Prayer for November 9: Please pray with me. Holy One, help us. Today we pray a difficult prayer – we pray for our enemies. Not because they are praying for us. Not because they deserve it. We pray for our enemies because they need prayer and so do we. We pray for our enemies because we know, deep down, that answering violence with violence will never work. We pray for our enemies because you call on us to do this and we want to be faithful followers. This is not easy. We would rather not pray for our enemies, but rather prey on them. We would rather label them and call them names, dehumanize and demonize them – the same things they do to us. We are threatened by them. We are afraid. We are angry. Open our eyes Lord to see you in our enemies. Open our hearts to see you in our enemies. Open us to knowing that when it comes down to it, there is no them. Forgive us. Forgive our enemies. Amen.
Prayer for November 6: Please pray with me. God of the nations, in Psalm 146 you tell us “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.” Yet, we seem to ignore this with bold abandon. On this election day, we pray that we would look to you. Give us wisdom in our voting. Give us ears to hear your justice and to hear the injustice in the world. Give us eyes to see through the false promises and fearful rhetoric so that we might be inclined towards your vision for the world. Give us hearts that are full of grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, compassion towards the poor and outcast of this world. Give us peaceful rest in the evening, so that when we awake on Wednesday, we many continue to be your followers, living out your call for our lives. Let you light so shine in our lives that we become a light to the nations, Good News to the poor, life to hopeless. Amen.
Prayer for November 5: Please pray with me. Holy One, open our eyes to see through the lens you give us – faith. Open our eyes to see you in the other – both our neighbors that we love and the enemies that we struggle with and even hate or hate us. Open our eyes to see the world the way you see it. Open our eyes to see the injustice, fear, hate, and anxiety that is spread through our land like a disease. Open our eyes to see how unnecessary it is. And when you are done opening our eyes to see all of this – open our hearts, soften them. Open our hearts to be embraced by you. Open our hearts to encounter you. Open our hands to feed the hungry and thirsty. Open our hands to clothe the naked. Open our hands to welcome the stranger. Open our hands to comfort the sick. Open our hands to pray for our enemies. Open us Lord. Tear down the walls that we build to separate ourselves from others and you. Open us. Amen.
Prayer for November 2: Please pray with me. God who leads us, we are called to be your disciples. Discipleship is an easy concept – we follow what you tell us to do. We copy what you have done and are capable of doing. Yet, why is this so hard? Why do we fall over and over again? Why do we insist on doing things our own way – a way that doesn’t work. Your way isn’t really that difficult when it comes down to it – you call us to love people, to feed people, to clothe people, to welcome people, to care about people. Help us to put away our desires to place things and stuff and money ahead of people. Help us to put away our loyalties to parties and politics ahead of people. Help us to listen to you and to simply follow you. Amen.
Prayer for November 1: Please pray with me. God of the faithful, fill us with your faith. On this day, Christians remember the saints who have died. We weep and mourn for those we have lost. We also hold in prayer the families of those who have died recently in the Jewish community in Pittsburgh – a tragedy beyond words. Throughout Scripture you promise that we will not be alone, that you will walk with us in the valley of death. You paint a picture in Scripture about what the renewed creation will be like. We look forward to the time when this will be fulfilled and we will be reunited with our loved ones. Amen.
Prayer for October 31: Please pray with me. God of the nations, we are told that you love the world. Yet, why do we think we are more loved than others? Why do we think our nation is more special than others? Why do we think we are more privileged in your sight? What leads us to this notion? Because of our strength? Our wealth? Or might? Because we have reached across the globe? When we read Scripture, we hear over and over again that you favor the poor, the stranger, the outcast, the widow, the orphan. Not the strong and mighty. Too often it is the strong and mighty that oppress those that you favor. Put up a mirror to our faces so that we may see who we truly are. Turn us to care for those that you favor. Amen.
Prayer for October 30: Please pray with me. God of wisdom, hear our cry. How long O Lord. How Long? How long will we continue to value the idols we create over your creation? How long will we continue to value the idols we create over our fellow human beings? Turn us from the idols we put our faith in. Why do we reject you and put our hope for salvation in human-made things? Why do we reject you and put our faith in human-made things? Why do we value money, power, guns, strength, violence, over people? For what does it profit us to entrust ourselves in these things? What does it cost us? I hate to ask. When will we learn? Stir us to change. Shake us. Rattle us. We are hard-hearted and a stiff neck people. We are stubborn. We refuse to see the error of our ways. Lord have mercy. Have mercy. Have mercy. Amen.