Prayers: Personal

Corners of My Mind

Here’s a prayer for the corners of my mind

littered with unfinished business—

hopes squashed decades ago,

orphan words that never had a listening ear,

yearnings unhinged, glances missed,

potential unrealized,

torn maps of roads not taken.

In lonely moments, if you listen closely,

you can hear regret gnawing away there

sharpening its teeth on yesterday’s sorrows.

Read More »

Advent Prayer for Doubters

These are the things that I say out loud.
There is beauty in this season of celebration:
children waiting for presents,
hospitality being prepared,
music floating, lights sparkling,
and even strangers smiling at each other.
Waiting is something I am doing.
I am waiting for peace on earth,
I am waiting for an end to hostilities,
I am waiting for healing and hope.
If you are there, God, I would ask why,
and lay out all the suffering I’ve seen under the sun,
and demand an accounting.

Read More »

The God Who Calls

You are the God who calls.
You are hiding in the pauses of the winter wind
whipping around the corners of my house.
You are present in the space between the opening petals
of the first spring crocus.
You are there in the silence behind
the crickets chirping on the hot summer evening.
You are in the autumn aching for what’s been lost
when all is fallen.
You call to us from the other side of Eden,
your voice emanating from deserts, dreams,
whirlwinds and burning bushes.

Read More »

Land of Broken Dreams Prayer

our mercies are new every day, God.
When I could hardly catch my breath,
fear clenching my stomach,
and every horizon dark,
you were there for me.
Whether I stood on the precipice
of grief and pain, or loneliness and despair:
you heard me calling.
My prayers not echoing in empty chambers,
not ricocheting into nothingness;

Read More »

Our Evening and Morning Prayer

As night falls
as we lay our bodies down,
as muscles relax…
take, Lord, the burdens of the day,
hold, Lord, our loved ones in safety,
remove, Lord, all clinging fears,
give, Lord, the sweetest dreams,
grant, Lord, a restful sleep
in Jesus’ name.

As the dawn rises,
as we lift our bodies up,

Read More »

Prayer for the Future

All-seeing God,
hear my prayer for the future that I will not see.
For all the children of my children’s grandchildren,
and all the others born when this century
is a long ago memory.
Let their feet touch this good earth,
let it still be good, growing green as it always grows.
Let their hands be reaching to connect,
not grasping, not fighting.
I want to pray that we would be beyond all that,
but I think that’s asking for too much.
Instead, I pray for what we have survived.
The upheavals I cannot imagine or name,
the suffering that is beyond speaking.
I pray that we could still be good,
still loving in the face of hatred,

Read More »

Darling Mother Prayer

t doesn’t always go as planned.
Bowled over with newborn love,
the way ahead seems clear and untroubled,
devotion deep and wide enough
to weather any storm.
So we say a prayer, Darling Mother,
for when the crying baby
will not be comforted,
and the night knows what
we want to do.
We say a prayer for when we
reach for the tantruming toddler,…

Read More »

Social Fabric Prayer

The transgender man beaten,
and the woman harassed on the bus.
The disabled student not accommodated,
and the bomb threat at the Jewish child-care centre.
Racial profiling at the border
and another refugee told to go home.
A million tiny teeth ripping at the webs that connect us,
fissures fracturing the social fabric.
Reading the news my heart feels tattered,
and all that’s good seems lost
and left behind.

Can we defend, say, “Not here!” to hatred,
hold firm to every last strand of civility?

Read More »

The Good Book

I was always captivated by
“Once upon a time”:
the magical invitation
into a world not mine.
The world of giants and talking animals,
the world of spies and zookeepers,
pirates, pioneers and pilots–
I followed them through deserts and oceans,
deep space, rush hour traffic,
mountains and subterranean caverns.
I puzzled things out with Nancy Drew,
yearned for justice with Black Beauty,
cried with Jane Eyre,

Read More »

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

Recent Posts

Posts By Month
  • Popular Tags

    Your browser doesn't support the HTML5 CANVAS tag.