Editor’s note: At yesterday’s PerennialGen-hosted Growing Sage workshop, we invited our friend Carol Longenecker Hiestand to offer an invocation for the day. Her beautiful prayer is for all of us who are journeying with God through the uncharted territory of midlife and beyond. 

Oh, God, our help in ages past . . .

all the ages we’ve

ever been

ages we are now

ages we’ll never be again.

Each one presenting a new challenge

for we’ve never been that age before.


The age when we hoped Jesus wouldn’t return

before the big party,

before we got the job and the degree to go with it

the engagement ring and the wedding band.

before we became



business women, entrepreneurs

There is the age when heaven seems

nearer than before

when we pray Jesus  will take us home

content to go

longing to be with loved already there


There’s age of

dreaming big,

working hard

making it happen.

the age when we doubt our dreams

the age we begin to realize

not all our dreams will come true

and you have been there all along and

are still here for the letting go.


There is the age of productivity

our lives full of

good things

important things

when we felt like we’d live forever

and our  parents would always be there

for us.


There’s the age we see our parents caring

for their parents

when we don’t stop to think much about

us caring for them some day

The age we know we will

and the wondering how will we do it

and then the age we are in the middle of it all

still wondering.


There is the age it dawns on us

the years we have before us

are far less than

the years behind us

God, it frightens some of us,

I suppose all of us at some point,

and we wonder if we’ll finish well.


There’s the age we find

the number of our friends matter less than

the quality of our  friends

those who  listen with their hearts

willing to be vulnerable in sharing

their lives and wisdom with us.


There’s the age

when the things we wanted to become are

less important

than who we are becoming.

And vocation is not our job, rather

who we are

wherever we are


God, by the time we are in our second half of life

we know things learned only in the

crucible of pain and loss.

and you never

wasted our  suffering

when we cooperated with you


We’ve learned we don’t have to respond

to each opportunity presented to us.

now content with responding to needs

while taking into account how we are wired,

more aware of our limitations.

We find we are quick to listen

less likely to offer solutions.

We have learned presence

is more important than advice

And some things will never be resolved

this side of heaven.


You, oh God, have been our help in ages past.

and you’ll be our hope for years to come

Continue to be our guide while life shall last

and be our eternal home.


Before the hills in order stood,

or earth received her frame

From everlasting you are God,

through endless years the same.


May we continue to

grow sage

remaining faithful

as we move

from doing

to being.


We have seen your faithfulness in our yesterdays.

May we trust you

for our todays

and our tomorrows


In Jesus’ name we pray,


Carol Longenecker Hiestand writes when inspired about things that often go unnoticed, and sees herself as a storyteller. She’s a wife, mom, grandmother, and friend living right in the middle of the second half of life. She’s passionate about writing to and for her grandchildren about her life, passing on the things she’s learned. You’ll often find her immersed in making photo books for our family, working to keep her  scattered family connected. She’s a lover of all shades of purple and rose. Lilacs, waterfalls, any body of water, porch swings and Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi (when she can find it!) make her happy.