Prayer for April 13: Please pray with me. Holy One, you are a God of the Word. You speak creation into existence. You speak words of forgiveness, mercy, peace, and grace. You embody these and speak them through us to those in desperate need of hearing them. There are so many false gospel narratives out there Lord. So many voices and proclamations of where to find salvation. So many turn to these distractions and idols for their salvation. Yet you are patient, calm, and persistent. It is a miracle your Gospel persists, yet it does. Why do we pursue these false gospels? Why do we think we can find salvation in anything outside of you? Why? Is it because we like to put ourselves in your place? Is it because we know deep down, that the faith you give us will make us so uncomfortable and inconvenienced that it will change our lives and we don’t want that? Is it because we prefer the status quo of our lives and fear the unknown of not being in control? Forgive us of these sins. Forgive us when we withhold our trust in you, even when you freely give us faith. Forgive us when we become an obstacle to the unfolding of your kingdom. 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 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 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 March 13: Please pray with me. God of life, today we pray for those who are in the depths of death and hopelessness. It’s easy to fall into this Lord – we are bombarded with false gospel messages that proclaim death as victorious. Yet, you offer an alternative – a promise of hope and life. A promise of forgiveness and transformation. A promise that gives, rather than takes. A promise that differs from what the world offers and demands. The world proclaims that only the strong survive and you proclaim your preference for the poor and outcast. The world proclaims a gospel that demands allegiance to the god of war, but you proclaim a Gospel of peace. The world proclaims a gospel of us versus them, but you proclaim a Gospel that says that there is no them, that we are all yours. It’s time for the false messages of this world to die and be forgotten – they are worthless. Strengthen us to proclaim your Gospel to all around – to proclaim this message in our words, in our actions, in our relationships, in our social media posts, in our conversations. Amen.
Prayer for March 9: Please pray with me. God of creation, today we lift up those battling addiction. Addictions are dangerous and destructive Lord. You know this. Be with all who face addictions – to triumph over them one day at a time. And for those who fall over and over again. Let your love shine through their life so they know they are not alone. Guide their steps and kick their butts too. You love people so much that you are willing to make people uncomfortable so that they will get the help they need. Help us to do the same with those struggling with addictions. Tough love is not easy for so many people – we’d rather take away the pain. But sometimes the pain and uncomfortableness are exactly what is needed in order for there to be a change in attitude, habit, and behavior. Strengthen us to be the thorn in the side of a loved one who is struggling with addiction. And in the process, let our actions and words be tempered by love, just as you love us. Amen.
Prayer for March 6: Please pray with me. God of resurrection, we are eternally grateful for your promise of resurrection. When we are honest, we willingly admit that we would rather not have to go through death in order to experience resurrection. But without death, we can’t ever truly appreciate resurrection. We can’t know how radical it is. We can’t really understand how transformative it is. It just becomes a nice idea that sounds great. Move it from just a head knowledge to what we experience in our lives. Amen.