The world is loud;
turn inward to a quiet heart.

The pace of life is hectic;
slow down and be still for a moment.

You have forgotten to breathe;
take a long, slow inhale and feel your body relax with the exhale.

Busyness has stolen your focus;
clear your head and turn to God.

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“Father, I want those you gave me to be with me where I am. Then they can see my glory, which you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

“Righteous Father, even the world didn’t know you, but I’ve known you, and these believers know that you sent me. I’ve made your name known to them and will continue to make it known so that your love for me will be in them, and I myself will be in them.”

John 17:24-26

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I remember the very first time I was asked to pray out loud in front of a group of people. I was terrified. Would I find the right words? Say the right things? I don’t have a clue what I said in that first prayer (I think I might have started rhyming…); I just remember being relieved when it was over.

I’ve come a long way since then, thank goodness. I pray for out loud frequently these days, for people I know and love, and for people I don’t know but God knows. I still don’t always know the right thing to say or have the right words. But I know now that the prayer isn’t really about me — it’s about God and about the people God loves (all of us!).

Jesus prays to God for us because Jesus loves us and wants the story of God’s love to be known to all the world. No fancy words required!

Sarah McCaslin

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God, when I don’t have the right words, or when the prayers just can’t seem to get to my lips, remind me that you know the prayers on my heart and receive them, through Jesus Christ who prays for all your children, including me. Amen.

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Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate (390-461 AD)

Sarah McCaslin

Sarah McCaslin is a Presbyterian pastor and psychotherapist who lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two awesome kids, Claire and Henry. She is also the minister of Waffle Church (really!), an all-ages worship service of St. Lydia’s Church in Brooklyn.

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