Prayer for March 26, 2020: Please pray with me. Cruciform God, you know what it means to suffer, to experience pain, to die. In your incarnation, you became fully human and experienced the harsh reality of what it means to live in the flesh. You showed us that you were willing to go all the way to death for the cosmos. What kind of love is this? It is foreign to so many that want a small god, a controlled god that fits into a box – a god that can be taken out when it is convenient. And a god that can be put away when inconvenient. Too many aren’t really interested in knowing you or following you. Too many would rather have a small faith that doesn’t inconvenience them, doesn’t demand anything, that acts like a website that allows them to place an order and receive it. But that is not who you are. You are an incarnate God who gets in our face and life, who wants to be in relationship with us, who offers a way to live, and who expresses costly love. You are a God who is all in and calls on us to be all in with God. That is costly love. That is costly discipleship. It is love that costs everything we have and are. It is discipleship that costs us everything – even our very lives. You call on us to die, so that resurrection can happen. Not just at some point in a distant heaven, but now – in the place where we are. We are called to die to self each day so that resurrected life can take its place. Amen.
Prayer for March 24, 2020: Please pray with me. God of wisdom, we pray that you would instill your holy wisdom into our leaders at the national, state, and local levels of government. Let our political leaders put to death their partisan loyalties and identities so that the welfare of the nation may become the first priority. These are difficult times Lord, as you know. These are time in which character matters and the facade of what we want to present to the world is stripped away. All that is left is who we truly are. We pray that our leaders would radically reorient themselves towards you. We also pray that we would let go of our own facades. Let us look in the mirror and be honest with ourselves and you. Let us be honest about what it is that we truly value. Empower us to be in alignment with your will. Amen.
Prayer for March 23, 2020: Please pray with me. God of life, you breath the breathe of life into all living beings. Breath on and through us – give us your Spirit. It is that breath of life that move us, transforms us, and gives us meaning. So many in our world struggle with meaning – they feel lost. Send your spirit on your people. Amen.
Prayer for March 19, 2020: Please pray with me. Faithful God, you give us the gift of faith. You are always the one who acts first. You love us first, so that we can love in response. You give us faith to remind us that we can’t do this life on our own. You did not create us to be islands. You did not create us to go it alone. How silly for us to think that. As Christians, we believe in a Trinity – a divine community. Even you don’t go it alone. Free us from the notion that we have to do life on our own. Let us be fully embraced by you. Let us then go out and share your Good News with all around us. Amen.
Prayer for March 18, 2020: Please pray with me. God who is the unchanging change, clear our eyes. So many see disaster. And it is there, for sure. Pandemics are terrible. Death is terrible. And lives are being upended in ways we never thought possible. And yet…What is that we see in the corner of our eye? Something different. Not disaster, but an opportunity. In this moment, we are being forced to re-examine things – our lives, our families, our priorities, our health, our systems, our churches, our businesses, our relationships, our money, and more. All at the same time. What worked before doesn’t now. What didn’t work can be let go without walking on eggshells around those attached to these ways. Even in disaster, you bless us with opportunity Lord. Opportunity to be encountered by you in new ways. Opportunity to explore how to be church. Opportunity to find new ways to be community. Opportunity to discover how ministry can be done effectively. Opportunity to create new systems that are healthy. Opportunity to be truthful with ourselves about the impact our institutions and organizations are really making. Was it just spin, full of excuses, and fake? Or was transformation really happening? It is in transformation that institutions and organizations can not only weather the storm, but also come out of it strengthened and ready to move forward. Open our eyes to see the opportunity and embrace it. Open our eyes to see the disaster and do what we can to mitigate it. Open our hearts to receive you and encourage us to live the faith you give us. Amen.
Prayer for March 17, 2020: Please pray with me. God of mercy, we desperately need some mercy. But you know that. Humanity has needed mercy since the beginning. That is not new. Why do we think that it is though? Why do we think that mercy was lacking from you? It never has. The only thing lacking was our willingness to receive your mercy. We have been too busy to receive it. We’ve been too comfortable to receive it. We’ve thought we had our crap together and didn’t need you, except in the case of an emergency. Forgive us for thinking you are just a Get Out of Jail Free card. And yet, you continue to pursue us. That’s something we can’t possibly understand. But we can be grateful anyway. And so when we ask for mercy, help us to ask for something better – eyes to see and ears to hear where your mercy is already falling on us. Amen.
Prayer for March 16, 2020: Please pray with me. God who encounters us, open our eyes. Open us to seeing the abusive and unhealthy systems around us. We may even be caught in such a system and not realize it. Put an end to abusive systems Lord. Put an end to passive aggressiveness, manipulation, uncomfortable touch, demeaning language, taunting, and more. These are not normal. They are not your way either. Have mercy when your church and its representatives are guilty of such abuse. Set the captive of such abuse free. And radically reorient those who perpetuate abusive and unhealthy systems. Amen.