Prayer Texts

Prayer  Texts Adapted from/Inspired by

the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer

Holy One, to whom ultimate judgment belongs: We thank you for the courts of justice and the magistrates in this land; for the ways You give to them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, that they may discern the truth, and impartially administer the law, respecting and caring for all You create. We offer special thanksgiving in this time and place for the courts which are choosing to recognize the love between two men and two women as worthy of legal protection. And we pray that in time all Your people may come to share in this understanding, celebrating the wideness of Your love and its expression. Amen/So may it be/Blessed be. 

 Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, and especially the hearts of all the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace. And we pray that You help us to open our hearts, our minds, our hands and indeed our mouths, to witness to the love that changes the world. Help us, Holy One, to live and speak and act in ways that help all of us move more and more toward shalom, the wholeness you intend for each and all of us. Amen/So may it be/Blessed be. 

Blessed and Blessing One, you have created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our families, communities, and in our state and nation and among the nations. Amen/So may it be/Blessed be. 

 A Christian Prayer Adapted from One Shared on Another Court Occasion

This prayer is adapted from the prayer of Reverend Michael Wilker, Pastor, Lutheran Church of the Reformation, on the day in March, 2013, when many gathered in the sanctuary of that church before going to the Supreme Court to stand witness as the arguments about marriage raged inside the court.

Gracious God, you are the source of our strength and the strength of our lives. We praise you for waking us up this morning and thank you for the sun that warms our hearts with passion for life, love and justice.Thank you for inviting and gathering us today. May we greet one another as we greet you--with gratitude, reverence and grace. You gather us today for worship, as you inspire our work for marriage equality and you enliven our embodiment of love.  Marriage is your gift, intended for the joy and mutual strength of those who freely enter it and for the well-being of the whole human family.  When you call two people of any gender--in trust, freedom and loyalty--to make their promises to one another, they are married in your sight, O God.  Today, as we celebrate the decision of the court in Richmond to uphold that truth, we offer to you, to one another and to the nation, our prayers and intentions to continue advocate for the just and legal recognition of marriage between two men and two women.  Come, be our host as we raise our voices.  Come, be our guest as we open the doors to justice, love and joy.  Amen/So may it be/Blessed be.

A Prayer in a Buddhist Mode

 Prayer for Peace

by Venerable Lawrence Do’an Grecco, Five Mountain Zen Order, Zen Buddhist Monk

May all beings everywhere

Awaken to the inherent goodness

That dwells within themselves and all others.

May we all attain a peaceful, even nature

Unencumbered by untamed thoughts and endless desires

Unswayed by conditions, concepts, and appearances.

May all beings dispel greed, anger, hatred, and jealousy

And cultivate a wise and open heart

Witnessing the goodness in everyone and everything

Seeing that all beings are one and share the same true nature.

May these words reach every realm

All the ends of this Earth

From the darkest caverns to the highest plains

Through the muck of human suffering

And the chaos of endless wanting.

May all those who suffer find comfort and calm

And attain true and lasting peace

Finding clarity in the midst of confusion

And grace within groundlessness.

May everyone who hears these words be able

to live safely, to see clearly, to speak wisely

and to practice kindness and compassion

towards themselves and all others.

As the waters fill the rivers that connect all the oceans

May everyone flow with each other and all living beings

with ease and with safety

with sanity and well being.

May no obstacles befall you

and may harm never reach you.

 Prayer Poem in a Jewish Mode

 Shared by Kohenet Ilana Joy Streit 

Return us to ourselves

Return us to each other

Return us to the earth

Return us to our Land: the land beneath our feet

Return us to This Moment

Return us to our knowing

  remembering that we know

Return us to our rhythms

Return us to our drums

Return us to sleep in the middle of the night

Return us to our deepest desires

  our shared loves

  our clear visions

Return us to our bodies

  to our breath

  to breathing easily

Return us to knowing

  how beautiful we are 

Return us to ourselves

Return us to each other

Return us to our good questions

  our bare feet

  our brilliant minds

  our singing voices 

Return us to falling in love

  with ourselves

    and each other

Return us to our Shrines

  and to our shrine-keeping

Return us to our places of peacemaking

Return us to trusting each other

  and ourselves

Return us

  turn us

    and we will dance and be held

and behold that we are whole 

and be in harmony with You

Return us

  keep turning us

for everything is within us

for Torah will keep coming out of us

for sweetness is

  within us

and longs to return to You

A Christian & Interfaith Prayer for Relationships

 Reverend Dr. Dennis Wiley, Co-Pastor, Covenant Baptist/United Church of Christ

 May God bless all who commit themselves to make home with one another - not only men and women who love each other, but men who love men and women who love women. O God, may all our relationships- those blessed by law and those blessed by Spirit - be heart-sealed, strong as life and strong as death. May many waters neither flood our kindled passions, nor quench the wick that carries light down from this day into old age.  And may we be festive as Cana, fruitful as Eden, star-lit as Bethlehem, and may the God who promises to dress all Jerusalem like a wedding in heaven, wipe away the tears from our eyes. Amen/So may it be/Blessed be.


by Bernice Johnson Reagon

For we are persuaded that neither persecution, discrimination, nor loss of loved ones will be able to separate us from love.  Today we remember those who were singled out; bullied and harassed. Today we remember those who were treated unfairly, and suffered bigotry. Today we remember those whose lives ended because of how they identified and who they loved.

Today we stand united, “but not without a struggle.”

Today we continue to love who we love, “but not without a struggle.”

Today we marry the person we will spend the rest of our days with, “but not without a struggle.”

Today we lift up our voices for justice, “but not without a struggle.”

Today we pray for those who marginalize our constitutional rights, “as we continue the struggle.”

Today we recognize that the labor for our rights may have been a struggle, but our work was not futile.

We claim our victory in the name of All that is holy.