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 May 16: Please pray with me. Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe. We offer up our worship to you. And we recognize that not all worship you. There are many who worship the Empire and Caesar instead. They worship the power and might of the Empire and the strength of their Caesar. But this is not new – Empire and Caesar are old religions that you have faced throughout time, Holy One. We know where Empire and Caesar leads – to death and destruction. But you lead us ultimately to life – renewed life, transformed life, resurrected life. You call on us to die to self and all the things of this world – to die to the worship of Empire and Caesar. Radically reorient us towards you, so that we may know how you embrace us, O God of Love. You are God, we are not. Guide our paths and lead us to you. Amen.
Prayer for May 15: Please pray with me. Holy One, today we pray about control. We lie to ourselves in believing that we are in control of our lives – that we are the arbiters of what will happen to us and when. This is ridiculous. All we need to do is look around us and see how little control we have over our lives. But we fear not being in control Lord. We are afraid of not knowing what will happen. We are afraid and so we turn to things that off us a false sense of security, control, and knowing. Forgive us for turning to these things instead of you. Turn us towards you Lord – radically reorienting us to you – so that we can hear your message for us. A message that tells us that we are not alone. A message that says we don’t have to figure it out by ourselves. A message that says that we are loved in immeasurable way. Amen.
Prayer for May 8: Please pray with me. God of Truth, today we lift up all who believe that salvation comes through their right thinking – that they must have “the” correct beliefs in order to be saved. Often this becomes a quest in which we mistake ourselves and our intellect as our own salvation. You call us to come and follow you – as we are. You call on us to follow you and in the process we are changed by you. This is what faith does – it changes us, transforms us. It moves us from what was dead to new life. In faith, we move from just wanting to claim the label as your follower to actually living it out. Move us away from fighting about faith to living it out as you call each one of us. Amen.
Prayer for April 27: Please pray with me. God who speaks to us, open our ears and our hearts to hear your word. Let it work within in and through us. Let it flow through our veins and transform us. Let us hear your word not in a way that we necessarily want – a way that only provides comfort for our preconceived notions. But rather open us to hear your word in ways that would move us to be in alignment with your will – that would call on our allegiance to you. Amen.
Prayer for April 10: Please pray with me. God of silence, all too often we are busy and distracted. We can’t hear you when you speak to us. Be with us now as we take a moment to stop and listen. Help us to turn our minds off for a moment – to stop the constant activity and noise. Help us to just be and to just listen for you. 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 14: Please pray with me. God of the process, we recognize that you are God who values the way, not just the end. The early Christians were known as followers of the Way. Jews have always been followers of the Law handed down by you Lord. The way matters. The means matter. Yet, so many of your followers turn a blind eye on this and demand cheap grace. Just because you give grace freely doesn’t mean we can abuse that gift, we can throw it around, that we can waste it. Rather, there is a responsibility to live out the grace that is given to us. Just because you give out forgiveness freely, doesn’t mean we get a get-out-of-jail free card and can abuse that. We aren’t called to enable abuse of forgiveness, but rather to live it. Just because you are love and love us freely, doesn’t me we are free to abuse that love. You give us grace, forgiveness, and love so that we might be empowered and strengthen to go and give grace, forgiveness, and love to others and in so doing, to participate in the unfolding of your kingdom so that people may encounter you and have their lives changed. That’s what it’s all about ultimately – people’s lives changing because they encounter you. Amen.
Prayer for February 21: please pray with me. God of time, we seek you out. There are many who read your Word and are besieged by fear. They see you as wrathful and desiring destruction. We are oriented towards death and destruction because of sin. But this is not the whole story – not even close. You promise to renew and restore at the culmination of time, not to destroy. You promise to transform and offer us hope because you are a God of life. Help us to accept this promise. And to live into it as well. Amen.