Prayer for April 11: Please pray with me. God of love, there are some people who we find really difficult to love Lord. I mean really difficult. We’d rather yell profanity at them. It certainly would feel better. But you call us to love even these people. This is not easy Lord. I mean seriously God – you mean I have to love the person I can’t stand?!? The person who drives me up a wall at even the mention of their name? Really? But wait, I wonder how many people think the same thing about us? For how many people are we the person they can’t stand? For how many people are we the one who drives someone else up the wall? For how many people are we the one the causes someone to scream profanities? Ouch. That hurts. Help us to love – especially those we don’t like. Help those that don’t like us to love us too. We need it Lord. Loving someone doesn’t mean we have to like them or like what they do. And sometimes it means that the best way to love someone is to avoid them all together so that we don’t do something that we might regret or something that would cause harm to another. Let us start with that if we must Lord. You know what we need God. Encounter us with your grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love so that we can share these things with others – especially those we don’t care for. Give us huge doses of these things – we need them. And we need to give huge doses away too. Amen.
Prayer for February 21: please pray with me. God of life, today we come to you and ask for grace. We need your grace Lord. So many are caught up in the false sense of us vs. them. So many find satisfaction in separating people. But there are no them if we are honest – there is only us. All of us. Open our eyes to see others as intimately connected to one another and to you. Empower us to see the world anew in the way you see it. Empower us to act on that vision. Make us uncomfortable enough to get started and squash our excuses for inaction. Amen.
Prayer for December 22: Please pray with me. God who comes to us over and over and over again, we are upon another holy season – approaching a day set aside as holy. Yet, do we really understand this? Can we possibly really understand what it means for you to take on flesh and dwell with us? How easily we distract ourselves from the mysterious through material things. We buy, we entertain, we sing songs, we decorate, we put on a happy face. Yet we are truly afraid to look at our interior lives and how broken we are. We are truly afraid to embrace the gift that you bring. Why? Are we afraid to let go of the idea of control over our lives? Are we afraid to look inward because of what we would find? Are we afraid of the gift that you bring because it means that our lives will change? As scary as it is, Lord, open our eyes, our hearts, and our minds to seeing the true gift of Christmas – a radical act by you for us. Something that we contribute nothing to. Something that changes the world. And us. Amen.
Prayer for December 8: Please pray with me. God of peace, we seem to be spending an awful lot of time praying for peace, but not seeing the result. Make us instruments of your peace Lord. Use us and move us to be peace in the midst of violence. Make us instruments of peace where we are called to be peace to those around us. Amen.
Prayer for December 5: Please pray with me. God of all – yes, even (or maybe especially) the hypocrite, today we ask for a special blessing. We are all hypocrites at our core Lord. That is because we are all broken and see the world through our own brokenness. We all see our way as the best way – the right way. Yet, we don’t give those opposed to us a pass – that maybe they have a better way of going about things. Forgive us in our judgements, our attacks on people, our character assassinations, our efforts to make our opponents into something less than human – into fools. How foolish of us Lord! Forgive us and in so doing, move us to forgive those around us. Change our hearts and in so doing send us out to change hearts around us. Open our eyes to see the humanity of our opponents and to realize that they come to their conclusions for very good reasons – not because they are interested in destroying the world. Thank you for your patience with us Lord – we are slow to learn, yet you are quick to forgive. It makes no sense, but we are eternally grateful for this irrational love that you are. Amen.
Prayer for November 30: Please pray with me. God of the outcasts and the outliers. God of the oppressed and violated. Today we lift up those who are victims of sexual crimes. Their very humanity has been violated in unimaginable ways. They suffer and cry to you oh Lord. Where is the justice? Yet, the truth shall come out. Walk with victims of these crimes. Give them the comfort they need. Give them the justice they deserve. Give them the restoration of their body. Give them peace to go forward. We place the perpetrators in your hands too Lord. Let your will be done. Amen.
Prayer for November 28: Please pray with me. Holy God, the one who we belong to, forgive us when we wrap our identity into anything other than you. Forgive our small mindedness, when we define who we are based on human made things that will not last. Forgive us when we swear our allegiance to things that divide and separate, rather than bring us closer together. Forgive us when we pursue trivial things that blind us from seeing the humanity of the other. Forgive us when being right becomes most important. Radically reorient us and send your Spirit, Lord. Take the blinders off our eyes that we put over them. Open and clear our eyes to see that our identity comes from you, and only you. Open our minds to know that it is in you alone that salvation resides. Amen.