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My Five Favorite Prayers (non-denominational, ideal for rebels and heathens)

I’ve been trying to come up with something meaningful to share with you at the close of this deeply disturbing 2020 and the rise of a hopeful new year. Yet I’ve found myself quite silent.

However I want to be in some kind of useful touch, my friend.

So I figured prayers would be just the thing.

Non-denominational prayers, of course. Prayers suited to the particular sensibilities of my fellow rebels and heathens. Prayers in the forms of poems, paintings, dances, glances.

Prayers inspired by the death-defying inspiration of the poet Mary Oliver:


It doesn’t have to be

the blue iris, it could be

weeds in a vacant lot, or a few

small stones; just

pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try

to make them elaborate, this isn’t

a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which

another voice may speak.

So here’s how I’ll patch together my weed-prayers: I’ll send you one of my five favs, over the next couple weeks.

Look out for them, on email, or on Facebook or Instagram, if you frequent those types of establishments.

Let me explain a bit more about these five favorite prayers of mine.

One of my literary sheroes, Anne Lamott, wrote a wonderful book titled, Help, Thanks, Wow. These are, as Anne sees it, the only three prayers one really needs to maneuver through life.

Respectfully to Anne, yet typical of my heathen nature, I have to add two more. So the five prayers I’ve got for you — a concoction of weeds, irises, and stones — are:






I’ll share them with you in the best ways I know how, mute as I may be these days: in small snips of my dances and paintings.

May they inspire you to pray — to shout, sway, wail, slurp, rise, fall, intend, intone, vision, wiggle, roar, revel — in exactly your way.

May they help each of us trust-fall — with some measure of exuberance and panache — into the waiting arms of 2021.

With you, my dear rebel,

PS: Image is “Rise” by yours truly, LiYana Silver. Oil on Canvas. 2006.

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