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Sunflower Seeds


Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Prayer Before Beginning a Project

++++++++++++++++“Let there be Light!”+++++++++++++++++

These past few months I have been working on a new book based on this blog, “Sunflower Seeds.” When I began this project, I prayed to our Creator God for assistance. Here is an adaptation of that prayer for anyone beginning a new endeavor–whether it’s hosting a family get-together, planning a vacation, preparing a parish event, changing jobs, putting together a talk, beginning retirement, starting a new school year, moving to a new house, or even welcoming a new baby into the family. I’ve used the plural form because for many of our projects, we work with others. But you can modify the words to fit your project or endeavor.

Prayer Before Beginning a Project

Creator God, as we begin this new endeavor, we hear you asking us: “How can I help you?” Let us count the ways.

Please give us strength… give us direction… and give us patience from the beginning to the ending of this project.

Right now, we might look upon this endeavor as a mere duty… or a major chore. Help us to see this task before us as a privilege… a small way we can partner with you to bring more goodness into the world… When we get weighed down, help us to lighten up. Keep us in touch with the pleasure and genuine fun involved in this work.

(Photo by Binyamin Mellish – Pexels)

Pour enthusiasm into our souls, a teensy portion of your own Divine Enthusiasm as you spoke those words of unimaginably far-reaching consequences: “Let there be light!”

Help us to balance control and letting go throughout this project. May our need to control be punctuated with regular periods of letting go and allowing the work to have a life and mind of its own.

May we respect the entire work process which includes starting… moving forward… trial and error… stalling out… back tracking… moving forward again… and bringing the project to completion.

(Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel – Pexels)

Never let us forget the underlying purposes of our work: for your greater honor and glory… for the individuals who will benefit from this work… for our own personal growth and transformation. May we humbly delight in the small role we are playing in the coming of your Kingdom upon earth.

Any finally, our Beloved Creator God, help us to take regular breaks from our work… knowing you do not desire our total exhaustion, but rather you desire our joy-filled wholeness… And every time we begin to work on this endeavor, may we take a few moments once again to answer your question addressed to us: “How can I help you?” Amen.


(Photo by Andrea Piacquadio – Pexels)

For reflection:

When you begin a new project, what gifts or graces do you ask for from God?

Is there anything in this prayer that really spoke to you?

Do you have any projects or endeavors you would like us to pray for? Let us know below.

My prayer today was addressed to our Creator God. This gentle and lovely song by Margaret Rizza celebrates our Creator God’s presence everywhere–in creation itself, in the current world situation, and in our personal lives.

I invite you to respond below to anything in today’s reflection:

26 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for this prayer! It is exactly what I need. I am starting a new job very soon- which will test me in many ways. As I was getting ready for bed- I thought to myself, ‘I need to pray for guidance about this new job.’ Then as I got into bed- I saw your new blog post.
    Just the prayer I needed!
    Blessings to you
    And all

  2. As I just finished up cleaning up after an evening of entertaining that my daughter & her husband hosted, I particularly found that God whispered these following phrases for my behalf when I question if I’m seeing & acting upon the opportunities given to me each day by our Father in Heaven.

    And…I realized to never underestimate how big or small the task or job, but more importantly not to pass on these opportunities either because they may never come my way again….many things in my life don’t come with a guarantee to “do over” or “Can I have another chance?”

    *help me to see this task as a privilege
    *help me to not forget the underlying purpose of the work: for Your greater honor and glory… for the individuals who will benefit from this work… for my own personal growth and transformation. May I delight in the small role I play in the coming of your Kingdom upon earth.

    Finally, the song was perfect for cementing your message this week Sr. Melanie. God bless you on your book writing journey as well.

  3. I am searching for the next steps in my life. This is a perfect prayer for new beginnings.

  4. Good morning, Melannie…
    Good morning, all…

    Your prayer captures the entire scope of being human: the starting, the stopping, the setbacks, the rest needed to complete the task, and then there are these words — “…you desire our joy-filled wholeness. “ That’s just beautiful! I also love your having God ask us, “How can I help you?” That’ beautiful, too.

    PS: Loved your reflection in Give Us This Day. A double dose of Melannie!

    1. Yes
      Give Us This Day was a special treat today

      I clipped it out to save!!

      Sister Melanie is the gift that just keeps giving

      We are so blessed to have her in our lives

  5. This is a wonderful prayer for all the situations you mentioned and more! I will be retiring next year and while I’m looking forward to it, I’m also apprehensive. Thank you for this and God bless!

  6. Thank you for sharing this prayer. It is just what I needed. You have been a great blessing to me. Thank you. Thank you God.

  7. During the Lazy Days of Summer I am relieved to be free of schedules, but right about now I begin to think and plan for the new school year. Formaly retired, my friend and I have spent the last 6 years teaching 2nd Grade Faith Formation Classes in our parish. What a joy! It is the highlight of our week. “How can I help you?” are the words that resonate for me. Letting God help in the planning and creating. Letting God help in being, in speaking, and doing.
    Thank you for this prayer, Sister Melannie. It will help in all the big and small projects I walk into. And to “Respect the whole process,” knowing that the inspirations, the struggles, and the doldrums and all a part of the process. May God walk us all.

  8. The video with the pictures and music was a balm for my soul this morning. With all the ugly stuff that is going on in our country, it helps to have a visual reminder that God gave us a beautiful earth and there is so much more than the cacophony of hateful things being spewed more and more….they show open mouths and angry faces…..but God created the serenity and beauty that we can find if we but shut out the noise!

    Thank you S. Melannie for helping us find a place of peace and hope in our troubled world,

  9. Beginning over a process to sell a large property for religious women. This is their and my need today to begin a task again! Thanks.

  10. Thank you Sister Melanie for this reflection. Perfect timing. I’m hoping to reach out to parents and family members of LGBTQ children. My hope and prayer is that they will have community with which to share their hopes and dreams for their children and to know that they are a special gift from God. Asking for prayers for this endeavor

  11. Sister, you bring God into my life with words I’ve been searching for and can’t seem to find. I feel like I wander in my prayers and everything seems fragmented. I cling to the hope and knowledge that God knows what I’m saying and looking for. And then I open your blog and there is the prayer I want! I find your name in several periodicals and even before I look at the author of the text I’m reading I find comfort – and then your name is there and I smile “real big” because God has given me a sign. You and your words provide so very much comfort and I pray every day for you. I thank God for your gifts.

    And the comments by those before me brought more insight and comfort. Thanks to all of you.

  12. A unique perspective that I rarely think about – God asking us how she/ he can help. It almost made me laugh. Jesus did tell us that we are never alone in anything we do but asking us how he can help brings me joy. A reassurance that it will all work out if we let him know what he can do. Thank you, Sr. Melannie! Blessings on you and all.

  13. This is my last week of work before retirement from 46 years of Nursing. This prayer was so needed. I said a prayer for all who posted. Please pray for me to find the joy and hear what He wants next.

  14. Thanks, Sister Melanie. Beautiful prayer and song/video. I am starting a writing project and had not thought of asking God to help me with it. Of course! I also liked your “Give us this day” post. Blessings, and thanks.

  15. I’m not involved or anticipating any projects or “start up” in my life at this time . But your prayer Melannie gave a lot to ponder. Besides starting each day with gratitude I will remember your words from our God, “how can I help you?” in my morning reflection.
    Once again, beautiful and moving song video. Thanks fir sharing.

  16. Thank you for the prayer. I am planning a family get together for this weekend to welcome a family member and her family as they visit this weekend. This is helpful. I need to stress less and go with the flow! The prayer will help me put it all into perspective.

  17. This prayer is so perfect for every day tasks and trials. I have a few friends who are going through some significant changes in their life. I’ll pass this beautiful prayer on! Thank you Sr. Melanie for being a beacon of light and hope as the Holy Spirit guides you! You are a treasure!!!

  18. I am back again dear Sister Melannie. This time to thank you for the beautiful down – to – earth prayer, a prayer of total surrender, dependence and attention to God’s invitation in listening to His voice :” How can I help you?” Many a times I wander how to begin something new. Everything in your prayer; strength, direction, patience through the beginning and end of our task, enthusiasm, letting go and so on creates a disposition within to let God take charge in my mission. May I request you to keep me in your prayers as I have just been installed, on the 29th of June, as the Delegation Superior of ” Christ the King” Delegation of Our Lady of the Assumption Province, Patna, India . “Christ the King” is a tribute to our mother province Chardon. The delegation comprises of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh regions with 38 Sisters in 8 Communities.
    Thank you again dear Sister and wish you God’s blessings on your new project!

  19. What a beautiful prayer! Thank you so for your many gifts to us. Can’t wait to read your new book.

  20. Dear Sister Melannie,
    I have started my next “God Assignment” as a Catholic Campus Minister associate director. I am preparing to offer students spiritual counseling through the Evangelical Catholic program and build relationships on campus to broaden our outreach. Your prayer for starting a project was perfect for me at this time. Thank you for channeling the Holy Spirit through your communication to readers with ways to “live the sacrament of the moment” by prayerfully keeping God in the forefront of all aspects of our lives!

  21. Sr. Melannie,
    Is there a way that we can make or purchase a copy of your beautiful prayer?

  22. Good morning
    I really enjoy your blog and I ask you to pray for a special endeavor that will be happening for assumption college for sisters in February 2025. Our project is preparing for a middle states evaluation, and we have been preparing for that for the last two years
    It will come to fruition in February with a visit from the evaluation team
    We are diligently working on whatever needs to be accomplished for this task
    So we asked for prayers on our administration and staff, and also our sisters who attend the college
    College for sisters is the only sister in the United States. Please pray for us as we do for you.

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Hi and welcome to my blog! I’m Sister Melannie, a Sister of Notre Dame residing in Chardon, Ohio, USA. I’ve been very lucky! I was raised in a loving family on a small farm in northeast Ohio. I also entered the SNDs right after high school. Over the years, my ministries have included high school and college teaching, novice director, congregational leadership, spiritual direction, retreat facilitating, and writing. I hope you enjoy “Sunflower Seeds” and will consider subscribing below. I’d love to have you in our “sunflower community.” Thank you!

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