Sunday, January 12, 2014

Anglican Rosary Prayers: Comfort for Bruised Reeds

As a devotional practice, I have begun writing or adapting prayers to use with the Anglican rosary. If you'd like to know more about how prayer beads work, one of my favorite resources is Full Circle Beads. (I am in no way affiliated with Full Circle Beads, I'm just a huge fan of their resources and the beautiful prayer beads they sell). All scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version Bible. 

This set of prayers is for anyone who is hurting. But I did compile these scriptures specifically for those who have been wounded by the church. I had been contemplating adapting this passage from Isaiah into a prayer for a while now, and a friend who has a similar background to mine shared with me today about a great sermon she heard on this passage, which inspired me to finally finish the compilation. So many times those of us who have experienced pain at the hands of the church feel like bruised reeds, whom, like the people who have hurt us, God malevolently desires to crush. Or we feel that our abusers are correct and God agrees with them about us. But that is the furthest thing from the truth about God. May these prayers bring some modicum of comfort to those who bear in their souls gaping wounds from people and institutions who should have been safe.

Edit: Per the excellent suggestion of my freind Aletheianna, in italics I have added an alternative set of prayers that are phrased in the second person. Feel free to use whichever set is most helpful for you.

The Cross

Take my yoke upon you,
and learn from me;
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Help me take your yoke upon me
and learn from you
for you are gentle and lowly in heart
and you will give me rest to my soul.
For your yoke is easy
and your burden is light. 

The Invitatory

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in mercy to all who call on you.

The Cruciforms

Fear not, for I have redeemed you
I have called you by name, you are mine.

Help me to fear not, because you have redeemed me,
You have called me by my name, [name], I am yours. 

The Weeks 

A bruised reed he will not break,
And a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.

This bruised reed you will not break
And this dimly burning wick you will not quench.
You will faithfully bring forth justice. 

Scriptures: Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 86:5, Isaiah 43:1, Isaiah 42:3 


  1. Can I offer a suggestion? I love these prayers, but I prefer to address God as "you" when I pray, rather than speaking in the first or third person while I pray. I'm not sure, but perhaps others do too. What if you changed each of them to read in the second person: "God, help me take your yoke upon me and learn from you, for your...May I fear not, for you have redeemed me, You have called me by name, I am yours." Just a thought. You may not like it as much.

    1. That's a good suggestion. In some ways I like to speak quoting God directly to myself. There's something powerful about that to me in particular. But there is also incredible value in saying out loud, "You have called me by name, I am Yours." In future prayers I compile I may adjust the language to reflect that. And of course, anyone can adapt/alter these as they see fit.

    2. I can definitely see the power of direct quotation. Thanks for including the alternative!

  2. It was a great sermon for me too. And I love my prayer beads. Thanks for offering this prayer. I join you in praying