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 August 14: Please pray with me. God who comes to us in the tumult of life, today we pray a prayer we’d rather not pray. As the events of the last couple of days in Charlottesville, VA settle down, we pray for for the family of the person who lost their life. Give them the strength they need to get through these difficult times. We pray for the counter protestors – to give a strong voice to the voiceless. We pray that those who counter extremists would be given wisdom and courage to respond in effective ways that shift the attention away from extremists and their message to a message of hope, love, and radical inclusiveness that you give us Lord. And finally we pray for those who are consumed by fear and hatred. We place them in your hands Lord because we just don’t understand how anyone can thrive with these beliefs. We place them in your hands Lord because we just don’t know who to reach people consumed by fear and hatred. We place them in your hands Lord because we just don’t know what to do with them. Guide our words towards those who see the world completely different. Guide our hearts in the tumult of life. Amen.
Prayer for May 31: Please pray with me. Holy God, we pray for an end to violence – senseless violence, domestic violence, relationship violence, religious violence, political violence, violence directed at individuals and groups because of skin color, sexual orientation, nationality, gender, age, physical ability, helplessness, and more. In place of violence, let your love flow. Amen.
Prayer for May 29: Please pray with me. God who mourns, today in the US is Memorial Day – a day when we remember the sacrifice given by brave men and women in defense of freedom in this land. We pray for a day when men and women won’t have to lose their lives in war. We pray for peacemakers, that their work will move us to a day and time when war will cease. Amen.
Prayer for April 28: Please pray with me. God of the nations, today we pray for peace. Help leaders to recognize that peace isn’t a destination – something to be obtained if the circumstances work out that way. No, instead, help leaders and their people, to see that peace is a way of life, decision. It is not an easy decision, nor any easy road to follow. There will be plenty opportunities to put peace aside in favor of violence, war, division, revenge, and judgement. Yet, help us to set those easy paths aside. They all lead to the same result – death. Give us the courage to choose peace. Give leaders wisdom to choose peace for their people. Radically reorient those who choose a more violent path so that swords may be beaten into ploughshares. Amen.
Prayer for April 19. Please pray with me. On this Easter Wednesday we pray for an end to war. Humanity has lived by the rule that when you get hit, you hit back, only harder. Yet, where has this gotten us Lord?!? It has only brought more death and destruction. And for what? In this week of Easter, we pray that our hearts would be open to a new way of living and interacting with one another. Help us to see Christ’s example – when he was hit, he didn’t hit back, but he loved all the more. It’s not easy and frankly we can’t do this on our own. We really haven’t ever tried. We’ve given up before we’ve even given it a shot. So, step in Lord. Give us the courage to love, even when we get hit. It makes no sense in the world, yet it the only way to end the insanity. Amen.
Prayer for April 18. Please pray with me. On this Easter Tuesday we pray for the victims of terror, war, and violence. So often we are far removed from these evils – they seem to happen in far off lands and the victims are faceless and nameless to us. Yet we know that terror, war, and violence cause you to mourn. We ask that you act – that you bring not just an end to hostility, but also you breath peace to people involved in these evils. Amen.