Redirecting

I’m consolidating my online work to one site (something I probably should have done a long time ago).

Going forward, you can find my blog posts, daily prayers, weekly Stroll through Scripture videos and more at my other website – www.pastormatthewbest.com.  I invite you to come over and subscribe so you won’t miss a thing.

I will no longer be adding new content here on Please Pray with Me.

Prayer for April 29, 2020

Prayer for April 29, 2020: Please pray with me. God of grace, we thank you for the grace and mercy you give us.  Help us to show grace and mercy to those in leadership positions as they make decisions for the benefit of the many.  Give them wisdom to make decisions that look out for the greater good.  Surround them with teams that can offer insight and information that are vital to making wise decisions.  Amen.

Prayer for April 28, 2020

Prayer for April 28, 2020: Please pray with me.  God of justice, you call on us to seek justice.  For some, this sounds like a call to some kind of partisan political loyalty – as if you, Holy God, are a member of a political party.   How ridiculous of a concept is that?  Your call to justice existed millennias before political parties were even imagined as something that could be.  Your call to justice existed well before humans sought power.  Your call to justice existed before our spin and excuses came into formation in the brains that you created for us.  Justice isn’t about political advantage.  That’s short sighted and minimizes what you are about.  Justice is about Shalom – wholeness of community, love of neighbor, righteousness, restoration, a new way of being.  Why would be minimize your call to justice to just some political bumper sticker?  Forgive us when we make you and your call small and pathetic.  Move us to be embraced by you and your call for our lives and society.  Amen.

Prayer for April 21, 2020

Prayer for April 21, 2020: Please pray with me.  God who stretches us, you give us everything we need.  You give it to us first so that we are armed with what we need to carry out your will.  It may not be exactly what we were hoping for, but it will be what we need.  Stretch us in love – to love not only our neighbors, but also our enemies.  Stretch our minds – to embrace diversity of belief.  Stretch our hands out – to embrace all people around us.  Stretch our wallets – to use the money you provide us with to build up your kingdom.  Stretch our hearts – to care for your people and your creation.  Stretch our tongues – to proclaim the Good News to all who will listen.  Stretch our legs – to walk in the ways of peace that you show us.  Stretch us, so that we may be warmed up to do the work of your mission. Amen.

Prayer for April 20, 2020

Prayer for April 20, 2020: Please pray with me.  God of people everywhere, you are so interesting.  You are perfect in so many ways.  And you don’t lord that over us.  You set aside the appearance of outward perfection, so that you can encounter us, embrace us, and love us in our imperfection.  You come to us to be with us.  That’s crazy though – how many times have we turned our back on you, rejected you, essentially flipped you off.  And yet you come to us anyway.  That’s crazy love.  Thank you for that kind of love.  We wouldn’t make it through this world without that kind of love.  Amen.

Prayer for April 17, 2020

Prayer for April 17, 2020: Please pray with me.  God of creation, you spoke creation into existence.  Speak a new normal into existence.  Let us hear how your Kingdom is unfolding.  Let us hear how you invite us to participate in that unfolding.  That’s a real invitation.  An invitation to let go of the old normal full of what is wrong with the world, and instead embrace a new normal that is defined by the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom of God isn’t for some time in the distant future.  It’s for now.  God is inviting each one of us to live into it – not intellectually – but actually live into all that the Kingdom is about.  That’s what it means to be faithful.  That’s what it means to worship God.  Why do we make excuses as to why we don’t have to live into the Kingdom?  Why do we think this command doesn’t apply to us?  Why do we think we can go on living in the old normal and think that God sees nothing wrong with that?  Why?  It makes no sense what so ever!  Enough already.  Radically reorient us towards your Kingdom God.  Shed the old normal and all it stood for, and clothe us in your new normal that is based on shalom, Imago Dei,  love of neighbor and enemy, and the way of peace.  Amen.

Prayer for April 15, 2020

Prayer for April 15, 2020: Please pray with me.  God of light, come and scatter the darkness.  When light shows up, darkness is dispelled.  Darkness can’t compete with light.  And you are light.  There is no battle.  It’s over before the battle even starts.  Shed light on our world.  Dispel the darkness of scapegoating, fear, anger, political partisan loyalty, blaming, closing off our ears and minds to facts, conspiracy theories, and sacrificing to idols.  Be done with these things.  Not everyone wants the light Lord.  Not everyone is open to the light.  So be it.  Let those who insist on being in darkness have their way.  But don’t let their decision dictate what happens to the rest.  Let those who have eyes see and those who have ears hear.  Let the light shine forth and warm those who are willing to stand in its rays.  Let them receive your light and love.  And let it be transformed by it.  Let them live by the newness of your light, in spite of those who insist on living in darkness.  And let those who are transformed be a light in the darkness to others.  Amen.

Prayer for April 14, 2020

Prayer for April 14, 2020: Please pray with me.  God of life, you come to bring us life. You breath your spirit into us.  You give us life.  Help us to appreciate what life is about.  Help us to be bearers of life to others as well – especially to those who feel anything but alive.  Empower us and give us strength to reach out to people who need a human contact.  Let us be life to those who are hopeless.  Amen.

Prayer for April 13, 2020

Prayer for April 13, 2020: Please pray with me.  God of resurrection, you tell us over and over again – Do not be afraid.  Oh, how we need to hear that.  Too often we run into the arms of fear.  And when we are afraid, that’s when there is trouble.  When we are afraid, we succumb to darkness, and away from the light that we are called to be.  We think we will find comfort in ugliness.  But we don’t.  When we are afraid, we so desperately want someone to blame.  We need a scapegoat.  Who can we offer as a sacrifice for our troubles?  A foreigner?  The gays?  The poor?  The rich?  The left?  The right?  Businesses?  Activists?  The reality is that any scapegoat will do.  And yet…they won’t.  Which is why we keep coming up with more scapegoats.  Enough already though.  When will we see?  When will our eyes actually see that all scapegoats are the same?  When will we see that eventually we, ourselves, will become someone else’s scapegoat?  Enough!  Jesus has over come death and sin.  Jesus has put an end to the scapegoat system.  Enough!  Enough, all who claim to be followers of Jesus.  Stop looking for scapegoats.  Start looking for the Image of God.  Start loving your neighbor and your enemy.  Amen.

Prayer for April 10, 2020

Prayer for April 10, 2020: Please pray with me.  God who overcomes death, on this Good Friday, you showed the extent of your love for creation.  You are willing to go all the way to death and beyond.  Who else could possibly do that?  No one.  Why do we doubt your love for us?  Why do we question your ways when you go to such extremes?  Soften our hearts so that they may become sanctuaries for your Spirit.  Rip the curtain of our hearts open so that we may be embraced by you.  Put our guard down so that we may be enveloped by your love.  Help us to let go of the first sin of creation – our desire to be you, to be in control.  Radically reorient us towards you.  Cause a revolution in our hearts and minds – to throw off the ways of sin and death – and instead raise the flag of the Kingdom of God.  On this Good Friday, let us truly understand how Good this day is because of what you have done, what you are doing, and what you will do in our lives, in our congregations, and in your world.  Amen.