Prayer for December 13: Please pray with me. Holy One, you have to be laughing. You just have to. You have to be laughing at our ridiculous attempts to control things around us – to impose rules on those around us and control people. You have to be laughing at our self-importance. You have to be face palming our attempts to figure out how to govern ourselves. You have to be sighing at how we place so much importance in our elections – as if our very salvation depended on it. Oh how foolish of us to make elections so very important. How did we get to this point that we have made elections into life or death situations? How did we get to the point that our identity as your children is willingly replaced with identity to political party? Why are we willing to trade in our identity as your children for a tool used to obtain worldly power? Is it worth it? Hardly. But then, what can you expect from sinful, broken people Lord. We will keep getting it wrong Lord. We’ll keep equating your will with some election result here or there – fooling ourselves into believing that we are somehow special in history or as a people. We’ll fool ourselves into believing that you have chosen our nation as something unique and that you offer us some kind of special blessing. We’ll fool ourselves into believing that your will matches the agenda of one political party or the other and that your will is an extension of our nation’s greatness – greatness defined in terms of power and might rather than love. We’ll keep doing this Lord. And you’ll keep being patient. You’ll keep forgiving us. You’ll keep loving us. And some of us will stand in awe and wonder of you and your persistence to encounter us and change our lives. Thank you for your persistence Holy One. Amen.
Prayer for December 7: Please pray with me. Holy God, today we pray for peace. Peace is a difficult thing for humanity – we don’t seem to get it. Peace doesn’t come through poking and provoking – no matter how hard we poke and prod. Peace doesn’t come through demands and insults – no matter how forcefully we yell. Peace doesn’t come through ego and hubris – no matter how far we puff out our chest. And peace doesn’t come through wiping out an enemy and scaring one’s enemies away through military weaponry. Peace comes through vulnerability, humility, openness, and accompanyment. Peace comes through a recognition of the humanity of those that differ from us. Peace comes in each decision we make to see what we hold in common rather than to see who is right and who is wrong. Forgive us when we make decisions that diminish peace. As St. Francis of Assisi once prayed, make us instruments of your peace. Peace isn’t a destination Lord, but rather a way of living and being. Amen.
Prayer for October 4: Please pray with me. God of the universe, you have to be laughing. You have got to be laughing at humanity and our ridiculous attempts to control things here on earth. That works out so well so often doesn’t it? Lord help us, for our own sake. Strip us of our egos that make us think we know all the answers. Open our hearts to recognize that the game of politics and partisanship is something in which no one wins in the end. Instead, radically reorient us to a different way of living and being Lord. A way of life in which we care for our neighbors, regardless of who they are. A way of life in which we care for creation, so that it will be around for future generations. A way of life in which we empower people rather than enslave them or make them dependent on our political systems that seek to consolidate power for its own sake. Help us to see and know how ridiculous our power struggles are, and how dangerous and damaging they are to people. Amen.
Prayer for September 1: Please pray with me. God who is the Word, we pray that we would hear your word for what it is. We pray that we would not try to twist it to make it into something that it is not. Open our ears to hear the Law and Gospel that is present. Open our ears also to hear when the Bible is used as a tool to divide and condemn. Give us legs to run far away from this. Open our hearts to hear your word and take it in and in so doing, change who we are. Amen.
Prayer for July 27: Please pray with me. God of creation, you call on us to be stewards of your creation – to care for it. Help us to see that creation is yours. Help us to learn ways to care for creation and to see that this is reasonable. Open our eyes to see that in caring for your creation, we aren’t being extremists trying to get some kind of partisan political points, but instead, we are actually participating in the unfolding of the kingdom of God. In Revelation 21 we hear how you will come down to earth to dwell with us here and renew and restore creation. You love your creation. Help us to be good stewards, not because it drives some kind of agenda, but instead because we aren’t escaping this place – you aren’t whisking us away and then destroying the earth. Instead, you are restoring it and us too. Let us participate in that restoration. Amen.
Prayer for June 30: Please pray with me. God of the nations, today we pray to you – the true God. Help us to see that you are God, and that all human-made things are not. Help us to see that often you and your will differ from our nations and cultures, our leaders and politicians, our interactions and designations of friend and foe – and you have been far different from all of these things for many generations. You aren’t a god of one party or the other, of this nation or that one, but as you tell us in Galatians 3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, not is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Amen.
Prayer for April 28: Please pray with me. God of the nations, today we pray for peace. Help leaders to recognize that peace isn’t a destination – something to be obtained if the circumstances work out that way. No, instead, help leaders and their people, to see that peace is a way of life, decision. It is not an easy decision, nor any easy road to follow. There will be plenty opportunities to put peace aside in favor of violence, war, division, revenge, and judgement. Yet, help us to set those easy paths aside. They all lead to the same result – death. Give us the courage to choose peace. Give leaders wisdom to choose peace for their people. Radically reorient those who choose a more violent path so that swords may be beaten into ploughshares. Amen.