The below prayer is from my final retreat with a cohort of early career pastors from around the country that I was privileged to be a part of. For the past year we’ve gathered together quarterly to share lives, be encouraged, and practice spiritual formation. As we closed our time together were asked to write a prayer/psalm of gratitude which we would each read aloud around a snowy campfire at Glen Eyrie Castle in Colorado. It was a beautiful and memorable moment. For me, my prayer of gratitude includes the four things I’m most thankful for at this point in my journey: our new child, my wife, our church, and the cohort itself.
“To the one who has given us everything we can behold through, from, in and for love.
We say thanks in words that go beyond language
Thank you for the gift of flesh from my flesh, for his transcendent smile, sheer ecstasy and joy. I do not deserve to bear witness to such heart melting, pleasure giving, heaven pointing love.
Thank you for the grace of my wife. For her strength, peace, constant friendship and the endless ways life is more full because of her.
Thank you for the miracle of a church that came out of our dreams, where the margins are embraced and the centers are challenged both into deeper, condition-less love. Where you call our messes beautiful, sacred, and holy.
For the unreal, unearned opportunity of this ministry cohort. For the gift of being served, loved, seen, believed in, inspired, refreshed, admired, challenged, and nurtured by you through these co-laborors
For these gifts, this bounty and for all those things not mentioned we give thanks and say, praise god from whom all blessings flow, praise him all creatures here below, praise him above the heavenly hosts.”
Amen amen amen.”