Category Archives: Poems/Prayers

Seven Stanzas at Easter (J. Updike)

“Make no mistake: if He rose at all

it was as His body;

if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules reknit,

the amino acids rekindle,

the church will fall….

Let us not mock God with metaphor, 

Analogy, sidestepping transcendence;

Making of the even a parable, a sign

painted in the faded credulity of earlier ages: 

Let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not paper-mache,

Not a stone in a story,

But the vast rock of materiality that in the slow

grinding of time will eclipse for each of us

The wide light of day….”

POEM: “Expand” by Danny Evans

Our friend Danny Evans is writing poems each week for a series of sermons on the seven days of creation based on Steve Wiens’ book Beginnings: The First Seven Days of the Rest of Your Life (2016). Enjoy!


by Danny Evans

Now is your chance for expanse.
It’s time to broaden where you are going to the God who is all-knowing.
This shift and stretch in life may cause a bit of strife,
But if you have faith in the Son,
This situation will be won.
I know you might not want to let go of what you possess,
But you will not be oppressed.
Stretch yourself with God’s help, and you’ll be blessed.
God will take your hand,
So you can expand.

POEM: “Light” by Danny Evans

Our friend Danny Evans is writing poems each week for a series of sermons on the seven days of creation based on Steve Wiens’ book Beginnings: The First Seven Days of the Rest of Your Life (2016). Enjoy!


by Danny Evans

The dark made all afraid,
But a spark came to its aid.
Before the light developed,
The dark kept all good things enveloped.
Despair filled the world
As it danced and twirled.
It thought it had all in hand
Until light came to visit the land.
Light made sure that dark would understand
That only his way would go as planned.
Joy came to visit all
As it locked out dark with a vast wall.

Prayer of Civil War Soldier

I asked God for strength that I might achieve.

I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked God for health, that I might do greater things.

I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy.

I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.

I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.

I got nothing that I asked for — but everything that I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered.

I among all men most richly blessed.

Prayer: No Longer a Slave

No Longer A Slave

(Author Unknown)

You unravel me with a melody

You surround me with a song

Of deliverance from my enemies

‘Til all my fears are gone 

I’m no longer a slave to fear

I am a child of God

From my mother’s womb

You have chosen me

Love has called my name

I’ve been born again

Into your family

Your blood flows through my veins 

I’m no longer a slave to fear

I am a child of God

A Post-Election Prayer

CHICAGO, IL (November 9, 2016) — In the wake of a grueling and often polarizing election season, Covenant president Gary Walter offers a prayer of healing for the church and nation.

Lord, the election is over. A new president will assume office, and those who will serve our nation, states, and communities have been determined by the free exercise of the free will you have given to people.

Lord, we weary of partisanship and want better of our discipleship. Forgive us where we have been complicit in what we have done, and not done, in reinforcing division and derision to divide and disparage.

You tell us that your Kingdom is not of this world. We pledge anew our allegiance not to a donkey, not to an elephant, but to you, the Lamb.

In so doing we look to your Word for how to live as aliens in a foreign land, how to serve the world you love with values from above.

And so we hear the admonition of Paul to pray for those in leadership, both those currently in and assuming office. Consequently, we pray for good judgment in the midst of complex decisions; we pray for character, humility, and empathy in the temptations of power; we pray for skill in the disciplines of leadership; we pray for a growing congruence of their convictions with the vision you have for the flourishing and inherent value of all they govern and serve.

And so we see the example of Daniel, seeking the common good. Lord, though he lived in exile among the Babylonians, he recognized a shared life. Like Daniel, help us to neither disengage nor disrespect nor lessen our convictions. Help us be more like Daniel, people whose convictions remain intact but who  remain engaged to seek the best for others who share common hopes, aspirations, and challenges for themselves, their families, and their communities.

And so we listen to you, who call us to be salt and light. Salt and light—you give to us sensory images, tangible and demonstrable.  Lord, you call us to make a difference more than offer an opinion. Making a point and making a difference are not the same. Lord, help us live out real ministry in the real world that shows the real difference you and the values of your Kingdom make.

And so we heed your call to be peacemakers. Empower us to reach across the divides, to seek understanding with whom we might disagree, granting that in each person there is worth as one made in your image.  May we also be mindful of coming alongside those whose peace now churns in new uncertainties, vulnerabilities, and fears about what the future might hold for them and their families.

Lord, we want better for our country than what we have experienced of late. And so we must expect better of ourselves first and foremost as citizens of your Kingdom seeking to be better citizens here. With malice towards none, find us faithful as your ambassadors living out faith, hope, and love.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

A Prayer of St. Ignatius

Soul of Christ, Sanctify me

Body of Christ, Save me

Blood of Christ, Inebriate me

Water from the side of Christ, Wash me

Passion of Christ, Strengthen me

O Good Jesus, Hear me

Within thy Wounds Hide me

Permit me not to be separated from Thee

From the wicked foe defend me

At the hour of my Death call me

And bid me come to Thee

That with Thy saints I may praise Thee

Forever and ever. Amen.

~St. Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556

A New Year’s Poem

“Actions into Place” by Danny Evans
This new year leave the fear behind that is normally in your mind.
It’s time start anew. Let this ring true.
Let those thoughts go, for this is your opportunity to bless others and grow.
Make amends to all. Break down that wall, but remember, this is all your call.
No one but you can put these actions into place, but Jesus will help you with His grace.
So, hold out your hand, for He will make sure this year goes as planned.