Prayer for April 19: Please pray with me. God of the hopeless, give hope abundantly. We have a world of hopelessness – to the point that people have given up. Yet you call on us to be in community and in relationship. You remind us that we are not alone. You walk with us. Be with those who feel alone and lonely. You call on us to help and to be helped, not just to provide material resources to people. The material is important, but there is more. Take us to a deeper level to grasp what you seek in us. Amen.
Prayer for April 18: Please pray with me. God of grace, you come to us in odd ways and through means that we would never choose. You show up in ways that shock us. But I’m not sure why. You’ve been showing up in these ways for many centuries. You show up through your word, through prophets, through messengers, and for Christians, we believe that you took on flesh in your son and showed up in the most unlikely of ways. You are a God that shows up. If only we would do the same. Send us out to show up – to show up where the homeless are. To show up to feed the hungry. To show up where the lonely are. To show up to visit the prisoners. To show up where people are being trafficked. To show up where your Good News needs to be heard. Let us stop just taking the label of follower of you and instead transform us in to follower of you with our actions. 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 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 29: Please pray with me. God who feeds us, come and nourish us. Just as you fed the Israelites in the desert as they wandered for 40 years, feed us. Just as Christ ate with his disciples at the Last Supper and taught them how to serve, feed us. Feed us with your love, hope, grace, forgiveness, and mercy. Let these things nourish our very being and strengthen us to go out to share these with others who hunger for you. When you encounter us, you change us in ways we cannot imagine. Help us to share those encounters with others. There are so many who are empty. Use us to fill them with your goodness. Amen.
Prayer for March 28: Please pray with me. Holy one who makes time itself holy, be with us this week. We pray for Christians around the world as they inch closer to their holiest time of the year. We pray that you would make Christians uncomfortable and inconvenienced by injustices that exist in our midst – enough to respond out of our call from God. We pray for Jews around the world as they move ever closer to the Passover celebration – the reminder of how God acts in mysterious and decisive ways. Remind us that you are still acting in our lives and our world. Amen.
Prayer for March 20: Please pray with me. Holy one, you show up in places we least expect from one who is so almighty. Humanity expects God to show up in the cleanest and holiest of places. Many expects God to show up in strength ready to vanquish the enemy. Many expect God to be just like a mighty general at the helm of an army of angels. But you show up in ways humanity doesn’t understand. You show up where the homeless rest for the night and in soup kitchens where the hungry are fed. You show up in hospitals and in hospice care. You show up at funerals. You show up in times of trauma. You show up in the midst of division and strife. You show up in the bars and clubs where there is hopelessness. You show up in the darkest places of this world. You show up there because you love the world so much that you are the only light that can penetrate these dark places. It is only your light that can bring hope to the hopeless. It is your light of forgiveness and grace that shines brightly in a darkness of judgements and loss. You show up and your light shines. Shine into our lives and let us reflect that light to those around us. Amen.