Prayer for June 27: Please pray with me. God of the cross, you call us to pick up our cross and follow you. Open our ears to hear how radical that call is. It’s not about bearing a burden or hardship. It’s not a first world problem either. It’s picking up the instrument that could kill us – all for your sake. To live in a Christ-like manner where we love our enemies and offer grace to those we disagree with – even bitterly. To live differently than what our culture clamors for – being right at all costs and trampling those in the way. Help up to have the courage to die to self, to die to culture, and to live the way you call us to live, so that more can experience true life. Amen.
Prayer for March 31: Please pray with me. God of all, today we pray for all people. We hear in Amos that you are the God of all, even those that many thought were their enemies. All peoples are yours Lord. You created them all. Forgive us when we separate people into those who are “in” and those who are “out.” Your ways are not our ways, and your thoughts are not our thoughts. Thank you. Amen.
Prayer for February 21: Please pray with me. God of grace, we learn that grace is not getting what we deserve, but rather, getting what we don’t deserve – your love, mercy, and forgiveness. Because you give us these things, turn us to go and love, to show mercy, and to offer forgiveness to all, even our enemies. Amen.
Prayer for February 6: Please pray with me. Word Incarnate, you are the Word of God who became flesh. We have a tendency to use words in ways we shouldn’t. Too often we use words to harm, hurt, divide, instill fear, and to control others. Turn us from these practices to you. Instill in us the wisdom to use words to bring healing, reconciliation, blessing, and peace. Amen.
Prayer for January 12: Please pray with me. Holy God, communication can be a blessing or a curse. So often we use the tongue and our fingers in ways we are not proud of. Too often because we are not face-to-face we think we can speak or type in an unfiltered way as if being rude, name calling, attacking, shaming, and unprofessional online will not hurt anyone. The reality is that it hurts all who are exposed to it and beyond. It hurts the receiver who has been directly attacked. It hurts others who read the words and respond with a range of emotions. It hurts others who are exposed to such anger, arrogance, and wrath in indirect way. It hurts the one who speaks and types too – judgement befalls them from their own hand and mouth. Change our hearts Lord – away from concern for being right to concern for the other person’s well being. This doesn’t mean we will agree on topics or issues. We’re asking not for conformity, but humanity in dealing with each other. Remind us Christians that the mouth and hands that speak and type words of anger and wrath on keyboards are also the same mouth and hands that receive your body and blood. Soften our words and make our hands embracing hands, not fists of fury. Amen.
Prayer for January 10: Please pray with me. Patient God, today we pray for our enemies, our opponents, those who annoy the crap out of us, those that we don’t like or trust. We really don’t want to pray for them Lord. We’d rather call them names, fight them, dehumanize them, shame them and so much more. Yet, you call on us to pray for our enemies. This is not easy – in fact, it sucks. But then again, following you was never meant to be easy. We pray that all those opposed to us would have a change of heart. And more importantly Lord, we pray for ourselves – change our hearts towards our enemies and opponents. Silence us before we respond in anger. Hold us back before we respond with violence. Stop us before we type our of frustration. Close our mouths before we say something we will regret. There are frustrating people in the world Lord. Help us to see when we are frustrating someone else so that we might instead offer mercy, forgiveness, patience, and if need be, make us walk away to give space to others. Amen.
Prayer for January 2: Please pray with me. As we continue in this Christmas season, we pray that you would bless us in this New Year in only the way that you can – in ways we cannot expect and may not even ask for. Bless us with your presence in our lives. Bless us and make us instruments of your peace – to be peacemakers in places and with people who desperately need peace. Bless us so that we can bless others with attention, with love, with forgiveness, with mercy. Continue to transform us so that we can transform 2017. Move us to move the year in the direction of the unfolding of your kingdom throughout the entire world. Amen.