Prayer for April 23: Please pray with me. Holy One, you come to us in many ways – often in ways we don’t recognize. Open our eyes, our hearts, and our ears to you as you show up in our lives. Open us to hear your truth – that you call us to live out the truth, not use the truth as a weapon to beat others into submission. You call us to live out the truth with love. You call us to action. Few have ever been convinced by mere argument. But many more have changed because they were first seen as fellow human travelers on this journey of life. Help us to get to know people – their names and their stories. Help up to open our hearts to these people. Amen.
Prayer for April 19: Please pray with me. God of the hopeless, give hope abundantly. We have a world of hopelessness – to the point that people have given up. Yet you call on us to be in community and in relationship. You remind us that we are not alone. You walk with us. Be with those who feel alone and lonely. You call on us to help and to be helped, not just to provide material resources to people. The material is important, but there is more. Take us to a deeper level to grasp what you seek in us. Amen.
Prayer for April 18: Please pray with me. God of grace, you come to us in odd ways and through means that we would never choose. You show up in ways that shock us. But I’m not sure why. You’ve been showing up in these ways for many centuries. You show up through your word, through prophets, through messengers, and for Christians, we believe that you took on flesh in your son and showed up in the most unlikely of ways. You are a God that shows up. If only we would do the same. Send us out to show up – to show up where the homeless are. To show up to feed the hungry. To show up where the lonely are. To show up to visit the prisoners. To show up where people are being trafficked. To show up where your Good News needs to be heard. Let us stop just taking the label of follower of you and instead transform us in to follower of you with our actions. Amen.
Prayer for April 17: Please pray with me. God who calls us, open our ears and our hearts to hear your call for our lives. How wonderful to follow you in the good times. How pleasant are those times when following you is joyful and as beautiful as a gorgeous sunset. Yet, that is not what following you is ultimately about. The true test of trust is following you when it is uncomfortable and inconvenient – the times when we would rather not, the times when it is costly. In those cases, we’d rather just keep the label of Christ-follower and ditch the practice. We don’t voice them, but we raise questions God – do you really know what you are doing? We’d do it differently, thank you very much. Your ways are not our ways, and your thoughts are not our thoughts. Following you is not always wonderful. That’s why prophets tried to run from you. But you never cease to pursue us. And you never stop calling to us. Your love goes beyond our understanding. It goes beyond this life. Open our hearts to respond to your call for our lives with trust. Trust is scary. It leaves us in the dark. We are not in control. And that’s about as close to the truth about ourselves as we can experience. We want to respond in trust Lord. Strengthen us to respond in trust. Weaken our ego so it does not get in the way. Amen.
Prayer for April 16: Please pray with me. God of the nations, we love to claim you as our own. We love to say that you bless our nation. All nations love to claim that they are blessed by you. We love the idea of being blessed – that we are somehow special and that no one else is. That we are your favorites. That it is us that you find to be extra special and just so good. But you know better Lord. We aren’t fooling you. We are only fooling ourselves. You tell us in your word that you love the whole of creation – not just a small slice of it. You tell us in your word that you love all of humanity – not just those we deem as the “good guys.” We like to think we can tell you how to be God. Forgive us Lord. We are not you. We are your creation. We are limited. We are broken. We are sinful. Forgive us. Help us to see through your lens at creation. Help us to live out your call for us. Convict us to actually be your followers, not just claim the label. Amen.
Prayer for April 13: Please pray with me. Holy One, you are a God of the Word. You speak creation into existence. You speak words of forgiveness, mercy, peace, and grace. You embody these and speak them through us to those in desperate need of hearing them. There are so many false gospel narratives out there Lord. So many voices and proclamations of where to find salvation. So many turn to these distractions and idols for their salvation. Yet you are patient, calm, and persistent. It is a miracle your Gospel persists, yet it does. Why do we pursue these false gospels? Why do we think we can find salvation in anything outside of you? Why? Is it because we like to put ourselves in your place? Is it because we know deep down, that the faith you give us will make us so uncomfortable and inconvenienced that it will change our lives and we don’t want that? Is it because we prefer the status quo of our lives and fear the unknown of not being in control? Forgive us of these sins. Forgive us when we withhold our trust in you, even when you freely give us faith. Forgive us when we become an obstacle to the unfolding of your kingdom. Amen.
Prayer for April 11: Please pray with me. God of love, there are some people who we find really difficult to love Lord. I mean really difficult. We’d rather yell profanity at them. It certainly would feel better. But you call us to love even these people. This is not easy Lord. I mean seriously God – you mean I have to love the person I can’t stand?!? The person who drives me up a wall at even the mention of their name? Really? But wait, I wonder how many people think the same thing about us? For how many people are we the person they can’t stand? For how many people are we the one who drives someone else up the wall? For how many people are we the one the causes someone to scream profanities? Ouch. That hurts. Help us to love – especially those we don’t like. Help those that don’t like us to love us too. We need it Lord. Loving someone doesn’t mean we have to like them or like what they do. And sometimes it means that the best way to love someone is to avoid them all together so that we don’t do something that we might regret or something that would cause harm to another. Let us start with that if we must Lord. You know what we need God. Encounter us with your grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love so that we can share these things with others – especially those we don’t care for. Give us huge doses of these things – we need them. And we need to give huge doses away too. Amen.