THEODORE PARKER (1810-1860). The Yankee Crusader against slavery and ignorance accompanied his prophetic Boston pulpit utterances with highly personal public prayers. Louisa May Alcott said, “Parker’s prayers were one of the strongest attractions of his church.” Read More…
OUR FATHER AND OUR MOTHER
Creating and Protecting Power, our Father and our Mother, we lift up our psalm of thanksgiving to You. You hold the world in Your arms of love. It sings thanksgiving to You every morning, evening and noon. We praise You for Your blessings. We desire to be deeply conscious of Your presence, which fills all time, which occupies all space. We would know You as You are.
We thank You for the happiness that attends us in our daily life, for the joys of our daily work, for the success which You give to the labor of our hands. We thank You for the plain and common household joys of life, for the satisfactions of friendship, for the blessedness of love in all the dear relationships of life.
We thank You that amid hopes that so often deceive us, amid expectations that fail and perish, we have still our faith in You. In our sorrow and sadness we look up to You, and when mortal friends fail us, and the urn that held our treasured joys is broken into fragments, and the wine of life is scattered at our feet, O God, we rejoice to know that You understand our lot. We thank You that You hold each one of us, yes, all Your children and the universe itself, as a mother folds her baby to her bosom.
OUR DAILY LIVES
Infinite Presence who lives and moves and has Your being in all that is above us and around us and underneath us: we remember that it is in You that we also live and move and have our being. Conscious of Your presence, we would look on our daily lives, that the murmur of our business, the roar of the street and the jar of the noisy world, may mingle in the prayer of our aspiration and hymn of gratitude. May the meditations of our hearts draw us nearer to You, always above us and about us and within.
When we are weak and poor and foolish, may we remember You as the Source of all strength and all wisdom and all riches; and when we grow strong and rich, wise and good, may we never forget our duty to the poor, the weak, the foolish, but love others as we love ourselves.
We pray that in every emergency of our lives, we may be faithful to the duty which the day demands , doing what must be done, bearing what must be borne, and so growing greater from our toil and our sufferings, till we transfigure ourselves into noble images of humanity.
YOU BIND TOGETHER THE AGES
Living God who fills the world and yet is not far from any one of us, we would join ourselves to You, and warm and freshen our spirit in the sunlight of Your countenance, and come away strengthened and made whole.
We thank Your for the little children, whose coming foretells that kingdom of righteousness which is ever at our doors, waiting to be revealed; giving joy to many a father’s and mother’s heart.
We thank You for the power of youth, for its green promise, its glad foretelling, and its abundant hope. We thank You for the strength of manhood and womanhood, into whose hands You commit the family, the community, the nation and the world.
We bless You for the old age which crowns the head with silver honors, the fruit of long and experienced life, and enriches the heart with wisdom which babyhood knew not, which Youth could not comprehend, and only long continued maturity could make perfect.
O God, we thank You that You bind together the ages of infancy and youth, adulthood and old age by the ties of family and social love.
Almighty Power, all-knowing Wisdom, we thank You for Yourself and for Your arms around this dusty world.
TO JOIN THE HUMAN RACE
O God, may we join the human race in daring to live in the prophetic spirit: seeking inspiration like the seers and sages of this and other lands, judging the past as they, acting on the present like them, envisioning a new and nobler era of the spirit.
May our doctrines and forms fit the soul as the limbs fit the body: growing out of it, growing with it.
May we have communities for the whole person: truth for the mind, good works for the hands, love for the heart; and for the soul that aspiring after perfection, that unfaltering faith in life, which like lightning in the clouds, shines brightest when elsewhere it is most dark.
Creating and Protecting Power—our Father, yea, our Mother, not the less—we come before You with the remembrance of our daily toils, and the common things of life still murmuring in our ears. We thank You for the happiness that attends us in our daily life, for the joys of our work, for the success which You give to the labors of our hand, and the strength of soul which comes from our daily toil. We thank You for the plain and common household joys of life, for the satisfaction of friendship, for the blessedness of love in all the dear relationships of life. We thank You that You hold each one of us, and the universe itself, as a mother folds her baby to her bosom, and You bless us with Your tender mercy.
Infinite Spirit who needs no words for us to converse with You, we would enter into Your presence. We revere Your power; we worship Your wisdom; we are gladdened by Your love and blessed by our communion with You. We live in Your world; we taste Your bounty; we breathe Your air. Your power sustains us; Your justice guides us; Your goodness preserves us; Your love blesses us forever and ever.