Pastoral Prayer

Pastoral Prayer


       God of all creation,

We long to understand the mystery of new-ness and growth . . .

     Occasionally we perceive there is a passage of time.

But more often than not, we seem oblivious to the intricacies of the

   growth that occurs all around us . . . everywhere . . . everyday. 

We have a sense that something is different . . .

   something is moving . . . something is growing . . .

         perhaps we can’t name the change or

   understand the difference or even see the growth in our ordinary days –

we simply have a sense of unsettled-ness, uneasy-ness and

             restlessness in the midst of it all.


Perhaps it is life that seems to move ahead whether we are prepared or not. Growth happens . . . growth that we weren’t ready for, growth that we didn’t plan, that we didn’t want, that we couldn’t see coming, that we couldn’t believe happened. And as a result we struggle to keep ahead of all that occurs. Living leaves us breathe-less and more than a bit anxious of what might be next.


So we work harder to be in charge,

   we strive more diligently to be in control . . . we plan and organize the different ways each scenario could turn out . . . 

only to have the details of our plans, or the specific path we want to take,

       or the course we have charted fall short of that which we hoped.

We long for growth, for change, for new-ness of heart, only to be more dissatisfied within our lives.


We have so many questions, God . . .

What growth has been realized in the world in which we live?

Does what we do make a difference? Does it even matter?

Does goodness effect goodness?

Does our kindness lead others to express kindness?

Does care and compassion freely offered, change anyone else’s heart?

Are we genuinely content to live within the mystery?


Growth will continue, of that You have promised, but what might the shape of that growth be?


Forgive us, God, when we see growth in achievement or success . . . when we believe more is better . . . when we value our worth by all of our accomplishments.

Forgive us, God, when we fail to trust Your grace and wisdom . . . when we abandon our beliefs in the midst of the unknown . . . when we neglect to live into Your promise and love.


Help us, God . . .

     Help us trust ourselves enough to be faithful to continue to nurture the seeds we cannot yet see.

     Help us trust You enough to believe in Your ever-present love.

     Help us live in the mystery of transformation, growth and renewal.

We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.



Manchester Church of the Brethren

June 17, 2018

Mark 4: 26 – 34


Karen C. Eberly