Prayer Prompts Based on Luke 17, the Healing of the Ten Lepers

summer in the scriptures luke (13)

Prayer Prompts based on Luke 17:11-19
Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers

Use one or more of the following prompts as you pray. Just finish the sentence again and again or use it as a springboard for your prayers. Share your prayer in the comments. What prayer prompt would you write? Share that as well.

Jesus, Master, have mercy on …

Mighty One, hear my cry for …

Jesus, cleanse me of …

Jesus, cleanse us of …

Generous One, receive my thanks for the small grace of …

Generous One, receive my thanks for the mighty grace of …

Jesus, I bow before your …

Jesus, I praise and adore you for …
 
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For the next few months, I’m reading a chapter from the Gospels each day. This is part of the Summer in the Scriptures reading plan sponsored by the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. Click Here for the reading plan.

You’re most welcome to read along and to join the Facebook discussion group, Summer in the Scriptures. You don’t need to be a Methodist or attend a Methodist church. All are welcome and all means all.

As part of the Facebook group, I’ve been supplying prayers based on the day’s reading. Feel free to post your prayers and observations based on the readings here or there as well.

May the grace of the Gospels, the challenge, and the call, inspire us to great faith and great good works in Jesus’ name. – Lisa <

Prayer Prompts based on Luke 17 © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Face Mask Blessing

corona face mask blessing

A friend is coordinating efforts to make face masks for medical professionals and other front line workers in our area. She asked for a blessing to accompany each face mask. ⁠

This is what came to me. May it be a blessing for all our heroes. ⁠

May you be strengthened to serve with honor, wisdom, and compassion.
May you be protected from hardheartedness, despair, and disease.
May you bring healing to many and find the healing you need yourself.

Please receive this blessing and small token with our enduring thanks for your heroic service to our community. We recognize and honor your sacrifice for the greater good. Your friends at Trinity Sarasota. (www.iTrinity.org)

Do you sew? If so, would you consider making face masks? Here’s a tutorial from Button Counter.

If you live in Sarasota, I have a way to get them to the heroes at Sarasota Memorial. Contact me and we’ll coordinate a drop-off. Stay well, dear ones. – Lisa <><

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Face Mask Blessing © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
(by Lisa Degrenia, http://www.revlisad.com). Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Morning Prayer for the New Year

close up of coffee cup on table

Photo by Chevanon Photography on Pexels.com

Imagine waking up every morning, and the first words out of your mouth are this prayer of commitment and openness to God by Steve Garnaas Holmes. Now that’s a New Year’s resolution worth keeping! Happy New Year, dear ones. – Lisa <><

God, help me today
to love with gusto,
to forgive with courage,
to look for your grace,
to seek presence, not comfort,
to be grateful in all things,
to receive you in whatever form you come to me.

Help me today to be who you create me to be,
not what others desire,
to trust you in what is difficult,
to let your love flow through me
without impediment or hesitation,
to be present in this life,
not hankering after one I imagine.

I surrender myself to your love thriving in me,
love that unites me with all your Beloved,
with all Creation, with you:
for even though I am not fully aware
I am fully yours,
and I give you my thanks;
I give you my life.
Amen.
~ God, Help Me Today by Steve Garnaas Holmes

I’m grateful for the faithfulness, artistry, and voice of Steve Garnaas Holmes who generously allows me to repost his meaningful work. I cannot recommend his blog highly enough. You’ll find him at unfoldinglight.net. – Lisa <><

Prayers for a New Year

huge clock

Please let me know the artist of this piece that I may give him/her credit.

Prayer at Year’s End by Steve Garnaas Holmes
Eternal God,
in the evening of this year
I release the year to you.
Not a day, not a breath, have I been without you,
and I thank you.
All that I have done is done;
what I have not done I have not done.
All of my sins and errors you have forgiven,
and I release them.
All of my triumphs are your doing,
and I release them.
The year is gathered into your harvest,
to winnow and to save.
My life is gathered into your grace.
By your spirit in me may I learn from my mistakes,
grow from my wounds,
and deepen in gratitude for my gifts.
And now I turn to a new year,
grateful for your presence and your grace,
seeking only to live in harmony with your delight,
and open to your blessing and your leading.
Whether my journey onward be long or short,
it shall be in you, and I rejoice.
Amen.

O Mystery, remind me of my end, and how measured my days;
keep me mindful how fleeting my life is. —Psalm 39:4

Letting Go by Steve Garnaas Holmes
Before I step into the new year
I let go of the old one.
What I have done I have done.
What I have not done I have not done.
So be it. I release my regret.
I stand with myself.

For all the gifts I have received,
known and unknown, I am grateful.
However I have suffered I accept.
I learn what I can and move on.
Whatever others have done that hurt me,
I forgive. I learn and move on.
For however I have failed or fallen short,
I forgive myself. I learn and move on.

I release my fears.
I release my self-doubt, blame and self-silencing.
My hopes and dreams I place in God’s hands,
trusting what is blessed will remain with me.

I am alive, and life is good.
I open myself to the future,
enfolded in this present.
Holy Mystery, I am yours.
I am here, now.

Gratitude for a New Year by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
For the blessings of today
which remind us of the blessings of the past
which point forward to the blessings still to come
we give you thanks

Prayer for a New Year, based on Psalm 90 by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
ONE:
Eternal and Immortal One,
You have been our refuge from age to age.
Before the mountains were born,
Before the earth and the world came to birth,
From eternity to eternity,
You are God.

ALL:
To you, a thousand years are like a yesterday
Like a watch of the night

ONE:
You return us to dust
You sweep us away like a dream
We are like grass
In the morning we thrive,
We blossom
But come evening,
We are withered and dry

ALL:
Teach us to number our days
That we may gain your wise heart

Fill us with your faithful love
That we may sing your joyful story

Show us your wondrous deeds
That we may see your transforming power
That generations to come may see it as well

Let your favor, O God be upon us,
That the work of our hands
May bear forth your blessing
And bring your glory. Amen.

penitence by larry poncho brown

Penitence by Larry Poncho Brown

Prayer of Confession for a New Year
by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

As the new year is born,
We remember and regret…

Forgive us, Holy One,
When we keep You at a distance
When we defy your bidding
When we make it harder
for people to know you

Forgive us, Holy One,
When we deny our weakness
When we wallow in our weakness
When we take advantage
of the weakness of others

Forgive us, Holy One,
When we refuse Your counsel
When we waste your gifts
When we withhold Your compassion from others

Silent Confession

As the new year is born
We labor to look forward
Our hearts fill with hope
For you are making all things new
even us… Amen

A New Year’s Blessing by Steve Garnaas Holmes
My hope and prayer and confidence
is that in this new year
God will be lovingly present for you,
and you will more and more deeply trust
God’s delight in you.
Christ will lead you every step of the new year.
The Spirit’s gifts will unfold in you in new ways.
I rejoice that in this new year
beauty will surround you; grace will enfold you;
love will embrace and uphold you;
joy will bless you, and hope sustain you.
May you receive healing and wisdom;
may your creativity flower and your courage grow;
and in your hands may justice and mercy flourish.
I rejoice that these gifts await you in the new year,
and pray that you receive them with delight.
I give thanks for the gift of sharing together
the journey of this new year.
God bless us all.

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Click Here for a collection of quotes entitled Counting Our Days

Thank you to Steve Garnaas Holmes for his generosity in allowing me to share his work on my blog. Please, consider subscribing to his blog, www.unfoldinglight.net.

Gratitude for a New Year © 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Prayer for a New Year, based on Psalm 90 © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Prayer of Confession for the New Year © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

You are welcome to use these prayers in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish them in any form

Prayer Practice- The Gratitude Tree

It’s my joy to welcome my friend Jen Willhoite to the blog today. We met through a book writing collective called Bookwifery. Everyone there is in the process of birthing books. (What a terrific metaphor. It’s definitely labor!)

Jen is brilliant, tender, and one of the funniest people I know. One minute you’ll be trying to write down every ounce of beauty and wisdom pouring forth from her soul, the next you’ll be in the middle of a huge belly laugh.

Jen lives in California with her family and pets. She loves pizza, rollercoasters, and sports.

Jen’s main ministry is sharing how-to’s on the Ignatian examen (her main discernment tool) as well as illustrated stories featuring existential quandaries and her own friendship with the Divine.

Be sure to check out Jen’s illustrations and prayer resources available at her Etsy shop. I absolutely love her step by step examen cards and highly recommend them to you. And be sure to follow her on Instagram @cobbleworks. You’re also most welcome to subscribe to her newsletter.

May you have a powerful experience with God through the simple prayer practice she provides below. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving and throughout the year. – Lisa <><

Gratitude Tree complete Jen Willhoite

A One-Step Examen: Gratitude Blooming Even in the Struggle
I invite you to practice the Examen for a week and just do step 1, gratitude. I’m sharing something with you and my hope is that it helps build this faith muscle for you. It is my Gratitude Tree and I use it regularly to write down all the things that I cherish in a day, but especially on tough days where I’m running out of hope, answers, and light to live by.

I intentionally use a tree for this exercise because it lets me give thanks for things in various stages of growth.

  • For opportunities peeking out, but not yet ripe and present in life, I write them at the end of the branches.
  • For small seeds of hope I hold deep in my heart, I write them under the soil.
  • For the stable things I can count on nearly every day, I write them on the trunk.

You get the idea.

Although it might sound counterintuitive, I also invite you to write down your challenges—let them live among the things you hold dear. Draw them close to big blessings. I do this as a reminder to myself that God welcomes my whole life and loves my whole self just as I am.

The examen, in its entirety, asks us to look at places in our lives where we feel connected to God’s love and places where we feel separated from it. Acknowledging both of these places helps us accept our reality, share it with God knowing it is held in loving embrace and make room for the possibility that even challenges can be transformed into blessings. It is a step toward surrender and trust to let our worries mingle with that which we are grateful for. It shows us that our lives are still unfolding, there is still hope and love is growing always and in all ways.

CLICK HERE for a PDF of a blank version of Jen’s Gratitude Tree to use yourself

For those of you who’d like to go deeper
Gratitude is expansive, a spiritual yeast that grows reality right before our eyes. It often starts with courtesy but quickly deepens into our daily bread because it feeds our hope and lets us share that hope with the world.

When we practice gratitude, we might name one singular thing only to awaken to the fact that it is connected to the universe of things. From this intertwined place of comity, grandeur, vulnerability and particular joy, we begin to realize that we have entered an intimate conversation with the Holy and that we are safe here. We call this process “prayer” and its effect is relationship. The Ignatian examen guides us through and to both. Its first step, unsurprisingly, is gratitude.

Gratitude is a potent form of honesty. When we give thanks, we are telling the truth about ourselves, if only in part. In our appreciation, we admit that something matters so much to us that we can’t let it slip by without recognition. So giving thanks is deeply personal and revelatory. And like truth, it is freeing rather than controlling. Consider this:

Gratitude does not diminish or soften our desolation. It is not a pair of rose-colored glasses.

Gratitude does not pretend our suffering away. It is not a form of denial.

Gratitude does not encourage us to ignore the negative and only look for the positive. It is not a pair of blinders or a silencer.

It is a giant conjunction, a companion. It comes alongside our pain and confusion and expands our horizon so that we see a fuller sense of reality in the present moment. We might say, “I feel disconnected from my work. I am grateful I have friends I can share dinner with tonight.” Our friends may not heal the fracture we have with our jobs or have an answer to the existential reality of what we are doing with our lives, but appreciating and acknowledging them even as we feel discomfort somewhere else immediately shows us that while suffering is a part of our reality, it is not the whole of our reality. (Personally, I consider this a small form of deliverance and salvation and I rely on it regularly lest I live in glass-half-empty consciousness.)

This thing that seems to start with mere pleasantry can root us quickly and firmly into a foundation stronger than ourselves. Simple and honest statements about what we cherish about our lives nurture joy within us and our vision expands. This helps us feel safe. This helps us find sanctuary. This helps us consider that there may be more than what our initial desolation told us was going on in life. We start to wonder, “If the sunshine is present even when storm clouds are in the sky, could it be that life is more than sheltering from the storm?” Hope lives in the “could it be…” bit. Hope lives in that space where we wonder if the shadow may not be the whole picture. And it’s gratitude that gets us wondering.

With practice, naming what we are grateful for ushers us into a place of deeper connection where we can admit more of our feelings and more truths about our present moment—the shadowy cloud parts and the sunlit parts. It’s not long before we find ourselves falling into honest conversation and union with our deepest selves and the Sacred (which is what the examen is—a structure for a sacred conversation). No wonder St. Ignatius made gratitude the first step in the examen! It gets us out of our corners and reaching out to God…within our hearts and around us in life.