Prayer for July 25: Please pray with me. God who is special and unique, we come to you and ask that you open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts to your special way of life and living. All the human-made ideologies, idols, and false gods are not special in any way. Humanity uses them as validation for the violent nature that we possess – validation for war, control, violence, dehumanization, demean people, and more. These things are not from you. Far from it. You are a God of life, who brings life – even bringing life from that which was dead. Your way is special. Give us the strength to walk in your ways and along your paths. Amen.
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 17: Please pray with me. God who is love, today we pray for those who believe in violence. Those believe that violence is an acceptable way to solve problems, to get what they want – whether that violence is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual in nature. We pray for those that do violence to others. We lift them to you Lord. We also pray for the victims of violence. Sooth them, comfort them. Right the wrong that was done to them, O God of Justice. And let violence cease. It has outlived it’s usefulness. Let it die, never to return. Never in our actions towards others or the rest of your creation. Never in our relationships. Never in our words. Never. Amen.
Prayer for May 1: Please pray with me. God of light, today we ask that your light shine bright in our world. Evil exists among us – it has reared its head in our midst throughout history. It leaves its mark, death. It seeks to drain hope, to cause strife, to bring judgement, to spread wrath, and cause fear. It shows up in many places. And it can be overbearing to many. There are many who are living in this darkness Lord. Yet, the darkness cannot overcome the light – your light. When your light shines on darkness, the darkness is vanquished. It’s not a fight between dark and light – the darkness just can’t exist where there is light. Shine your light in the world. We know that you see to instill hope, to bring forgiveness, to offer mercy, to show love, and to calm the anxiety that exists. You show up in many ways and places and times. You come to us. You shine your light into our lives. And you invite us, and call us, and send us our to be your light in the world. Give us the courage to be light in the darkness around us. Amen.
Prayer for February 8: Please pray with me. God who is our all in all, today we lift up those who face insurmountable odds. We lift up those who will not compromise their faith in the face of tyrants, wherever they may be. We lift up those whose loyalty remains with you. In the Hebrew Bible you gave us the example of Daniel – a faithful servant of you. So faithful that he was willing to die rather than deny you. We pray for those who are persecuted and face death for the faith that you give them. Walk with them as you were with Daniel in the lion’s den. Amen.
Prayer for December 18: Please pray with me. God of the oppressed, yesterday we read from the prophet Isaiah that you bring good news to the oppressed, that you bind up the brokenhearted, that you proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners. Lord, there are a group of people who desperately need this – those that suffer from domestic violence and abuse. They feel like prisoners in their own homes, captives at the mercy of mad people, brokenhearted because of the violence caused to them by ones they supposedly love, oppressed and out of control. Walk with them and accompany them. More than that – free them from their captivity and imprisonment in pain and suffering. Move within us to do something, anything, when we come across people who are abused. Keep our eyes open and don’t allow us to turn away – let us be a channel of communication with the abused to know that they are cared for and are not alone. Change the hearts of those that would abuse someone else. Open their eyes to seeing that their lives will not improve by trying to control someone else – they will only bring misery and pain to others and eventually to themselves. If their hearts remain cold and frozen, move them – move them physically away from their victims so they can’t cause more harm. Open the doors of their homes and let them leave. Free them from their own captivity to violence, anger, shame, addiction, wrath, and being lost. Amen.
Prayer for November 13: Please pray with me. Holy One, today we lift up those who have suffered from violence against them. We especially pray for victims of sexual violence and abuse, manipulation, and from threats of violence. Give them the healing they need Lord – not just of their body, but rather, the whole person. We also lift up those who would harm others sexually. They are in your hands Lord. Amen.
Prayer for November 2: Please pray with me. God of sinners, today we pray that you would radically reorient us away from the broken relationship of sin. Oh how we love to scapegoat and lay blame on others. Oh how it makes us feel clean. Yet, we are not Holy God. Clear the dirt from our eyes to see that laying blame on others doesn’t make us clean, but it just spreads the dirt around. We want to lay blame when something bad happens. We want someone to pay the price. We want an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. We want to make it appear like we are righteous and innocent. But what would happen if we looked at our selves? What would we see? What if we looked at our culture? What would we see? Would we like it? Help us to stop enabling our culture to promote violence against others. Help us to stop enabling ourselves to prop up a culture that makes excuses for violence and makes scapegoats – both foreign and domestic. Amen.
Prayer for October 11: Please pray with me. God who keeps on surprising us, help us today to see the world and all peoples in the way you see people. Just for a glimpse. I imagine it would be so shocking, as to blow our mind away. Where we see differences and divisions, anger and hatred, ideologies and beliefs – I can only imagine how you see people. I’m willing to bet that the only words that come close would be “Child of God.” Open our eyes to see others, all people, including our enemies, as a Child of God. And in so seeing others this way, soften our hearts to treat others as is they are children of God – regardless of the cost. Amen.
Prayer for October 3: Please pray with me. Suffering God, we cry out to you. We plead with you. We area desperate to make the insanity, random violence, and death to end. We pray for the families of victims who suffer violence and death. We pray for the perpetrators and their families as well. We don’t understand Lord. Yet, understanding isn’t our calling. You call us to be your disciples and to be light in the midst of darkness. You call on us to see the reality of death in our midst, but to proclaim that death does not have the final say – You oh Holy God do. You are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. You call on us to live in the midst of suffering and pain and death. You call on us to stop trying to distract ourselves from these things because they are unpleasant and uncomfortable. Rather, you call on us to walk with people who experience these things so that another truth and reality may show forth – the reality of the a self-emptied Savior who does not abandon us, who goes with us in the midst of the crap of life and death, and who promises resurrection. We pin our hopes on this promise. Let this promise permeate our lives in how we act, what we do, what we say and type. Let it permeate us in such a way that it shows to others that you, Oh God, change lives in incredible ways. Amen.