Gathering prayer to pause — Ana Gobledale, UK

I invite you to pause.

Close your eyes, if that’s comfortable and focus on your breathing, the sound of your breath in … and out … in … and out…. [pause for 2-4 breaths].

We live in a busy world, and God invites us to pause in the presence of the divine. [silent pause for 2-4 breaths]

To pause in divine silence.   [silent pause for 2-4 breaths]

Creative God, you are our hope and strength today, our stillness and our calm.

We gather to worship you, some of us tired, overburdened, even afraid.

We have worries and concerns darting around in our minds.

We place them before you.

Empty us of this busy-ness.

Open us to your presence.

Calm our souls.

Grant us peace for this one hour.

Bless our church leaders and volunteers who keep our church rolling along.

Help us not take their hard work for granted, for their efforts create this oasis in our week, this time set aside to breathe and settle and know your peace.

Today, may the words, the images, the silences, and the music of this service draw us closer to you, inspiring and empowering us to be your faithful people in the world.