Prayer for August 8: Please pray with me. God of faithfulness, today we come to you to seek wisdom. Your ways are not our ways. Often we look outward shows of strength and might. We long to follow leaders who can destroy enemies. We want leaders who live by the ends justifying the means. We believe that the strong survive. This is the mantra of humanity throughout history. Yet, it has led to war, violence, death, and destruction. Why do we keep repeating the same mistakes? Why do we ignore your ways? Turn us towards you Lord and your ways. Save us from ourselves. Amen.
Prayer for July 6: Please pray with me. Holy One that we follow, lead us. These are difficult times. Very difficult times, but they are not something new. Humanity has struggled with these things many times before. We have had leaders who have are lacking. We have made arguments that dehumanize. We have carried out policies that devalue and separate and pit people against one another. This isn’t new. It is humanity’s story, over and over again. Come to us yet again Lord, as you promise to do. Guide your followers in the way of peace, mercy, grace, forgiveness, love. Guide our words and actions in ways that participate in the unfolding of your kingdom, not the expansion of the empire that is based on anger and fear. An empire that seeks to separate and divide. Lead us Holy God. Open our ears to hear, clear our eyes to see, cleanse our hearts to love. Give us wisdom. Help us to invite people into the kingdom and to wipe the dust from our feet of those insistent on expanding the empire. We pray for them. We will continue to love them in spite of their fear and anger of us. We will continue to prayer for them in spite of their desire to do things a different way. We will continue to live the way of peace in spite of their calls for violence and arms and war. We will continue to forgive them in spite of their blame and scapegoating. This is what it means to follow you. Give us the strength to follow you, without exception. Amen.
Prayer for July 3: Please pray with me. King of Kings, Lord of Lords, we pray to you. You are the Holy One, there are no others. Forgive us when we claim that others are Lord and you are not. Forgive us when we follow those who would lord over others. Forgive us when we willingly follow earthly kings who oppress those that you favor. Forgive us when we sit idly by as some of your children are dehumanized and devalued. Rouse us from our comfort, inconvenience us in such a way that when we claim to follow you then we act on that claim. That we carry out what it means to follow you. That we act and speak in love and with mercy. That we stand up and in the face of evil and live differently. Amen.
Prayer for June 28: Please pray with me. God of refuge, today we pray for all those who are in need of safety. We pray for the outcast, the outsider, the asylum seeker, children, all those who are different or considered different from the masses. We also pray for those who oppress, ridicule, harass, intimidate, and over power these ones. Let fear subside and be put aside. Let your love shine forth. Let the burning within us be burning of your Spirit, not of hatred, anger, and fear. Amen.
Prayer for May 18: Please pray with me. God of the nations, we lift up all people. They are your creation – your children. Who are we that we think we get to decide who has value and who does not? We are made in your image Lord – because of that, everyone has value and worth. Even the people that go against you. Even the people who commit crimes and do terrible things. It doesn’t seem fair. They act like animals, should they not be treated like animals. Yet, your answer is a resounding no. People are not animals – they are people. Amen.
Prayer for April 26: Please pray with me. God of outsiders, we ask that you come to the aid of those who are outcasts in our midst. Be their defender. And push us to advocate for the outsider in our midst. Move us with compassion, recognizing that we were once outcasts too – we were either too young, too old, too tall, too short, too this, too that. All of these things are just ways to divide and separate people. And they all miss the most basic point – they are ridiculous. 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 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.
Prayer for April 4: Please pray with me. God of the Universe, you are the end all and be all of existence. You are the Alpha and the Omega. Forgive us when we put ourselves in your place. We aren’t you. But we need you. Touch our lives. Set our hearts burning with justice, peace, and love. Amen.
Prayer for April 3: Please pray with me. Eternal Word, you send your life saving and life-giving word out to the nations. You have spoken through prophets, saints, ancient fathers and mothers, holy men and women, the written word, and more. In the Gospel of Matthew you tell us that what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. Let the words that come out of our mouth bring you glory, offer words of forgiveness, peace, mercy, grace, and love. Let us speak truth with love and not use truth as a device to beat our opponents into submission. Let our thirst for being in control and being right be starved and die before it kills others’ humanity. Let our leaders speak words that lift up the people they represent. Let the words that they speak that create walls of separation and that demean people be silenced. And let us respond to such rotten fruit in a manner that builds up the kingdom of God and does not succumb to partaking in it. If we truly believe that your Word changes hearts, minds, and the world, then let us speak these words, believe them, and to trust that you your will is moving forward in spite of the apparent odds. Rotting fruit doesn’t last – only the fruit of your Word lasts. Amen.