These beautiful words will help you give thanks to God for all that did and didn't happen this season.
“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date,” said William Shakespeare in his famous Sonnet 18 (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”). Boy, does it ever.
Another summer will soon be gone, seemingly before it even got started. Where did it go? As short as summer’s lease is, the change of seasons gives us the opportunity to mark and measure ourselves and our lives in prayer. To that end, here are five prayers that may be appropriate as your summer comes closer to an end:
1) A Prayer of Thanks
Thank you, God, for the pleasures of summer,
the bright sunny days and perfect moonlit evenings,
the smells of mowed grass and air thick with rain.
Thank you for days at the lake
and evenings chasing fireflies,
for vacations and festivals,
picnics and cookouts,
baseball and concerts and swimsuits and popsicles.
Thank you for the fireworks of thunderstorms,
for watermelon sweetness,
for summer’s pace and summer’s grace,
for all your beauty and power, faithfulness and fecundity
displayed in summer,
2) A Confession
God of grace,
forgive my frantic pace,
my failure to find
a “summer place”
amid the traffic of my days,
the stubbornness of settled ways,
and too-cluttered mind,
I let this summer get away.
3) A Prayer of Praise
Praise to You, God, for long warm days,
for buzzing bees and chirping crickets,
for shade trees and gentle breezes.
Praise to You for the earth’s rotation,
for our cycle around the sun,
for “sun, moon, and stars in their courses above.”
Praise to You for the order of the universe,
the variety of the seasons,
and the gift of another summer.
4) A Prayer of Abandonment
O Lord, my God,
how can another summer have passed so quickly?
How can vacations be ending,
and children be heading off to school,
and store displays already leaping into the next season?
How can so many good intentions I had
at the beginning of this summer
have been mowed down like so much grass?
It is a disappointment, Lord.
It is a grief. I feel a sense of frustration and loss
that so many of my plans are unfulfilled.
So one by one, I will name them—
pleasures I planned to enjoy,
chores I intended to accomplish,
places I wanted to see,
so much I had hoped to do—
and leave each and every one of them with you.
I give you my hopes and my disappointments.
Please cleanse me from regret,
heal my discouragement,
and turn me toward the next season
free from the burden of all my didn’t-get-dones.
5) A Prayer of Petition
"As Summer into Autumn slips,"
O give me grace today
To rise and turn as Summer's leaves
Draw life and strength from heavenly rays.
(first line from Emily Dickinson)