This breath prayer is from a poem by German poet Rainer Maria Rilke.
Breathing in: To praise . . .
Breathing out: is the whole thing.
A Dashboard Prayer
With care, I take control of this car,
knowing its power to assist my life,
and to endanger me and others.
I give you thanks for the hands which made it,
for the natural resources of your creation
that fuel it,
and for the privilege to travel so freely
in a world where many must walk.
May I never forget the costs of this convenience,
or my responsibility for its use.
May I travel safely this day in your care.
— Jennifer M. Phillips in Simple Prayers for Complicated Lives
A David Steindl-Rast Blessing
Source of All Blessings,
you bless us with views from
train windows — landscape
that rotates one way near the
tracks and the opposite way near
the horizon, while we sit back and
watch it rolling by like a film,
yet real and with a life of its own.
May I always live keenly aware of
worlds unaware of being observed,
worlds turning and touching,
separate from each other, yet one.
Source of All Blessings,
you bless us with glass — its many
kinds and shapes and colors, the
glass of windowpanes, lightbulbs,
wine goblets, the nose cones of
missiles, the marbles and beach
glass that were our grade-school
treasures, the lenses of telescopes,
the beads that have spent centuries
in tombs, the tear bottles buried by
grieving women, glass that won't
ever decay yet shatters at once.
May it teach me to handle all things
— David Steindl-Rast in 99 Blessings
Blessing for Water
Praise and gratitude to the sacred waters of the world, to the oceans, the mother of life, the womb of the plant life that freshens our air with oxygen, the brew that is stirred by sunlight and the moon's gravity into the great currents and tides that move across the earth, circulating the means of life, bringing warmth to the frozen Arctic and cool, fresh winds to the tropics. We give thanks for the blessed clouds and the rain that brings the gift of life to the land, that eases the thirst of roots, that grows the trees and sustains life even in the dry desert. We give thanks for the springs that bring life-giving water up from the ground, for the small streams and creeks, for the mighty rivers. We praise the beauty of water, the sparkle of the sunlight on a blue lake, the shimmer of moonlight on the ocean's waves, the white spray of the waterfall. We take delight in the sweet singing of the dancing stream and the roar of the river in the flood.
We ask help to know within ourselves all the powers of water: to wear down and to build up, to ebb and to flow, to nurture and to destroy, to merge and to separate. We know that water has great powers of healing and cleansing, and we also know that water is vulnerable to contamination and pollution. We ask help in our work as healers, in our efforts to ensure that the waters of the world run clean and run free, that all the earth's children have the water they need to sustain abundance of life. Blessed be the water.
— Starhawk in The Earth Path
Give Us This Day
One more day to serve.
One more hour to love.
One more minute to praise.
For this day I am grateful.
If I awaken to the morning sun
I am grateful.
— Mary Lou Kownacki in The Grateful Table by Brenda Knight
Gratitude for What We May Take for Granted
Spirit of all gifts and grace,
We are not ungrateful – not all the time.
We know that life is a precious gift. Though we would
appear at times to squander it, remember the ways we
When we are happy, accept our joy as gratitude for all
opportunities, accepted and ignored.
When we are broken, accept our tears and anger as gratitude
for feeling deeply.
When we reach out to others, accept our compassion as
gratitude for conscience and compassion.
When we choose solitude, accept our silence as gratitude for
the deepness of spirit we are seeking.
When we act thoughtlessly, accept our mistakes as gratitude
for the freedom we have in our lives.
When we act foolishly, accept our lapses as gratitude for the lessons we have yet to learn.
When we share our stories, accept the telling of our lives as
gratitude for community and family.
When we worship, accept our ritual mumblings as symbols
of gratitude for all they represent.
Spirit of Thanksgiving, when we remember to give thanks for life and love, for knowledge and
wisdom, for freedom to act and for freedom from oppression, accept our obvious omissions as unspoken gratitude for suffering that brings us compassion, for sorrow that helps us grow, for disappointment that gives us determination, for illness that offers healing, and for death that makes way for new cycles of life and creation.
— L. Annie Foerster in For Praying Out Loud: Interfaith Prayers for Public Occasions
Medicine Bottle Prayer
After recovery from any affliction, give your old medicine bottles a place of honor on your bathroom sink as a disguised prayer shrine. Let it become a visual bell calling you to prayer: the prayer of gratitude for your health, which is among the most taken-for-granted gifts.... Having visible uninhabited medication containers can be "good medicine" that enables a healthy, energetic soul.
— Edward Hays in Prayer Notes to a Friend
Thankful Hearts For All Things
For all things bright and beautiful,
For all things dark and mysterious and lovely,
For all things green and growing and strong,
For all things weak and struggling to push life up through rocky earth,
For all human faces, hearts, minds, and hands
Which surround us,
And for all nonhuman minds and hearts, paws
And claws, fins and wings,
For this Life and the life of the world,
For all that you have laid before us, O God,
We lay our thankful hearts before you.
Dr. Gail A. Ricciuti, Associate Professor of Homiletics at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York.
• This prayer helps us develop compassion. Before praying each day, take a minute to locate your "feeling heart," or what Jesus called the heart shrine. Close your eyes and move out of your head and into your heart.
• After each line, think of an example of "for all things" that particularly moves you (for example, your garden, the hundred-year-old trees in your yard, or the herbs on your windowsill).
• Each time you read the italicized lines above lift up a different person so that the prayer becomes a living prayer chain.
— Dr. Gail A. Ricciuti, Frances Sheridan Goulart in God Has No Religion: Blending Traditions for Prayer by Frances Sheridan Goulart
The Blessing of God
The Blessing of God rest upon all those who have been kind to us,
have cared for us, have worked for us, have served us,
and have shared our bread with us at this table.
Our merciful God,
reward all of them in your own way.
For yours is the glory and honor forever.
— Saint Cyril (AD 850) in Bless This Food: Ancient and Contemporary Graces from Around the World by Adrian Butash
The Sacred Within the Ordinary
Let us find the sacred deep within the ordinary, in the sweetness in our coffee and the bread on our table. Let us never miss a chance to praise what is good – and let the rest go by. Amen.
— Donna Schaper in Prayers for People Who Say They Can't Pray
by Donna Schaper