Intensive Care Unit Pastoral Prayer

God of the hospital nursery,
God  of the intensive care unit
Lord of the playground, and Lord of retirement
Creator of the marriage altar and redeemer of the divorce court
We have come to ask you to walk with us, every step of the way.

Savior beside the wounded soldier, Spirit beside the hungry child
Provider who sends the rain and protector who calms the storm
Sustainer who holds us up and parent who holds us close
We have come to ask you to walk with us, every step of the way.

God who chuckles when toddlers steal cookies and weeps when abusers steal childhood
Creator of our truest selves and forgiver of our ugly deeds
Priest who teaches us and king who challenges us

Lord of all we have
Seer of all we’ve done
Maker of everyone we love
Friend of everyone we hate

God who saw us take our first breath
Comforter who will see us breathe our last

Arms beneath us
Eyes above us
Hope within us
We have come to ask you to walk with us, every step of the way.


Palm Sunday - Pastoral Prayer

Palm Sunday - Pastoral Prayer

Holy God,

On this Palm Sunday we come to you as people who sing with joy.  But we also come to you as people who sometimes struggle. 

We want to shout, waving branches with the excitement of your presence – but some days we can’t. Some days, the best we can do is put one foot in front of the other. We face times of illness, we have lost loved ones, we are not sure what the future holds. In those times of struggle, may we remember your peace and love given to us through your son. 

On Other days we struggle as people who do wave palm branches, thinking that glory and fame are the goals for life.  We want the things that are bigger and better, we want to be more popular, we want to be the best at work or school.  But that is not who you have called us to be. 

You have called us to be table kickers.  To speak out for the oppressed, to speak up for the underdog, to strive to increase love – not power. 

As we sing Hosanna’s today, may we remember to whom those words of honor were first sung. And may we seek to live lives that share the same kind of love Christ shared so long ago.  On days when we can joyfully sing your praise, may we do so with uplifted voices.   On days when strive to simply put one foot in front of the other, may we feel your comfort and peace.  

We pray these things in the name of Christ – our rock and our redeemer.


Balance of Life Pastoral Prayer

Balance of Life Pastoral Prayer

Pastoral Prayer
Broadway Baptist Church
Rev. Chris Caldwell

We have come, O God, to say we love you.
Primarily because you first loved us, but also because
You create us
Sustain us
Shape us
Teach us
And Redeem us.

In you we find our meaning.
In you we find our hope.
In you we find the promise of who we can be.
In you we find affirmation for what we’ve done right,
and forgiveness for what we have done wrong.

We love you, Lord, but we don’t always understand you.
For yesterday, at the ordination of Rev. Chris Liles, we embraced the dawn of his future in ministry,
But tomorrow, at the funeral of Rev. Lloyd Storment, we will mourn the sunset of a faithful life of ministry now passed.
And we confess there are times we wonder why life must have this unbalancing balance.
And we acknowledge that there are some who, upon seeing the bad things that happen in your world, choose not to believe in you.

But that is not the choice we have made.
Even in the presence of loss and of grief, we have come to profess our ongoing faith.

And while some might think us dim for continuing to believe in a perfect God as we live in a robustly imperfect world, we respectfully disagree.

For although our faith in you is, at the end of the day, faith, that does not mean it makes no sense.  

We confess we do not understand all things.  But we do not profess to be fools, O God.

It may not be an easy truth that life has no meaning without the prospect of death,
Or that winning has no meaning without the prospect of loss,
Or that love has no meaning without the freedom to hate,
But this is the truth we believe.

We thank you for this church, O God, a place where we are not politely asked to check our brains at the door.  We know it is not a perfect place, but we are glad we have found it, glad to know there is a place where we can wrestle with our doubts and be honest about our questions, but also a place where we can stand our ground.

And stand we do, with you, humbly yet confidently, on the side of
and Peace.



Snow Prayer - Chris Caldwell

Snow Prayer - Chris Caldwell

Pastoral Prayer


Chris Caldwell, Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville


If we will listen, O God, you speak to us in ways we miss,

Such as the ways you speak to us through the snow


In the quiet after the snowfall, you remind us to be still, and know that you are God

In the beauty of the snowfall, you remind that trees are your ornaments, hillsides your canvas,


In the black slush beside the road, you remind us all the ways we pollute your world,

And you remind us of all the spiritual toxins we too easily allow to settle in the purity you had in mind for our souls.


In the cold upon our faces, you remind us of people whose work or lack of a home makes for long hours ducking away from bitter winds.

In the slight sliding of the car, you remind that life is never quite within our control.


Open our souls, Lord, to all the ways you wish to speak to us:


The honest word of a friend,

The more honest word of an enemy,


The things we watch that call us upward,

The things we watch that drag us downward,


The soaring of the bird,

The purring of the cat,


All these things, if we look through the lens of your Spirit, can call us in your direction.


We wish at times it were simpler, that you could just gently reach out your staff and lead us in paths of righteousness,

But we know this is not how you have chosen to work.

We know yours is the still small voice, seldom heard in earthquakes, or fires, or mighty winds.


So in this loud, clamorous world in which we live, teach us to watch, and to listen.

Help us Lord, not so much by disclosing yourself to us,

Rather, when you are there to be seen, or there to be heard, or there to be felt,

Help us not to miss it.




Pastoral Prayer 1-10-15

Pastoral Prayer  1-10-15

Holy God, 

We pause today, seeking your presence - longing to know that you are with us. 

In the book of Isaiah we read that those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

So today we wait for you. We wait for you seeking renewal 

There are some of us today who have great joy  - we have had a good week or a good day.  We have done well at school, we have accomplished many things at work, we’ve spent time with family and friends, we enjoyed a quiet, relaxing day - yet we still need your presence in our lives.

There are some of us are filled with sorrow. We have had hard days.  We’ve lost something or someone.  We’ve faced anxiety in the unknown.  We have hurt someone or done something we’re not proud of.  We also need your presence.

So God - we ask that you renew us this day. 

If today is a day when we soar - may it be with your strength. 
If today we are running - may we be led by your spirit. 
If today we are walking - may we walk in your grace.

Whether we walk, run, or soar - may we be filled with your love and your peace. 

We pray these things in the way your son taught us to pray, 

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. 
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.   And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the Kingdom and power, and the glory forever.  Amen. 

Pastoral Prayer - Susan Reed

Pastoral Prayer - Susan Reed

Holy God, 

From fireworks, to parties, to confetti that fell from the sky - We are mindful that today is a part of a new year.  

In the year that has passed we have seen many things.  Some of us have celebrated new babies, new jobs, new friends, growth, love, and good health.  

Some of us have grieved.  We have grieved the loss of loved ones, hard decisions we’ve had to make, changes in relationships, and the loss of stability in one way or another.

God, help us to celebrate together in good times and to carry each others burdens when times are hard. 

We are also aware that regardless of the year that today is a new day.  Today is a day when we can choose to live our lives in service to you.  We can choose to seek you for comfort and help.  We can choose to serve you by loving the people around us.  We can choose to actively grow in our faith by learning more about you and seeking your presence.  We can be your hands and feet and love in this world.  So thank for that opportunity today and everyday. 

May we learn from our pasts so that we may serve you more fully. 
As we live in the present and look to the future may we be led by your spirit in all that we do. 

We pray these things in the way Christ taught us to pray

Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy name. 
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, 




Advent Love Prayer

Advent Love Prayer

We thank you, O God, for the example of Roberto Clemente’s love, for a life living out the meaning of scripture, which says, “Greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.”  

Remind us, in this selfish world in which live, that love is not a commodity to be reaped, but a harvest to be shared.  

Grant us the gift of a giving love, a blessing love.  Make us truly more interested in loving than being loved.

As Christmas approaches, we pray for those continents away from those they love:
Military personnel
State Department personnel

We pray for refugees crowded into camps
And for inmates crowded into prisons

At a time of year focused on home, we pray for those who are homeless, who are not all bearded schizophrenics pushing shopping carts, but who are also
Addicts ruled by drugs
Or the mentally ill haunted by anxieties
Or criminals hiding from the law
Or families devastated by healthcare bills
Or vagrants refusing to work
Or gay teenagers shunned by families.

We thank you for expressions of love from those who know us this time of year: for cards, gifts, and visits.
We thank you for chances to express love to those who don’t know us, through toy drives and Christmas baskets.

But remind us that loving our families is a year-round opportunity
And remind us that poverty is a year-round reality.

We thank you, Lord, for the music we have experienced this season:
Our choir in worship last Sunday,
The orchestra on Tuesday
And our children’s choirs on Wednesday.
We thank you for the generous gifts of time and money that make these blessings possible.

We offer you now this time of worship
May we bring to it our full attention
May we offer you our full devotion
So that, after we leave this place, we might put our worship in motion, by loving and serving others.


Joy Prayer

Joy Prayer

Pastoral Prayer, December 13, 2015
Broadway Baptist Church
Rev. Chris Caldwell, Pastor

Across our city and across our nation, in about one in every ten churches, there will be today special anniversary celebrations--celebrations of a 150th anniversary that might have slipped by unnoticed by some of us.  These African American churches will be joyfully celebrating the passage of the 13th amendment, which ended forever the practice of buying and selling their great-great-grandparents, a practice known as slavery.

Here is what House Speaker Paul Ryan said at the anniversary celebration in Washington: The Thirteenth Amendment is just 43 words long. It is so short that, when you read it, you can almost miss the whole significance. You have to stop and remind yourself that 600,000 people died in the Civil War—600,000 died over 43 words. Or to be more precise, they died in a war that decided whether those 43 words would ever be written.

Let us pray

It comes as something of a surprise, O God, that captives, who for more than 200 years in our nation, were shackled and sold, would in large numbers adopt the faith of their captors.  It is hard to fathom how a race could adopt as scripture a book wherein a Christian slave is enjoined to return to his Christian owner.

Yet the joyful embrace of the Christian faith by our African American sisters and brothers teaches us something: that joy is as much a choice as it is a gift.

Sometimes joy finds us; but sometimes we choose joy.
Sometimes we are joyful because of, but other times we are joyful in spite of.

For centuries white folks have watched black folks embrace unbridled joy in worship, and have wondered why they were acting the fool, not knowing that the celebration was not an act of foolishness, or of denial--as if to say that life was not hard and at times cruel--but rather that the celebration was an act of defiance: a refusal to be shackled by the limits of what could be seen this side of the horizon, and an insistence on choosing the way of hope rather than bitterness.

Help us, Lord, to learn from their faith.  Help us to choose joyful thanks for what we have, rather than petty complaining about what we don’t have.

Help us to choose joyful faith in the hope of what can be, rather than jaded grumbling about our frustration with what merely is.

Lord, we do not come asking you to help us pretend.  We do not wish to pretend that storm clouds are sunshine.  But we do ask to be granted the faith of knowing you are our shelter in the storm and our strength beyond the chaos.

Lord, we do not come asking you to help us pretend.  We do not wish to pretend that our families are perfect or our days are flawless.  But we do ask to be granted thankful hearts for families or others who love us, and we do ask to find joy even in imperfect days.

Help us, Lord, to choose to see joy 

Joy in music heard in church.
Joy in laughter heard on the street.
Joy in the promise of those helping the youngest begin to walk.
Joy in the faithfulness of those helping the oldest continue to walk.
Joy in good books.
Joy in good friends.
Joy in a baby in a manger.
Joy in your love for us.


Advent Prayer - Peace

Advent Prayer - Peace

Pastoral Prayer, December 6, 2015

Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville

Rev. Chris Caldwell


The irony, O God, is indeed tragic, as we light a candle of peace, and pray for peace in a nation and a world that are anything but peaceful.

Wars rage, bullets fly.  While those with power lack either the wisdom or the will to stop it.  Instead, wars of rhetoric slog on, while people battle over what peace means or how peace comes.

Politicians at home and dictators abroad jockey for political position, while children dive for cover.

Leaders probe for political advantage, while surgeons probe for bullets.

Twitter blows up, while kitchens explode.

Facebook rants, while widows weep.

And so we pray.

We pray for mourning victims.

And we pray for incompetent leaders, for there are many in both parties and in many countries.  

At a time when no one sees a clear path to a better place, we ask your spirit to lead those of good will in the direction of wisdom, and we ask that your spirit would lead those of ill will in the direction of failure.

We pray O God, for the victory of your peace.

    For the victory of soul force over brute force.

    For the victory of compassion over selfishness.

    For the victory of love over apathy.

    For the victory of mercy over hate.

We pray also for others, closer to home, who long for peace.

    For children who long for peace among parents.

    For workers who long for peace among colleagues.

    For the tormented who long for peaceful sleep.

    For the anxious who long for peaceful thoughts.

    For the sick who long for peaceful deliverance.

Amid it all, remind us, O God, who you are.  

The God of the baby in the manger.

The sender of heavenly choruses.

The lover of shabby shepherds.

The guiding star of Wise Men.

And forgive us for who we too often are:

    Chasers after our own oversupply of gold, frankincense, or myrrh.

    Consumers less interested in “peace on earth” than “good things for me.”

    Selfish travelers demanding the best room in the inn.

Parents more concerned with children finding paths to success than with children being led in paths of righteousness.

Christ our savior, come into our world, for we need you in it.


Mirror Prayer

Mirror Prayer

All of us today grieve with the people of France.  In recognition of this, at the end of today’s pastoral prayer, we will do the Lord’s Prayer a bit differently.  Although I do not speak French, I will offer the first line of the prayer in French, and then you will join with me in saying the rest of the prayer together in English

  • Sometimes, O God, when we look in the mirror, we do not like what we see.
    • Physically, we wish we were more attractive
    • Mentally, we wish we were smarter
    • Financially, we wish we were better off
    • Emotionally, we wish we were happier
  • And we see ourselves this way because we allow others to be our mirrors
    • The ads hold up unrealistic expectations of beauty
    • Other people tell us we do not count unless we excel
    • We get down on ourselves because others convince us that good people live on top of the world.
  • And so help us to allow you to be our mirror
    • Allow us to see ourselves through your lens of grace
    • Show us we are worthy of love for who we are, not for what we produce
    • Show us our beauty is in how we love others, not in how others perceive our looks
    • Help us to see who we are capable of being, and may your grace allow us to leave behind the moments when we have been less than who we are.
  • And help us also, O God, to be mirrors of grace and mercy to others
    • May we reflect back to them the image you have of them
    • Help us to value people for the right reasons
    • To affirm in them the right things
    • To forgive in them the same imperfections you forgive in us.
  • And now, O God, may your spirit abide with all those who
    • are sick
    • or troubled
    • or tired
    • or fearful
    • or lonely
    • or confused
  • And may your spirit abide especially with the people of our friend France, and may you hear us as we pray silently for them and for all those grieving around the world:


Notre Père, qui est aux cieux! Que ton nom soit sanctifié.

Thy kingdom come...

wordless prayer pastoral prayer

wordless prayer pastoral prayer

Prayer preceded by anthem, “My Wordless Prayer,” by Craig Courtney

My words lie still and lifeless as dust upon the sand, I can no longer voice one request or one demand. My cup of tears is empty, I can no longer cry, my lips have fallen silent, my prayer is but a sigh. Spirit,  come and rest Your ear upon my heart, O come and hear my wordless prayer, my silent plea and take them far away from me. Take them from this ear of mine to the Father’s heart divine. Speak in tones unknown to man that God may hear and understand. My voice is weak from calling to You both night and day. How long will You be silent? Why do You turn away?

Spirit, come and rest Your ear upon my heart, O come and hear my wordless prayer, my silent plea and take them far away from me. Take them from this ear of mine to the Father’s heart divine. Speak in tones unknown to man that God may hear and understand.

Spirit, come and rest Your ear upon our hearts.

Come and hear what others cannot hear.

Come and see what we dare not share.

O come and hear our wordless prayer,

Secrets we do not tell

Memories we do not recount

We offer you in prayer the anxious thoughts that come to us in the night

The lonely thoughts that come to us in the morning

The worried thoughts that come to us at work.

And we give thanks that we do not have to put these silent pleas into words,

Because we are not sure we could.

These yearnings are hard to name,

Our failings are hard to describe.

We are people of unclean lips and unclear paths.

We are a people of untrue words and unkept promises.

And so hear what our words cannot say,

Receive what our hearts cannot speak,

As, in the language of your Spirit, we offer you

    Who we truly are

    What we’ve truly done

    Who we long to be

    What we fear we are losing

    The pain of what we have lost

    And the hope of being made whole.

These things we offer you as our prayer, and our silent plea.  



Blessings Opportunities Pastoral Prayer

Blessings Opportunities Pastoral Prayer

Pastoral Prayer
Broadway Baptist Church, 9/27/15
Rev. Chris Caldwell

  • Thank you, God, for the good things you do through this your church, where
    • beautiful music is sung each Sunday
    • children are taught the path of faith
    • youth find friendship and support during an awkward stage of life
    • older people find comfort amid grief
    • encouragement amid sickness
    • where….
    • people have remained friends over five decades
    • and where people began making new friends five minutes ago
    • 75 people served our community last Saturday
  • and where 45 people sent to an African American church this past Wednesday.
    • For the good things you are doing through your church we offer you our thanks
    • And for the not-quite-so-good things, we offer you our confession
    • for the times when we don’t fully live out on Monday what we proclaim on Sunday
    • for the times we are stingy with our forgiveness and tight with our money
    • for the times we lean too completely upon our own understanding, and too little on you
    • for the times we are lackadaisical when we come to church, assuming that not much is going to happen
    • Forgive us, loving God, for the times we have fallen short
  • And guide us as we try to sort things out
    • guide us as we try to find our way through conflict in our families
    • guide us as a church as we wrestle with difficult issues in our culture and our world
    • lead us as try to follow you on the paths we believe you have chosen for us in the coming years:
      • Growing younger populations at Broadway
      • Ministering outside the walls of the church
      • Being more diverse in our ministries
      • And finding a dynamic balance between the old and the new.
  • May you walk, O God, with those in our church who are stumbling
    • Those faced with a failure at work or at home
    • Those faced with sickness of the body or mind
    • Those who are not here today, who are finding it hard to muster energy for the life of faith
    • Those who are grieving the loss of a friend, or of a parent, or of a child or grandchild
  • Bless us now as we continue to worship
    • May you grow within us a deeper faith
    • May you nurture within us renewed hope
    • But after we worship, may you lead us to live out the greatest virtue of all: lead us to love.

Pastoral Prayer September 6, 2015

Pastoral Prayer September 6, 2015

Pastoral Prayer September 6, 2015
Broadway Baptist Church
Rev. Chris Caldwell

We pray, loving God, for fellow followers in this church whose needs are known to us
Sisters and brothers in Christ whose struggles we have learned about in the worship folder or through personal conversations.
We pray for those among us who are grieving the loss of a person who was central to their life. 
We pray for those among us who are trying so hard to
preserve their life
or preserve their marriage
or preserve their sanity
or preserve their integrity.
We celebrate with families welcoming new babies.
We celebrate with young people embracing new opportunities.
We celebrate with older couples relishing long marriages.
And we thank you for the privilege of being part of a caring community known as a church.
But we have also come to pray for those who may not have anyone praying for them.
We pray for guests among us, whose needs we do not know, but who we are sure carry burdens not unlike ours.
We pray for the corporate executive weighed down by constant expectations, but seldom experiencing the constancy of compassionate concern.
We pray for la mexicana assaulted as she crossed the border, who cannot tell her husband, and who dares not go near a hospital or a police station.
We pray for the police officer certain to face danger today, but not knowing what form it will take.
We pray for the homeless man haunted by memories of the faraway family he abandoned long ago.
We pray for the child in danger who is not sure who to trust.
We pray for the soldier home from battle who does not feel at home or at peace.
We pray for ministers serving in places where power games have pushed love out the churchouse doors.
O God who knows every need
Spoken or unspoken
Known or unknown
We give thanks for
your compassionate heart
your inclined ear
and your comforting arms.


Dreams Prayer

Dreams Prayer

August 30, 2015
Pastoral Prayer, Broadway Baptist Church
Rev. Chris Caldwell

Because, O God, few things show greater trust than to share with another our dreams, we come sharing our dreams with you. 

Dreams of better lives
Better families
Better health

Dreams of nicer salaries
Nicer cars
Nicer apartments or homes

Dreams of being loved for who we are
Dreams of being respected for the right reasons
Dreams of being remembered after we are gone

We thank you for caring souls who have listened to and nurtured the dreams of our lives.

Sunday School teachers
School teachers
Parents and step-parents
Big brothers and sisters
True friends
Who have listened and encouraged as we speak of the potential we see in ourselves, or the potential you, O God, see in us.

Show us how we can hear and nurture the dreams of others.
Help us to take the time to listen with compassionate hearts.
Help us to listen with hopeful minds
Help us to speak encouraging words.

And forgive us the times we have been poor stewards of others’ dreams.
By failing to listen
By dismissing
By trying to bend dreams in our direction
By pushing them aside in the pursuit of what we want
Or by failing to challenge dreams when we knew they were unworthy of you or of the best someone can be.

We lift up to you in prayer the dreams of others

Dreams of old people, of being honored for deep roots of wisdom in a culture obsessed with the shallow roots beauty
Dreams of young people wanting to do well in life
Dreams of sick people wanting to be well in life
Dreams of students wanting to get out of college
Dreams of poor teenagers wanting to get into college
Dreams of having a larger home where a family can enjoy good times together
Dreams of having a safer home where drugs are not sold across the street.

Last of all, we offer you the dreams of our church
Dreams of being a place where young and old can discover your love together
Dreams of a church charging beyond its walls in the name of good
Dreams of a church connected to the full array of people you call your children
Dreams of nurturing what is good within us and yet grabbing hold of dreams of what is better beyond us.


Pastoral Prayer - Chris LIles

Pastoral Prayer - Chris LIles

And so it begins again, O God. Or rather, so it continues. The now seemingly endless campaign cycle once more fills our news feeds full of anger, frustration, and vitriol. Constructive conversations are replaced with blatant disrespect. Politicians are quick to point the finger of blame at one another, and short on providing answers to basic problems, as their speeches are filled with campaign wishes and promissory dreams. Good news is celebrated by one side and trashed by another, and God help us, tragedy and grief are treated simply as a bargaining chip, only worthy of mourning as long as they can advance an agenda, and then are plunged back into darkness. 

What is a Christian to do, O God? How are we to act? How are we to stand up and speak out against such hate? In these times, Remind us again of the words of your prophet Micah: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

Grant us the compassion to act justly in our world. Give us the drive to seek out injustice wherever we find it, whether in our hometown, or abroad. Help us to stand courageously for the marginalized, and be willing to grant them the opportunities they so desperately need but so frequently have taken away from them. 

Give us opportunities for kindness this week. Let us find people for whom we can share care and concern. Put people in our path who need a cool drink of water, or an encouraging word from a friend or stranger. And let us see those opportunities for what they are: a chance to share the love of Christ with a neighbor rather than an obligation we will feel guilty about if we pass by on the other side of the road. 

Finally God, let us walk humbly with you. To walk humbly requires that we follow after you. It means we have an appropriate view of our own self-importance. In these approaching months, it means we treat the opinions of others with respect, whether we agree with them or not. It means we seek common ground, instead of seeking ways to get ahead. Let us be voices of reason. Let us be beacons of compassion. May we act and speak in the same mind as your Son, Jesus, who taught us to pray: 

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”  

Fabric of Fellowship Prayer

Fabric of Fellowship Prayer

Pastoral Prayer
Broadway Baptist Church
July 12, 2015
Rev. Chris Caldwell

Loving God, we thank you for the tapestry you have created in this church.
We are your fabric of the old adjusting to walkers,
And the young adjusting to walking,
The old cherishing past memories,
And the young discovering new words.

We are extroverts shaking hands,
And introverts guarding space,
Thinkers taking it all in,
And feelers letting it all out.

We are excited by all the future brings,
And worried by all the past might be losing,
We are champions of the new,
And guardians of the old.

And we have found in this church something wonderful in this mix.
In the fellowship of this panoply you have made Broadway
We find something something as comforting as an old family quilt.
And so we thank you for this patchwork of kindness and love.

Yet we live in a frayed culture,
We live in a nation whose seams seem too much stretched.
We turn to the news and see video of people screaming at each other.
We listen to politicians, or worse yet, to the ads produced by their allies, 
And we are told their opponents are not just wrong, but that they are somehow inhuman or unAmerican.

Which is why we are glad we remember in this sanctuary things many have forgotten.
We know that, if your friend hugs you at the funeral home visitation, it doesn’t matter if they are a Republican or a Democrat.
We know that, if someone tells you they are praying for you, it doesn’t matter if they are liberal or conservative.
We know that, if the person who sits on the pew with us, or sings in the choir with us, has lost their job, the pain of the loss is the same, be they male or female, gay or straight, fifth generation Kentuckian or first generation American.
We know that if a child is sick, and a Christian friend brings a meal to our home, it doesn’t matter if their vote will cancel out our vote come November.

Yet even as we are blessed by the fabric of this warm fellowship, help us not to take it for granted.
Help us to see that the fault lines of mindless mistrust and easy aspersions can threaten the foundation of this sanctuary.
In short, Lord, remind us, here in this place, 
that love must trump conformity,
that patience must outweigh agreement,
that the desire to serve you together must surpass the desire to convert each other.

O God, grant me, and grant us all, the wisdom and the passion required to be good stewards of this fellowship.
Bind our hearts together in a shared promise to love each other without having to agree with each other.
Help us to show each other the love you have shown us in your son,
A love that is not earned, but granted
A love not based on staying on the balance beam of others’ expectations,
But based on kneeling together at the foot of the cross,
Where we are all sinners,
Where we are all trying to figure it out,
Where we are all trying to do the best we can,
And where we can--thanks be to you, O God--cut each other some slack.

Thank you for the gift of this church,
Help us to treasure it
And help those new to this place to see, this might just be a place worthy of making a spiritual home.


4th of July Prayer

4th of July Prayer

Lord, we do pray for our nation today
We give thanks for patriotic greatness behind us
We place in your hands the great tensions among us
And we dedicate ourselves to seeking your future ahead of us . . . 

Pastoral Prayer - Susan Reed

Pastoral Prayer - Susan Reed

Holy God, 

We are people who are searching.  

We search for peace in times of chaos.

We search for comfort in pain.

We search for love in the midst of hatred.

Oh God, Help us to remember that we are not alone. 

Help us to remember there are people in this world living in chaos every day: the chaos of war, of family turmoil, of inner struggle.

There are other people in search of comfort – whether it’s from the pain of disease and injury, from the pain of loneliness and isolation, or from the pain of hurt caused by others.

There are people in this world searching for love – love in a city divided by hate, love from their families who have turned them away, love from themselves when they don’t feel worthy.

Help us to remember that we are not alone – that you have promised to be with us. 

Thank you for the times when we have known and felt your peace, comfort, and love. 

Help us to see how we can be instruments of your peace; reaching out to others with our words, our deeds, and arms of love.

May we do all we can to bring comfort to people who are hurting. May we grow in knowledge of your love so that we may share it with all those we meet.




Pastoral Prayer, 5/15/2015

Broadway Baptist Church

Chris Caldwell, Pastor

  • O God whose arms are strong and loving

    • Help us to see that we cannot embrace a person we cannot reach.

    • We praise you for living out this truth by sending your son across the great divide between things above and things below.

  • We give thanks for a savior who scoffed at the divide between

    • The Rich and the poor

    • The upright and the downcast

  • We give thanks for a savior who humbled himself

    • Who recognized the chasm between the might of God and the misery of people

    • And therefore built a bridge between them

  • We give thanks for a savior who was never content for there to be distance between him and a hurting person

    • Who reached and took the always withdrawn hand of the leper

    • Who demanded that Zacchaeus come down out of his tree

    • Who insisted the children be allowed to come to him

      • So that he could take them in his arms and bless them

      • So that we could see in him your strong and loving arms.

  • O God who builds bridges wherever there are divides

    • Forgive us when we remain at ease on our side of the ravine

    • Open our ears to the quiet roar rising up from turbulent streams of distrust between

      • People who have different bank balances

      • People who have different skin

      • People who speak different languages

      • Yet all who are people created by the same God.

  • Lord, help us to see that we cannot embrace a person we cannot reach

    • And so challenge us to bridge the divide between us

    • Help us to build bridges of care between those without food and people with money to buy it

    • Help us to build bridges of trust between those who have been built up and those who have been beaten up

    • Help us to build bridges of patience between the swift and the slow

    • Help us to build bridges of prayer between those who are well and those who are sick.


  • But Lord, we recognize we cannot bridge every chasm or bind every wound

    • And so help us to be faithful in providing the money for others to go in our place

    • Help us to give generously so that members of our church can be the strong and loving arms of Christ in forgotten parts of Louisville, in dirt-poor parts of Kentucky, and wherever else you call us.

  • But grant us also the wisdom of recognizing the limits of what we can do

    • And help us never to underestimate the importance of sending missionaries who give their lives and not merely their vacations to serve others and to share the message of Christ

    • We give thanks that, even as we worship in this place, around this nation and around your world there are missionaries sent in part by the support of our gifts

    • Guide them as they speak a word of grace in a language we will never know

    • Bless them as they carry the love of Christ into communities we will never visit.

    • Encourage them as they bring food into a home we will never enter

    • Strengthen them as they place a blanket across the shoulders of a person we will never meet