Prayer for January 22: Please pray with me. Holy One, you cause us to raise many, many questions. We question and wonder about so many things. We question and wonder about people and their lives and their beliefs. Yet we think our lives and beliefs make perfect sense and that you agree with us. How foolish. We are flawed Lord. We can’t understand. We don’t understand others or how they come to conclusions. Yet, we have no trouble making someone an enemy or opponent when we don’t understand them. Turn us to see people differently – not as a puzzle to figure out or an opponent to defeat, but rather as a Child of God. That can be difficult though Lord – let’s not kid ourselves. That can be very difficult when some people are so disagreeable and temperamental. But remind us that we can’t control others. We can only learn from them. Help us to stop trying to force others to believe like we do or live our way. Help us to invite people to come and see what God is doing in our lives – how God forgives us and transforms us. This should be obviously evident though Lord – as long as we aren’t trying to fool ourselves or others. It should go through us and out of us and impact our relationship and interactions with those around us. Let your forgiveness and transformation not stop with us, but go through us to others. Amen.
Prayer for December 14: Please pray with me. God of word and language, today we pray that language would be used to build up the kingdom, not used as a weapon to dehumanize, divide, and destroy. Language can be a weapon that leads to destruction, or it can be a healing agent. When power and the pursuit of power mixes with language, the consequences are not pretty. All we need to do is look at the news, social media, and our leaders. Yet, we are not innocent in this either. How often have we used language against a neighbor, a stranger, a friend, a loved one. Change the words of our hearts Lord. Change them to reflect love, forgiveness, and care. Amen.
Prayer for December 8: Please pray with me. God of peace, we seem to be spending an awful lot of time praying for peace, but not seeing the result. Make us instruments of your peace Lord. Use us and move us to be peace in the midst of violence. Make us instruments of peace where we are called to be peace to those around us. Amen.
Prayer for December 5: Please pray with me. God of all – yes, even (or maybe especially) the hypocrite, today we ask for a special blessing. We are all hypocrites at our core Lord. That is because we are all broken and see the world through our own brokenness. We all see our way as the best way – the right way. Yet, we don’t give those opposed to us a pass – that maybe they have a better way of going about things. Forgive us in our judgements, our attacks on people, our character assassinations, our efforts to make our opponents into something less than human – into fools. How foolish of us Lord! Forgive us and in so doing, move us to forgive those around us. Change our hearts and in so doing send us out to change hearts around us. Open our eyes to see the humanity of our opponents and to realize that they come to their conclusions for very good reasons – not because they are interested in destroying the world. Thank you for your patience with us Lord – we are slow to learn, yet you are quick to forgive. It makes no sense, but we are eternally grateful for this irrational love that you are. Amen.
Prayer for October 24: Please pray with me. Eternal Word, we pray that you would speak words of mercy and understanding through each one of us. Speak words of forgiveness when we screw up. Speak words of compassion when there is confusion. Speak words of dignity when we feel we have had our humanity taken away from us. Speak words of reconciliation when we are caught in division. Amen.
Prayer for August 10: Please pray with me. Triune God, you are the very essence of community – three in one. You are a mystery that reveals yourself to us throughout history. In you we see what ideal community really is. Yet, how hard it is for us to live out community. So often our egos get in the way. Often our fears and worries and anxiety separates us from community. Far to often those in leadership and those that seek power raise anxiety levels and find ways to separate people rather than bring them together. Tear down the walls that divide us from our neighbors. Open the doors of our hearts to those that have been enemies. Remove the fences we place around ourselves that separate us from others. Take the blinders off of our eyes so that we can see that others around us – even those that are different from us because of skin color, nationality, language, economic level, educational level, and more – have value and are a valued part of our community. Together we fare far better than alone. Amen.
Prayer for July 24: Please pray with me. God of the unexpected, today we ask that you surprise us. Open our eyes to see and our ears to hear your Word anew. Help us to hear your word of grace and love for those around us – friend and foe. Help us to see the humanity of those around us. Remind us that our job is not to judge and force others to be like us and adopt our version of “right.” Instead our job is to respond to the grace and love you give us by being wheat in the midst of weeds – to live differently, to proactively live out the kingdom, to forgive, to love, to care, to be peacemakers. Amen