Prayer for October 17: Please pray with me. God who governs the nations, we lift up leaders of nations. We lift up leaders of religious institutions as well. Give them wisdom. Give them the courage to follow your ways Lord. Give them hearts and minds that are oriented towards mercy, forgiveness, and peace. Let these leaders be examples of what it means to follow you. Let them see and hear what it means to follow you from the people they represent and govern and lead. Amen.
Prayer for October 16: Please pray with me. God who is the all in all, wow. You play for keeps Lord. You aren’t interested in luke warm followers – fair weather followers. I can only imagine how insulting that would be. You offer us so much – grace, mercy, love, forgiveness, peace. All of these things. We don’t earn them or deserve them, yet you give them to us. Yet, how often do we make demands on you, or else? Oy. Wake us up Lord. Let us see that this type of attitude wouldn’t work with our most important relationships, so why do we think we can do this with you? Help us to let go. Help us to follow you. Amen.
Prayer for October 15: Please pray with me. God of all, today we lift up our opponents, our enemies, those that bug and annoy us, those we dislike, those we hate, those that don’t want to be around, those that we have difficulty offering love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. We may even willingly withhold these things from others because of our disdain for them. This is not easy Lord. There are many reasons we have for our dislike of our opponents and enemies. If only you told us that it was ok to offer these things only after they did these things to and for us first. But you don’t. Following you isn’t about waiting for someone else to love first. It’s pushing us out of our comfort zones to love, especially when the other doesn’t deserve it and didn’t earn it. This is not pleasant. But…But…But…We have excuse after excuse why our opponents and enemies should go first. Yet, if that is the case, we will all be waiting forever. Who will make the first move – and possibly get burned by such an act of compassion? You call on us to take the risk – to risk offering love, mercy, forgiveness. You call on us to risk it all – even our very lives – to follow you and to live out what you teach us. This is not easy Lord. When we fail, be patient with us. Set us back to this difficult journey tomorrow, and the next day – trying again. Amen.
Prayer for October 12: Please pray with me. God of all, you are the unchangeable change. So many people don’t like change Lord. Others thrive in it. Often those that want to maintain the status quo and those that desire change do not see eye to eye. The first group sees the second group as destructive. And the second group sees the first group as destructive too. Yet, they fail to see how they themselves are seen by others. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear what you call us to be and do. Give us hearts of compassion to see others with grace. Help us to know that living things change. Help us to also know that we can learn from the past. Amen.
Prayer for October 11: Please pray with me. God who makes us uncomfortable, what do we say? We love our comfort Lord. We want our comfort. We want to be spectators, not doers of your word. We want someone else to get their hands dirty God. We want to be comfortable followers – we can follow when it won’t take us out of our comfort zones. We say things like we want to follow, but it’s inconvenient. We want to follow, but it’s uncomfortable. We want to follow, but it puts in contact with people we don’t want to be in contact with. We want to follow, but…Thankfully, you don’t say the same things about loving us. Thank you. Amen.
Prayer for October 10: Please pray with me. God of life, open our eyes, our ears, and our heart to hear your word and to live it. When you hear people say the ends justify the means, I can imagine that you shake your head in disgust. You are a God of the means, not just the ends. You care very much about the means. This is why you gave us the Torah, the Commandments, and you sent prophets. It is why Christians worship Jesus who told parable after parable about the means – the way of life and living. The means matter. To just focus on the ends is missing so much. It is destructive too – skirting our responsibilities and the gifts you give us. Rejecting your call for stewardship of the earth. Rejecting relationships. When we embrace the ideology of the ends justifying the means, we are pushing you away. We are rejecting you. Lord have mercy. Turn us from this sinful belief. You are a God who calls us to use the means available to us to help the poor, the widow, the orphan, and more. How ridiculous for us to think that you don’t care about the means – the way we live. Forgive us and turn us from this sinful belief. Amen.
Prayer for October 9: Please pray with me. God of the afflicted, through your prophet Amos, you tell us that you love good and have evil. You come to the defense of the outcast, you raise up the poor, you defend the needy, you comfort the afflicted. There are many in our world who fall into these categories, just as there were during Amos’ prophecy. You call on us to establish justice. How do we do that Lord, especially when you tell us that the time is evil? But tell us, has there been a time after sin entered the world that hasn’t been evil? You know the transgressions and the sins of those who trample on the poor, those that afflict the righteous, and are corrupt – you tell us this through your prophet Amos. We raise up our hands and our voices to you. Come. Establish justice. Amen.