More Prayers for the Journey

This week has been a very active one on the Light for the Journey Facebook page. I hope you enjoy these prayers.

As we enter a new day – we take time to prepare our hearts for all that lies before us.

Prayer to greet the day!

O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace,
help me in all things to rely upon your holy will.
In every hour of the day reveal your will to me.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will, teach me to pray. And you, yourself, pray in me. Amen.

Eastern Orthodox Prayer,

Posted by Contemplative network

God may our eyes be opened 

to see the threads of your glory
intertwined in our lives.
God may our ears be unstopped
to hear the whisper of your grace
comforting those we meet.
God may our hands be liberated
to share the generosity of your blessings
full measure pressed down
overflowing into the world we love.

Christine Sine 

Let everything within me cry holy,
Let everything around me cry holy,
Let everything above and below cry me holy.
God the maker of heaven and earth is worthy,
Of praise and worship and honour,
Let all that is, all that was and all that will be cry holy.

Christine Sine

May the God of grace
lift you from where you are
and raise you onto higher ground.
May the God of peace
still the anguish of your soul
and bring you to a quiet place.
May the God of love
who warms our fragile hearts
be the strength you find today.


God interrupts
inviting us to pause
and notice.
God interrupts
inviting us to listen
whispers quieting our hearts
bells ringing in our souls
God interrupts
inviting us to pause.
Use it as you will
but remember always
God interrupts
inviting us to life.

Christine Sine

From Parker Palmer’s Facebook page


Creator God,
on windswept beaches
your saints of old
held their hands up to you
in wonder and amazement,
felt your power through the roar
of wind and surf and,
exposed to the elements
felt a oneness
with the One
who had created all things.
This world does not often allow us
such intimacy with you, Father,
we are crowded out
by circumstances of our own choosing,
seeking fellowship with each other
rather than with you.
Forgive our unwillingness
to follow in the footsteps of your saints,
to meet you in the solitude of your creation.
Forgive our unwillingness
to get our feet wet

© John Birch –

Lord may I take time today
to be alone with you.
May I create the discipline of presence,
Knowing that inner retreat,
regardless of outer circumstances
is a gift worth pursuing.
May I remember that in the midst of storms
you slept in perfect confidence
rocked to sleep by your faith.
May I take courage when the waves swamp me
Knowing that to our cries of terror
you respond
be not afraid.

Christine Sine

Seize God,
the weaver of heaven and earth.
Bring your past,
Bring the present day,
Bring the promise of the future,
before the Eternal One.
Seize God,
choose love,
seek the holy presence,
Let the Lord,
make your life extraordinary.

Christine Sine

Bless to us, O Lord,
the earth on which we walk,
each mountain top,
sunlit sky.

Bless to us, O Lord,
the beauty that we see,
soaring eagle,

Bless to us, O Lord,
the peace within our heart
when filled with joy
or sorrow.

Bless to us, O Lord,
the journey that we make,
the footsteps that
we follow.

©John Birch:



Facing the Pain of Lent

I wrote this morning’s reflection for the series  Return to Our Senses in Lent as a result of some the struggles I have experienced in the last few weeks.

Christine Sine

Christine Sine

This morning I am almost pain free and my head does not feel as though it is full of cotton wool. That may not sound remarkable to most of you but for me it is a wonderful feeling. For the last 5 weeks I have struggled with a bout of facial neuralgia that has slowed me down physically, mentally and even spiritually. I have struggled with constant pain, sleepless nights, and an inability to think straight. And for someone like me who generally memorizes their calendar, rarely writes down appointments and loves to work on half a dozen projects at once, this has been extremely limiting.

Sounds appropriate that this should have hit during Lent, one of my friends commented.  At the time I dismissed her comment but now find myself reconsidering. After all, Lent is about craving for wholeness. As we walk with Jesus towards Jerusalem and the cross, we look not just for spiritual healing but for physical healing too. Sometimes, as in the case of my facial pain, there is little we can do to bring about that healing except wait patiently, pray and hope for a better world. At other times we can actively work towards healing, changing our lifestyle and daily activities to nurture the healing process. And always there is that amazing sense of freedom when our pain or whatever other issues we struggle with, disappear and we are released. 

So it is with our faith. The healing from the brokenness within does not always come easily and sometimes we feel there is little, if anything, we can do to hasten it. We are acutely aware of the pain, we stay awake at night agonizing over its impact on our lives and those of others, but we feel incapable of changing. All we can do is pray and hope.

Then suddenly something changes, we don’t know why or how, but suddenly the burdens that have so weighed us down are lifted and we feel life has returned. It is as though we have arrived at the foot of the cross and been able to lay them down. Fortunately that is not the end of the story however.

The freedom, the rejoicing, the celebration in our spirits is huge, not because we have reached the cross but because in this moment we have looked beyond the cross to the resurrection and the new life of God’s eternal world. May we always remember that the cross is not an end but a beginning, not a failure but a triumph, not a death but an entrance into new life.

Still Time to Sign Up For The Lenten Retreat

Celtic cross - photo by Andy Wade

There is still time to sign up for the Lenten retreat. I am really looking forward to this – a great way to start this season of reflection and refocusing. If you are not in the Seattle area think about getting together with some of your friends wherever you are for retreat and reflection to kick off the Lenten season

When: February 16th – 9:30a.m. – 12:30p.m.

Where: The Mustard Seed House, Seattle, WA (510 NE 81st St.Seattle WA 98115)

The season of Lent awakens in all of us a hunger for deeper intimacy with God. Our world is alive with the presence of God, beckoning for our attention. Yet we are often distracted by busyness, worry and work.

Explore the simple things of everyday life – breathing, drinking a glass of water, running, picking up a stone or taking a photo – that open our senses to the God who shines through every moment and enlivens every creature. This time of reflection and refocusing is especially designed to draw us into the presence of God and prepare us for the season of Lent and Easter. Cost: $20. Snacks and coffee will be provided. 

Sign up here

Prayers for the Journey

I just realized that it is two weeks since I last posted prayers from Light for the Journey and thought it was time to remedy that. Because there have been so many posted I will break this into two posts. The second should go up on Friday.

God by the leading of a star

O God, by the leading of a star
you manifested your only Son to the Peoples of the earth:
Lead us, who know you now by faith,
to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen. (Contemplative network)


God pierce our hearts with your love,
Break them open into greater capacity,
Break them open ,
That we might hold more of the world’s suffering and joy,
That we might share more of the world’s despair and hope.
Lord break our hearts,
As we stand in the gap between what is and what could be,
Break our hearts open
To a largeness that holds the possibility of a better future for all the world’s people.

(Christine Sine)




Dear Jesus, as You led the Magi to You by the light of a star,

please draw us ever closer to You by the light of Faith.

Help us to desire You as ardently as they did.

Give us the grace to overcome all the obstacles that keep us far from You.

May we, like them, have something to give You when we appear before You.

Amen.  (The Contemplative Network)


Another beautiful Celtic prayer
God with me lying down,
God with me rising up,
God with me in each ray of light,
Nor I a ray of joy without him,
Nor one ray without him.

Christ with me sleeping,
Christ with me waking,
Christ with me watching,
Every day and night,
Each day and night.

God with me protecting,
The Lord with me directing,
The Spirit with me strengthening,
Forever and forevermore,
Ever and evermore, Amen.
Chief of chiefs, Amen.


Yesterday evening, I (Micha Jazz) sat chatting with a dear friend facing challenging times, and they spoke of the encouragement of maintaining hope. I found this prayer for Hope which I offer to us all today, regardless of circumstance, aware that without hope we lose all sense of direction and purpose.

A Prayer for Hope

Heavenly father, I am your humble servant,
I come before you today in need of hope.
There are times when I fell helpless,
There are times when I feel weak.
I pray for hope.
I need hope for a better future.
I need hope for a better life.
I need hope for love and kindness.

Some say that the sky is at it’s
darkest just before the light.
I pray that this is true, for all seems dark.
I need your light, Lord, in every way.

I pray to be filled with your light from
head to toe. To bask in your glory.
To know that all is right in the world,
as you have planned, and as you want
it to be.

Help me to walk in your light, and live
my life in faith and glory.

In your name I pray, Amen.

Read more:

Photo: Yesterday evening, I sat chatting with a dear friend facing challenging times, and they spoke of the encouragement of maintaining hope. I found this prayer for Hope which I offer to us all today, regardless of circumstance, aware that without hope we lose all sense of direction and purpose. A Prayer for Hope Heavenly father, I am your humble servant, I come before you today in need of hope. There are times when I fell helpless, There are times when I feel weak. I pray for hope. I need hope for a better future. I need hope for a better life. I need hope for love and kindness. Some say that the sky is at it’s darkest just before the light. I pray that this is true, for all seems dark. I need your light, Lord, in every way. I pray to be filled with your light from head to toe. To bask in your glory. To know that all is right in the world, as you have planned, and as you want it to be. Help me to walk in your light, and live my life in faith and glory. In your name I pray, Amen. Read more:

Christmas Greeting From Tom and Christine Sine

Christmas greetings (c) Christine Sine

“And God himself will choose the sign… A frightened woman in her time… Will bear a son and name him well… God with us! O come, O come Emmanuel!”

These beautiful lyrics from the song the Oracles by Steve Bell words were the focus of our Advent II Homecoming party this last week, a time at which we remember not just the birth of a child two thousand years ago, but the promise of a new world coming in which justice will come for the poor and hope for the marginalized. Tom and I love this season of the year with its expectant promise of hope and fulfillment. Each morning we light our Advent candles, sit in their warm glow, and listen to Advent music while we eat breakfast. We finish with scripture reading and prayer.

This year held many celebrations and festivals for us. In June we headed to Australia for Christine’s mother’s 89th birthday. In July we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary and in August we celebrated together with many MSA friends, at our annual Celtic retreat, rejoicing at the beginning of our building for the Mustard Seed Village. The poles for our first classroom became the focal point for our fellowship In the afternoon their dedication drew us together again into our dreams and hopes for the future. We expect to have them in the ground and the concrete slab poured before the end of the year. This will house classes on sustainability as well as place for people to imagine and create new ways God can use their lives and communities to have an impact in the lives of others.

Celti Retreat 2012 - Dedicating the logs for our first Mustard Seed Village

Celti Retreat 2012 – Dedicating the logs for our first Mustard Seed Village

We also hosted a number of BBQs and other meals at the house, sharing hospitality with people from around the world and feasting from our bountiful garden produce. Tom’s Bacon and Tomato sandwiches are to die for.

Our participation in Wild Goose East in North Carolina, Wild Goose West in Oregon and Creative World Festival in British Columbia also gave ample opportunity for celebration. These festivals brought us together with a rich array of friends old and new, stirred our imaginations with inspiring talks and invited us to live out the kingdom in our everyday lives. More recently we celebrated with Mark and Lisa Scandrette and the Reimagine Tribe in San Francisco. We walked the streets where Tom grew up, reminiscing and soaking in the stories of how they are making a difference in the lives marginalized people in their city.

Return to our Senses - cover

My new book Return to Our Senses: Reimagining How We Pray is also part of the good news that God is still with us. It invites the reader to see prayer as far more than words. It introduces a rich array of experience that affirm God’s presence in every moment and in aspect of our lives. Today is the last day to order it from Amazon for a Christmas delivery, or download it for your kindle. This blog, Godspace which increasing focuses on how to reimagine prayer and spiritual practices for the future, continues to grow in popularity and is consistently listed in the top 100 Christian blog sites. The current Advent series has been particularly popular and enriching. I have certainly benefited from the posts and I hope you have too.

The Light for the Journey prayer page also grows in popularity with the addition of inspiring new content from John Birch, Bonnie Harr ,  Micha Jazz and other contemplative activists. My growing desire is to provide a place where others can share the creative gifts God has given them. Both Godspace and Light for the Journey provide those opportunities. We will further expand the authorship of both these venues in the next year so if you are interested let me know or sign up for the Godspace writers group.

Tom’s good news is the beginning of a new book on imagination and innovation. It is designed to enable readers to discover creative new ways God can use their mustard seed to be a difference and make a difference in response to rapidly changing times.  He is also blogging about the ideas from the innovative edge on the MSA web site.

As we race towards a fiscal cliff in the US, a slowing global economy throughout our planet and continuing bloodshed and volatility in the Middle East… thank God there is good news! We can in these uncertain times share this good news by how we live and care for our vulnerable neighbors locally and globally. We want to hear your stories of innovative ways followers of Jesus in your community make a little difference in your community. Can you send us your stories so we share this good news with people throughout our global village too?

Our MSA Team and Board are involved in the very ambitious task of refocusing MSA as a center for Christian imagination and innovation…to help us all discover how we can become much more of God’s good news in these tough times.  We are so grateful to God for Cindy Todd and the innovation she brings to our small team and Andy Wade whose tireless work makes our ability to communicate with you possible. Our growing circle of supporters and volunteers are constantly blessing in the midst of all we do. Please consider joining us in this venture. Your year end donation to Mustard Seed Associates will help keep this blog and the other ministries of MSA alive.

  MSA is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

We wish you and yours a joyous Christmas and a new year filled by creative new ways to be a bit of God’s good news in times like these.

Tom & Christine Sine

Prayers for Advent from Light For the Journey

Last week’s Light for the Journey prayers were refocused by the tragic happenings in Newtown CT as represented by this beautiful prayer by Bonnie Harr. However there were still some beautiful Advent prayers posted during the week.

In this season of waiting breathe in life

God in this season ,
Suspended between hope and fulfillment,
Let we never forget what you have done.
May we be overwhelmed by your mercy,
Which flows in wave after wave.
May we be honest about the darkness within us,

And perceptive of the light around us.
May we make straight the path for the Lord,
That together we may see God’s glory revealed.
(Adapted by Christine Sine rom weekly Advent reflections by Mark Pierson)


May we never be afraid
to come to you in prayer,
bring those things
that trouble us
or cause us pain
and lay them at your feet.
May we never be afraid
to come to you in faith,
kneel and reach out
to touch your hem

or grasp your hand
knowing our needs are met.
May we never be afraid
to come to you as Lord,
acknowledge you
as Son of God
and in your strength
tell others of your Grace.


Faith is the gift
God in this season of waiting,
May we still our hearts,
slow our steps,
and take time to listen.
May we lay aside our distractions,
and open our eyes to see the path,
that leads to the place
where Christ is born afresh in our hearts.
(Christine Sine)
God we awaited the unexpected,
The wonder of Christ’s birth,
The glory of your breaking in upon us,
From darkness to light,
From fear to hope,
From sorrow to joy,
We watch for the glimpses,
Your new world coming, breaking upon us now.
(Christine Sine)
This day is your gift,
freely offered,
accepted in gratitude,
proclaimed to the world.
This day is your gift,
Thank you, Lord.


Thank you for scripture fullfilled
In our moments of doubt
and unbelief,
when worldly pressure
or circumstance
become the distance
between us,
draw near, we pray.
Remind us of the grace
that we first knew,
your healing touch,

the Father’s love,
the Spirit’s breath.
Grant us courage,
a faith that endures
and the sure knowledge
that you are with us
in our journeying,
now and always.


To you O Lord we bring our lives,
troubled, broken or at ease,
a sacrificial offering
for you to use.
Take away our selfishness
and teach us to love as you loved.
Take away our sense of pride
and show us the meaning of humility.
Take away our blindness
and show us the world through your eyes.

Take away our greed
and teach us how to give as you gave.
Show us your ways
Teach us your paths
That we might walk with you more closely
Our hand in your hand
Our feet in your footsteps
From the baby in a stable
To eternity, Amen


Even When Our World is Broken by Bonnie Harr

Even When Our World is Broken by Bonnie Harr

Waiting When There is No Hope An Advent Reflection by Christine Sine

The Visitation by James B Janknegt

The Visitation by James B Janknegt

Each year my good friend Mark Pierson sends me a copy of his Advent reflections written for the spiritual nurture of World Vision NZ staff. This year he chose the art of James Janknegt whose powerful contemporary images of the Christmas story formed a wonderful focus for my own visio divina meditations each week. This is a prayer tool I discovered while researching my book Return to Our Senses. I find it to be particularly helpful at this season.

Most of my meditations around my Advent theme, Let Us Wait As Children Wait, have revolved around joy, promise, hope, expectation. However, as I contemplated The Visitation I was struck by this fresh image of children waiting that I had not really considered before, the two unborn infants waiting in the loving embrace of the womb, waiting in darkness, waiting in uncertainty, waiting to change the world.

Their waiting must have been filled with a great deal of background anxiety, however. One would be born to an unmarried mother who could easily have been rejected and outcast by her family. The other would be born to a woman past her childbearing age, a wait in seclusion, perhaps because of her embarrassment at this unexpected blessing. Both of them waiting to be born into a turbulent and violent world that would eventually kill them both.

In Janknegt’s painting, the potential of Jesus and John waiting in the womb is obvious – one will become a king, the other a messenger. How many children born today wait for a future in which they will never fulfill their full potential I wondered? For how many is their time in the womb a waiting for an uncertain and vulnerable future?  Perhaps their mothers are drug addicts or refugees born into a world that wants to keep them out of sight. Maybe their families live on the edge of starvation and they are waiting to be born only to die before their first birthday. Some wait for a life of abuse and abandonment, others for a life of suffering and pain.

The waiting of the unborn should be a joy filled season of hope and expectation, that is what we most like to focus on at this season. How I wonder, can I make that hope and promise made possible through the child whose birth we await, become a reality for some of those vulnerable ones at the margins for whom waiting holds so little hope.


Pre-Advent Specials

‘Tis the Season for special buys – or so goes the marketing madness of our day. MSA books and resources directly help support staff and the development of more resources. We don’t make a big deal about marketing because we want to maintain a bit of a counter-cultural environment. From time to time, however, we do want to make available special deals you will enjoy, like these resources for the Advent season.

Pre-Advent Special

    • Special #1
      Get Christine’s newest book, Return to our Senses: Reimagining How We Pray, along with favorites, Waiting For the Light: An Advent Devotional and Light For the Journey: Morning and Evening Prayers for Living Into God’s World, all for only $30!

advent DVD-sm

    • Special #2
      Advent reflection video DVD set (2007-2001)plus 2012 – “Alleluia, the Christ Child Comes” only $40!

download advent series

  • Special #3
    Download version of the Advent DVD set, including 2012 – “Alleluia, the Christ Child Comes” only $35!

Return to Our Senses Now Available on Kindle

Return to Our Senses - cover

Return to Our Senses

I am delighted to announce that my new book Return to Our Senses is now available in both paperback and kindle versions.

Check out the paperback version here. There is still time to preorder the book at a discount price of $15 including U.S. shipping. -All proceeds for sales go to support the work of Mustard Seed Associates.

The kindle version is only available through Amazon. You can check out the kindle version here.

Living Into The New World of God

Return to Our Senses - cover

Return to Our Senses

This post is the last in the series of excerpts from my upcoming book  Return to Our Senses, which will be available in mid November. It is already available through Mustard Seed Associates at a pre-publication discounted price of $15. I appreciate those of you who have interacted with the material and look forward to further discussions when the book itself is published.

On October 10, 2010, Tom and I joined an estimated 1 billion viewers around the globe watch the joyous rescue of 33 Chilean miners trapped for months below the earth’s surface. We watched with bated breath as that first miner gingerly stepped into the capsule that would take him through a tunnel in the rock to safety.

Their literal rebirth out of the darkness of the tomb into a new world filled all of us with hope and excitement. We watched as they embraced their families, reaffirmed their marriage vows and spoke of new possibilities for the future. Life in that moment was a fresh, new creation not just for them but for us as well.

For these miners to be rescued, they needed to believe that a new world was not only possible but desirable. They needed to believe that the new world they envisioned was more worthwhile than the one they currently were experiencing. Imagine what could have happened if that first miner had been unwilling to step into the capsule that would transport him through the “birth” canal to reach the outside world. After all 69 days in their tomb must have made these men feel fairly secure, in spite of the severe limitations of the life it offered. In some ways it would have been easier to mourn for life as it had been than to step out into a risky journey to the surface.

Do we mourn the past or midwife the future? 

We too can mourn the past or acts as midwives to the new future God is giving birth to. Our world too is in a time of transition, change and turbulence that beckons us with new, exciting but scary possibilities. Like the Chilean miners, we too need to believe that a new world is not only possible but desirable. We must see that at the center of that new world is the God who is love, the kingdom that is an expression of that love and prayer which is the outpouring of that love.

Times of transition are opportunities for us to re-examine and recreate the way we express our faith and practice our prayer life. They are opportunities to give birth to new communities that draw us closer to God and to God’s kingdom ways. They are opportunities to draw closer to the loving heart of God and re-imagine all we are and all we do with God’s loving presence at the center.

For that to happen we need to be willing to let go of the past, learning to be grateful for the foundations it has provided, but recognizing it as the stepping stones out of which something new emerges. We can either weep about what was and is no longer or we can anticipate and bring the new future into being. Concerns about climate change, political and economic upheaval, changing church and faith all make many of us feel we have just jumped out of a plane without a parachute. Yet in the midst of these changes we have an incredible opportunity to give birth to God’s new kingdom.

Rebirth and recreation, that is the main message of Return to Our Senses. The book began by redefining prayer as an exercise in love. I started with the awe inspiring imagery of God’s breath filling and enlivening us. I challenged all of us to examine our assumptions about prayer and reinvent our lives centered on the love of God and the kingdom of love which God is giving birth to. As I said in the introduction, our prayers and the practices that shape our lives become the habits that continually point towards God’s future and our longing for a coming kingdom in which justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

In our acts of prayer, worship and other spiritual practices we come to renew our covenant of love with God and with our fellow worshipers, not just with those present with us, but with the entire family of God around the world, so that we can be renewed, restored and empowered to live into God’s hope for the future. I hope that the techniques and habits I discussed in this book have hooked your imagination with God’s vision for the future, and given birth to something new in your prayer life.  I hope it has started to retrain your heart, your mind and your spirit to desire, and to more determinedly practice, what God loves. Perhaps it has inspired you to look and listen more intentionally for the signs of God’s new world that are emerging – new communities of mutual care, new expressions of faith, new churches, and new awareness of the interrelatedness of all God’s creation and our need to be better stewards of it. I believe that this is the only approach to prayer that will sustain and strengthen us into the future.

If prayer is indeed an exercise in love, then it should connect all the experiences of our everyday lives to the life that God intends for us, not life as it was or even as it is now but life in all the fullness that our loving God has planned for us. During a season of change and turmoil like this we carry the responsibility to do all that is possible to ensure that the new that emerges is healthy, more humane, more compassionate and more loving towards neighbors near and far.