Journey of Love Congregational Prayer

Holy Spirit,
we need your presence here on planet earth.
Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem,
it is there he was crucified.
Today many still suffer in that same city.
Racism and oppression are rampant;
a giant dividing wall of hostility runs near it.
Jerusalem struggles to find the things that make for peace.
We need your Spirit to shine there in dark places,
and to offer hope for those who are mired in hopelessness.
Raise up peacemakers who reject hatred,
whose integrity can inspire loyalty,
whose wisdom can chart a path for peace.

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The Church United

For centuries and millennia
the church divided.
In fragments,
polarized, incensed
and with bees in their bonnets,
Christian denounced Christian,
sending one another to hell,
or to their graves,
quoting scripture or creed
as the occasion demanded.
Or not….

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Grace Raining

Jesus help us live in peace,
even as we go to pieces.
The body of the redeemed
pulled apart by faithfulness,
yanked by righteousness,
clawed by holiness.
Ecclesial politics as a blood sport.
We stand our ground grandly,
confident of its moral highness.
“They’ve lost the way,”
“They don’t care,”
“We are following Jesus,”
echo back and forth

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Whole Body of Christ Congregational Prayer

God of grace:
Thank you for Alberta, our beautiful province,
land of prairie and boreal forest, rolling hills and  towering mountains.
Thank you for our connection to this land,
our favourite spots and places, where we seek out beauty and peace.
Thank you for Alberta’s connection to the rest of Canada,
its connection to our continent, its oceans,
for the atmosphere we share with the whole world,
for the deep heat of the earth’s core
that is the base of every country on earth.
Thank you for the unity of the world,
even as we love certain parts of it,

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The Whole Score

God breathes and the world answers in a symphony of faithfulness.
Songs of services in chapels, halls and tabernacles,
arias of councils and conferences and conventions,
oratorios of missions and campaigns and committees.
The devoted bursting forth in a hundred million hymns,
harmonious, dissonant, raucous and serene.
The voice of the church exhaling its devotion,
praising Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer and Friend.
Angel voices and the saintly crowd of witnesses
hum along as God’s kingdom call echoes in the world. 

For so long we’ve tuned into only one part, ours,
examining it, analyzing it to the nth degree,
arguing over our notes, perfecting them, enjoying them.

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God of Gardens

God of gardens,
you are the great Cultivator,
growing faith for the ages.
You aren’t picky about the size of the harvest.
You rejoice in the vast prairie field,
one crop from horizon to horizon,
just as you rejoice in the tiny plant
breaking through the inner city cement crack.
You carefully tend the tenderest of plants,
taking deep delight in burgeoning beauty.
Under the light of your gaze,
faith breaks out in different colours

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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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