God’s presence

God in the Spaces

God who sees all spaces,

you see the space between

what we need and what we get,

the space between the hunger

and the nourishment provided,

the space between our hopes

and what actually happens.

You see the cracks in our lives

out of which tears flow.

Help us live through these spaces

with courage in the face of emptiness,

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Divine Presence Call to Worship

Here we are Lord !

We’ve come today to this worship service for many reasons;

we’ve come because we need to meet you,

we’ve come out of habit, or because someone made us come,

we’ve come because we hope the music will lift our spirits,

we’ve come because we are hungry for your word,

we’ve come because we want to see our friends,

we’ve come because we want to make friends,

we’ve come because you are the friend we need most of all.

Here we are — touch each person with your divine presence:

shape us into the church that you want us to be. Amen.

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Heavyhearted Prayer

My heart is heavy.

Heavy like a bulky suitcase carried too long,

Heavy like the pressure at the bottom of the pool’s deep end,

Heavy like feet at the end of a long day’s walk,

Heavy like carrying bad news to a friend,

Lifter of the heavyhearted, hear my prayer.

Help me to remember the strength that first lifted

    and bore the weight easily.

Help me to remember the sweet surrender of diving

    and the adventure of going deep.

Help me to remember the lightness of step…

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Today we pray for the sorely tempted.

When the body aches for one thing alone

when the mind longs for one thing alone

when the spirit knows one thing alone

when we are on autopilot for disaster

lined up for the sweet siren rocks–

your voice in our headsets

calm and firm:

“Alter course.  Pull up.  Engage.”

You lift our glazed eyes to a distant horizon

and talk us through to a different landing.

We step on solid ground, shaking,

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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 Playing

As children, as young people, and as adults

we thank you God for time to rest and play!

Help us to choose activities in our leisure time

that re-create us and diminish no one.

Tune into TV programs with us.

Listen to music with us.

Surf websites with us.

Play sports with us.

Party with us….

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Glimpsing God

At the very edge of hearing,

at that fine line

between what is in and out of reach,

in the wondering moment

where a fragrance is apprehended

but unrecognized,

when you gaze intently

and in the shift between seeing nothing

and seeing something (who knows what),


God arrives.

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All We Desire Call to Worship

This is what we desire:

Your love breaking down barricades of hatred.

Your peace melting permafrosted hearts.

Your joy cascading over bleak resignation.

Your patience bending the world slowly.

Your gentleness permeating even the most impermeable.

Your goodness towering above all evils.

Your kindness embracing our fear.

Your faith moving mountains.

Your spirit, God, is all we desire. 

Be with us in this hour of worship. Amen.

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Waiting for God

We are waiting for your presence, God–

patient, like a lover sitting by the telephone

waiting for the voice of their beloved;

attentive as a farmer watching clouds for rain

waiting for the parched soil’s relief;

intent as a child standing by the road

waiting for the parade to appear;

empty as a satellite dish scanning the heavens

waiting for a message from the stars;

poised as the still arms of a windmill

waiting for the wind’s inspiration;

open as the wide sand beach

waiting for the tide’s embrace.

Come, Lord Jesus.

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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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