a digital library of Unitarian Universalist biographies, history, books, and media
the digital library of Unitarian Universalism
Home » Poetry, Prayers & Visual Arts » Prayers for Today: Contemplation and Action

Prayers for Today: Contemplation and Action

Harvard Square Library exists solely on the basis of donations.  If you have benefitted from any of our materials, and/or if making Unitarian Universalist intellectual heritage materials widely available and free is a value to you, please donate whatever you can–every little bit helps: Donate 


Dorothy L. Sayers
Dorothy L. Sayers

God, if this day my journey end,
I thank You first for many a friend,
The sturdy and unquestioned piers
That run beneath my bridge of years.

Next, for the power You’ve given me
To view the whole world mirthfully,
For laughter, paraclete of pain,
Like April suns across the rain.

Also that, being not too wise
To do things foolish in folks’ eyes,
I gained experience by this,
And saw life somewhat as it is.

Next for the joy of labor done
And burdens shouldered in the sun;
Not less, for shame of labor lost,
And meekness born of a barren boast.

For every fair and useless thing
That bids us pause from laboring
To look and find the larkspur blue
And marigolds of a different hue;

For eyes to see and ears to hear,
For tongue to speak and news to bear,
For hands to handle, feet to go,
For life, I give You thanks also.

For all things merry, quaint and strange,
For sound and silence, strength, and change,
At last, for death, which only gives
Value to everything that lives;

For these, good God, who still makes me,
I praise Your name; since, verily,
I of my joy have had no dearth,
Though this day were my last on earth.

– Dorothy L. Sayers


Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth

Dear God, if the first woman you ever made was strong enough to turn the World upside down, all alone, ought not women together be able to turn it rightside up again.

– Sojourner Truth


Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman

O God, forgive our rich nation where small babies die of cold quite legally.
O God, forgive our rich nation where small children suffer from hunger quite legally.
O God, forgive our rich nation where toddlers and school children die from guns sold quite legally.
O God, forgive our rich nation that lets the rich continue to get more at the expense of the poor quite legally.
O God, help us never to confuse what is quite legal with what is just and right in Your sight.

– Marian Wright Edelman


Teresa of Calcutta
Teresa of Calcutta

Make us worthy, O God, to serve those throughout
the world who live and die in poverty or hunger.

Give them, through our hands this day, their daily
bread, and by our understanding love, give peace and joy.

– Teresa of Calcutta


Teresa of Avila
Teresa of Avila

God, deliver us from sullen saints!

– Teresa of Avila