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.
Prayer for September 18: Please pray with me. God of all, today we pray for people who abuse their power over others. Manipulation, abuse, and exploitation are sins that still infect humanity. We place into your hands those who use these means to get what they want from others. Open their eyes to seeing how they hurt others. Open their hearts to repentence. We also pray for all who have been hurt by these people. Cradle them in your arms Lord and care for them. Show them that they do not walk alone. Help us to have the courage to stand up for those who have been hurt by manipulators, abusers, and exploiters so that others may not be hurt. 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 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.