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.
Prayer for March 19: Please pray with me. God of peace, today we life up the peacemakers of this world. Those that strive to create an environment where peace will take hold. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said Blessed are the peacemakers. He didn’t say blessed is peace. Rather, he recognized that peace is not a destination, but rather a process and a way of life. Help us to stop praying for peace and to instead to have the courage and strength to be peacemakers. We pray that our leaders would see the wisdom of moving towards peace as well. It is only in making peace that a society can benefit from trust and can move towards prosperity for all members of the society – especially the least and the lost. Let policy makers and leaders realize that being a peacemaker isn’t only just related to international policy and military action – it relates to the policies we create and how they impact those that are outcast within our own society. Compel us to be peacemakers. Amen.