A Prayer by Carol Howard Merritt
(with Seven Deep Breaths)

Loving God,

We breathe in your life,
knowing that in our stories of creation
your breath is our breath.
We breathe out our anxiety,
acknowledging the stress that increases
with every blaring headline and dire prediction.

We breathe in your hope,
knowing that you can make a way
out of no way.
We breathe out the despondency,
that creeps upon us,
paralyzing us from doing good.

We breathe in your grace,
as we pray for patience with our loved ones
and endurance in our sheltering.
We breathe out our petty annoyances,
and menial irritations
that make us forget the importance of our bonds.

We breathe in your peace,
which surpasses all our understanding,
and guards our hearts and minds.
We breathe out our worries,
all of our need to be in control,
and the tension in our guts.

We breathe in your abundance,
knowing that we have enough
when we live as a beloved community.
We breathe out our fear of scarcity,
that whispers lies to us
and keeps our fists clenched in greed.

We breathe in your wisdom,
that keeps perspective in our crisis,
reminding us of what is important.
We breathe out despair
that blocks us from seeing possibilities
and blinds us from your vision.

We breathe in your love,
knowing that your presence surrounds us,
and encircles us.
We breathe out the suffering
acknowledging that our pain happens
within your loving embrace.