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A Prayer for Paying Attention

A Prayer for Paying Attention



The world is rushing by

Sights and sounds vying for my attention

People walking and running in a hurry

Cars zooming from here to there.


The days seem long

But I know the years are short.


My hands constantly connected to my phone.

Scrolling and commenting and picture-taking.

Reading and emailing and passing time

All to look up and see the world passing me by.


But today, this one precious day, I stopped.

I listened.

To the sound of birds welcoming the day.

To the water lapping against the sand.

To the sweet sounds of children’s laughter.

To the bells ringing.

To the conversation of friends.


Today, this one precious day, I stopped.

I looked.

At a piece of art.

At sleeping children.

At the beauty of the water.

At the welcome of my home.

At the sun setting.


Today, this one precious day, I stopped.

I felt.

The warmth of my children’s hands.

The softness of a pet.

The comfort of a cup of tea.

The love in an embrace.

The friendship in shaking hands.


Today, this one precious day, I stopped.

I tasted.

The ripeness of farm-fresh fruit and vegetables.

The comfort of a home-cooked meal.

The peace of morning coffee to greet the day.


Today, this one precious day, I stopped.

I savored.

The smell of freshly cut grass.

The fragrance of bread baked from the oven.

The sweetness of perfume.

The newness of a baby.


The world is rushing by.

The days are sometimes a blur.

But in those moments when I stop, time almost stands still.


Keep my heart open to the simplicity of the day.

A day open to flesh and face-to-face interactions.

A day without the distractions of technology.

A day seeing the people in front of me.


And paying attention.


Help me, Lord.

Open my eyes.

Open my ears.

Open my heart.


To know you are with me

If I just pay attention.




Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website: or follow her work on Facebook:



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