Prayers for Connecting to the Land

Summer is well underway, the garden continues to flourish and I am taking time to sit back and enjoy the harvest – not just the harvest of tomatoes and squash that are burgeoning in abundance, but also the harvest of beauty and of peace.  This is the season when we all feel like sitting back and relaxing.  And I recommend that everyone make sure that they do just that.

Each year in August we at Mustard Seed Associates hold a retreat on some land we purchased several years ago with the intention of building an eco-monastic village that can be used both as a place of rest, retreat and of learning. We have not been able to build on the land yet but each year we hold a prayer retreat to connect us to the land and to God’s vision for it.  This year is our 19th Annual retreat. It will be held August 14th on Camano Island. We draw from the Celtic Christian tradition which had a deep sense of connectedness to God’s creation. In the morning we interweave times of meditation and study of God’s word with responsive readings and worship songs. In the afternoon there is time to walk the prayer trails and the labyrinth, chat together or withdraw for quiet mediation  Our theme this year is building community.

Below are some of the introductory prayers that we will use at the retreat which I thought you might enjoy.  The first part of the prayer is adapted from a Native American prayer.  The second is adapted from Jude 1:20, 21 and 1 Corinthians 3:11

Gathering prayer:

Creator God, loving God, maker of all life, compassionate and caring One.  We give you thanks for all you are and all you bring to us for our visit within your creation.

In Jesus, you place the gospel at the centre of this sacred circle through which all creation is related.

You show us the way to live a generous and compassionate life.  Give us your strength to live together with respect and commitment as we build your community and grow together in your Spirit,

For you are God now and forever Amen


God we gather in the midst of your creation,

To build each other up in the faith you have given us.

God we come, not alone but as part of your community.

We come from isolated lives and self centred living seeking community,

So that together we might be kept safe in God’s love,

God we come, not alone but as part of your community.

As we build together may we pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,

And await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ open our eyes to see you,

God we come, not alone but as part of your community.

No one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have – Jesus Christ,

Who takes our anxious thoughts and the worries that blind our sight,

God we come, not alone but as part of your community.

Rescue us dear God from the tumult of our busy lives,

Bind us together as we breathe your quiet presence,

God we come, not alone but as part of your community.

Heavenly God, you who are community shelter us;

Christ before us and behind us, Holy Spirit deep within us;

God we come, not alone but as part of your community.

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