Morning Prayer: The Race Before Us

At the starting line of this day,

we call on your name, God of grace.

As we run the race you have set before us,

help us to keep our eyes on your goals, not our own.

When we falter, give us fresh strength and courage.

When we are fleet-footed, let us give you the glory.

Keep us from wanting to win at other’s expense

or to count ourselves better than those at our side.

All runners are your children.

In the race You imagine,

each one is a winner.

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Crossroads Offering Prayer

Every time we come to the moment of offering,
it’s a crossroads.
There is an inner struggle between selfishness and generosity,
a pull between fear of the future and belief in God’s providence.
We give our offering this morning, God,
stepping out in faith down the road of grace.
We do this together, as your people,
called and sent to be a blessing for all the world.
In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

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Food for Life Table Grace

For all that we put in our bodies:
every morsel, crumb, piece,
every tidbit, chunk, mouthful–
thanks and praise to God!
Food is a miraculous delight.
Something solid is changed, who knows how,
into the swinging of an arm,
into our bodies bending and leaping.

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Confession: Terrains of Sinfulness

God our Hope, be our guide in all the terrains of sinfulness.
When sin is glittering, and we have eyes for nothing else
and are oblivious to consequences;
be with us then.
When sin is disguised, and we do wrong things thinking they are right
because we are entirely misguided;
be with us then.
When sin is justified, and we know something is wrong
but we find a million reasons why we can do it;
be with us then.
When sin is a category we reject, and we follow our own way

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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?

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River of Love Offering Prayer

Giver of all good things,
let your grace flow through us;
a generous stream,
unstoppable, refreshing, abundant.
We release these gifts into your river of love,
flowing out to all the world.

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Graceful Life Congregational Prayer

Grace us, God, with your presence,
because sometimes things can be such a mess.
We try to live ordered organized lives
with good principles and lofty goals,
but then there we stand at the end of it;
our days scattered with broken dreams,
words that should not have been spoken,
actions we wish we could take back,
and many many things we did not do.
In the shattered life, in the fractured family,
in the falling apart world,

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Climbing the More with Less Ladder

The effort to achieve goodness
stretches the most ambitious soul.
Faced with global warming,
the oil crisis and rampant materialism,
we can and do rise to the occasion.
We track our miles and kilometers
for every carbon footprint,
we pinch pennies,
we recycle and re-use,
we evaluate and re-evaluate
our time-saving, time-treasuring,
simple-life strategies….

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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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