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A Pastor’s Prayer on the Edge of Lent

Slow me down, O God.
I am in a rush, burdened with deadlines and deaths,
yearning for downtime and delight.

Slow me down long enough to see you
right now.
Not tomorrow, not in my dreams,
not on that mountaintop looming large,
but right now in my busyness,
my distraction,
my worry,
my overthinking,
my tiredness.

Slow me down long enough to hear you
in this moment.
Not in those quiet minutes before sleep,
not in the deep breath before moving to the next thing,
not in the impatient waiting for lunch to warm up,
not in the bubbling of the tea kettle,
in this moment with my head full of
all that I need to accomplish,
all the anguish I need to release,
all the burdens given to me to hand on to you,
speak to me in this moment.

Slow me down, God of grace.
Slow me down to appreciate the beauty and wonders of this day.
Let me not rush to Sunday’s mountain,
or next week’s ashes,
or the hospital bed,
or the baptismal waters,
or the meeting to handle this new crisis,
or the list of emails, texts, and voicemails.
Let me savor this day for all the blessings you freely pour out.

Slow me down, stop me in my tracks.
Let me see the beauty in each snowflake,
in the shining of the distant sun,
in the laughter of children,
in the tears of those newly grieving,
in the epiphany moment of “all shall be well,”
in the yawn and stretch,
in all the goodness that comes from serving you.

Slow me down and meet me here.
May I hold fast to your presence, your Love,
as I seek to serve your people
today, and in the days ahead.

Amen.


Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is an author and the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ in Minneapolis, MN. You can find links to her blog, video series, and books at Beachtheology.com.


Photo: CC0 image by Simon Steinberger


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