For all of us, the idea of getting older, looking older and having your youngest years behind you is daunting. Here, Elizabeth Moore and Audrey Elledge, authors of Liturgies for Hope, share their prayer for letting go of your younger self. 

Liturgies for Hope cover

Oh God who is not bound to time,

we know ourselves in pieces

at various ages and evolving stages—

every point in our lives

shaping us into whom we were meant to be.

We are constantly emerging,

greeting a new self with every passing year,

shedding old skin and exploring a person we do not yet



Oh Lord, when it seems as though the loveliness of our

youth is slipping away,

may our security not slip along with it.

May we not punish ourselves for changing

or attempt to shrink back into the person we used to know.

For it is good and right to outgrow our youth,

to continuously increase in knowledge and wonder,

to leave behind the layers that no longer fit.

May we grieve the loss of the people we once were,

knowing they are not eternally lost but simply fading out of the present.


May we honor even the self we disliked,

trusting that You redeem the unpleasant colors of the past.

May we expand and mature with bravery,

fulfilling all the potential You have placed within us.

May we generously befriend who we are becoming.

Only You, Lord, see our full selves from beginning to end, uninterrupted by time.

When You say the old is gone and the new has come,

You are referring not to age or time but to our eternal


unchanging and preserved by Your Holy Spirit.


It is safe to grow old,

for our younger selves are remembered and treasured by You.

No matter our age, our identity in Christ never changes,

for we are reconciled to You.

So we release the younger selves that brought us this far

and welcome the new selves that will take us on from here

as we wait for the resurrection of our bodies

and behold new wonders with every passing day.




Psalm 90:2; 92:12–14; 139:15–16 • Proverbs 16:31; 20:29 • Luke 2:52 • John 11:25–26 • Romans 6:4; 8:28 • 2 Corinthians 1:22; 4:16; 5:17–18 • Ephesians 2:10 • Philippians 3:13 • Hebrews 5:14–6:1 • 2 Peter 3:8


This is an extract from Liturgies for Hope: Sixty Prayers for the Highs, the Lows, and Everything in Between by Elizabeth Moore and Audrey Elledge (SPCK, 2022).