Joys and Fears Congregational Prayer

Thank you, God, for the joy of today.
It is still morning, and yet so many good things have come our way:
the joy of shelter, the joy of clean water coming out of taps,
the joy of food on the table.
Thank you for friends who understand us,
and the joy of meeting new friends.
Thank you that we are here in church, body and spirit,
thank you for the joy of worshipping you, our Creator.
And in the midst of joys, in all honesty
we admit that we come with fears.
Some of us have fears about new beginnings;
new schools, new relationships, new jobs.
We don’t know how we’ll do or how we’ll feel—

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Dark Imaginings

ight time brings with it
a host of fearful thoughts crowding;
sickness striking and life changing forever,
debts looming and bills that can’t get paid,
governments floundering and security teetering,
nature hurling storms and earthquakes everywhere,
humankind falling, evil actions blighting all that’s good.
Scrolling the news in my cozy bed,
I rehearse this night time litany too many times to count,
adding it all up, building a tower of catastrophe,
and I pace its floors obsessively.
But then the moonlight touches my cheek,
recalling me to life

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Dementia 1

Today I’m praying for one

imprisoned in their own mind,

locked behind bars of anguish

that no key can open.

Are you the God of the disordered mind?

Do you watch as ropes of anxiety

already tight pull tighter still,

making death seem a sweet release?

When being is misery, Lord,

the gift of life is torture.

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Waiting for Medical Test Results

On the day fear parks itself in my throat;

when the mountain to be climbed

is the next twenty-four hours

and my ears already echo

with the news I do not want to hear;

as my stomach plummets

and fear pick-axes my heart;

while my mind careens

from possibility to possibility;

as the edges of my known world crumble,

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

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