged out the door,

no intellectual duels agonizingly lost,

no moral crisis to point to

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Prayer for Farmers

Thank you God for farmers.

Help us to recognize the importance of those

who participate in your creative work

by growing and raising food.

We pray today in particular for farm families

who suffer from crises in the agricultural industry.

Help us to walk with those who must sell their products

for less than the cost of production.

Help us to walk with those who face uncertainty

because of disease and government restrictions.

Help us to walk with those who are burnt out

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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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