Prayer for July 17: Please pray with me. God of grace, we lift up the world to you. All around it seems as though the world is in an uproar, filled with anger and fear, tossed about with anxiety, drowning in hopelessness. It is easy to be consumed by this – it batters us from the beginning of the day to the end. I smacks through our devices and our screens. It comes through our conversations and information. It storms us and our feelings until the unease becomes the norm. But it is not normal Lord. These are difficult times. Give us the faith we need for these times. A faith that gives us courage to follow you and your ways regardless of the cost. Remind us that we are not alone and that you will not abandon us. You don’t promise safety and security Lord. Instead you make a promise and you keep your promises. Amen.
Prayer for June 20: Please pray with me. God of uncertainty, we float about in the storms of life. We desperately want security, safety, and to be in control. We think that is the highest value in life. But it is not. You don’t call us to safety, security, and control. You call us to something far different – risk, welcome, uncertainty. The prophets knew this well – this is why they tried to run from you. They knew that what you called them to was a calling of risk and uncertainty – a message of invitation. A radical message that many reject in favor of control over their own lives and the lives of others. Yet, you gave them faith to carry forward – to proclaim your radical message for the people to hear. And you did not abandon them. Give us the faith to live risky lives for the Gospel. To be uncomfortable and inconvenienced. To acknowledge how scared we are and to seek you – to know that we will not be alone or forgotten. Amen.
Prayer for March 1: Please pray with me. God of truth, you are the one with truth. And the truth is that fear is often false. Why do we embrace and cling to fear? Does it feel normal to us? Help us to let go of the fears we have and to hand them over to you. Open our eyes to seeing “leaders” who use fear as a currency to power. And help us to face our fears and see them for what they are. Amen.
Prayer for January 4: Please pray with me. God who makes disciples, we are called to follow. Boy, is that a scary proposition. “But God, I want to be in control!” “But God, I know what’s best for me!” “But God, what do you know about what’s best for me?” “But God…” Yet, the amazing thing is that you stick with us. You keep calling us. You refuse to quit. Why have you chosen us – weak, fragile creatures prone to listen to the ego. Yet you do as you have throughout the ages. Long ago, you called Abram to leave his home and his kindred. You called him to go to a “land that I will show you.” You call on us to leave what is familiar to go to a “land that I will show you.” Give us the courage to follow. Give us the weakness to stop fighting you. Give us the strength for the journey ahead. Give us ears that hear and eyes that see. Give us faith that can respond in trust to your call. Amen.
Prayer for January 3: Please pray with me. Patient God, when will we learn? How many times will we mess this up? We claim to be your followers, yet we swear our allegiance to so many other things and put these things before you. We claim that you are our God, yet so often we follow the wishes of idols. We claim that you are the who forms our beliefs, yet so often our set of beliefs are nothing more than platform statements of the political party we swear allegiance to. Yet, all these things will pass and fade with time. They will be forgotten to history. And then what? What will remain? Only you. How patient you are Eternal One. How patient you are with us. Radically reorient us to follow your Word and ways of life. To embrace forgiveness, peace, love, grace, and joy. Embody these things within us and make us so uncomfortable that we actually change. Sometimes our comfortable lives and ways lead us to our downfall. Raise us up in uncomfortableness God. Amen.
Prayer for October 25: Please pray with me. God of faith, today we ask for faith. Help us to respond to your gift of faith in trust. But please Lord, help us to see that you aren’t an insecure God who demands blind faith without any questions or doubts. Open our hearts to ask questions about you God. Open our ears to hear answers and “I don’t know.” Not knowing is not a bad thing – it’s ok. If we knew everything there was to know about you God, then there would be no need for faith. Give us living faith. Amen.
Prayer for August 16: Please pray with me. God of forgiveness, today we pray a really difficult prayer – a prayer we’d rather not pray. There seems to be a lot of these prayers lately Lord. Today, we pray for white supremacists. Yes, those people. The people we would rather shout and curse at. The people we’d rather slap up side the head to knock some sense into. The people we have great difficulty loving or showing any kind of love towards. Yet, somehow they are a part of your creation too. We don’t understand them Lord. In a sense, we don’t want to. We just want the craziness to stop, the racism to end, the violence to cease. St. Silouan once said that the man who cries out against evil men but refuses to pray for them will never know the grace of God. That’s not easy Lord. Yet, here are. We are praying for these people. We pray an imperfect prayer, a prayer that feels so odd and where our words are carefully crafted and yet uncertain at the same time. Ultimately our prayer can only be this – we place these people in your hands Lord. Give us the courage and strength to confront evil when we see and hear it. But help us to confront it in a way that brings life to people and creation – not destruction. Help us to show an alternative so that we don’t adopt the same techniques and strategies as those who proclaim a gospel of hate and fear. Soften their hard hearts. Open our hearts and teach us to show love for those we find unlovable. Touch our imaginations so we can see how we are to love these people and in so doing unleash love’s power to change lives – even those lives that seem unchangeable. Help our unbelief that these people could never change. Change their hearts and minds as only you can Lord. We want a miracle. We need a miracle. We ask for a miracle. We are desperate for a miracle. Help us to believe that it is not only possible, but that it is unfolding right before our eyes and in our hearts. And in so doing, dare we say it, make us an instrument of your peace and the most unlikely of miracles. Amen.
Prayer for July 18: Please pray with me. Patient God, we have so much to pray for. We pray for all those who are insistent that they, and only they, are right – right about you, right about others, right about ideas, right about faith, right about creation, right about policy, right about so much. Being right has to be exhausting Lord. Give these souls rest from trying to save everyone else because of their “wrong” beliefs about any number of things. Remind us that you are our salvation and that saving others is your job – not ours. Help us to see that your ways are not our ways and that we don’t know better than you do in how to order the cosmos. Amen.
Prayer for March 27: Please pray with me. God who never gives up, today we pray for all those who have given up – given up on trying, given up on family, given up on a job, given up on hope, given up on relationships, given up life. Send your Spirit to all who have given up, sit with them in their despair, send us to be with those who have given up – not to convince them to keep plugging away or pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Rather, send us to be present, to listen, to offer a tender touch and a warm word, so that all who have given up know that they are not alone in the world, that they will not be alone, and they we will stay with them in their time of despair. Amen.
Prayer for February 27. Please pray with me. God who is very patient, grant us patience in the days ahead. So often we are anxious and distracted by news, work, politics, fighting, war, disaster, injustice, financial matters, addictions, and more. Empower us with your patience so that we can face the challenges in our life with a sense of peace. Amen.