Prayer for July 9: Please pray with me. God who sends us, give us what we need. You choose those that you send, not because they are ready, but because you are ready to send them. You don’t make promises about safety for the journey, but you do promise that we will not be alone. You don’t promise that the way will be easy and that decisions will come easily, but you do promise that you will be faithful and keep your promises. These are scary times in many regards Lord. Worshiping communities see their numbers decline. Do they stay the course or adapt and change? The real question is do they really trust you? And do they believe that change will affect them? There is only one real answer to these questions. One answer that will lead to thriving life. The answer is to turn to you and listen. Guide all who you send. Give wisdom to all that make decisions. 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 8: Please pray with me. God of Truth, today we lift up all who believe that salvation comes through their right thinking – that they must have “the” correct beliefs in order to be saved. Often this becomes a quest in which we mistake ourselves and our intellect as our own salvation. You call us to come and follow you – as we are. You call on us to follow you and in the process we are changed by you. This is what faith does – it changes us, transforms us. It moves us from what was dead to new life. In faith, we move from just wanting to claim the label as your follower to actually living it out. Move us away from fighting about faith to living it out as you call each one of us. Amen.
Prayer for April 3: Please pray with me. Eternal Word, you send your life saving and life-giving word out to the nations. You have spoken through prophets, saints, ancient fathers and mothers, holy men and women, the written word, and more. In the Gospel of Matthew you tell us that what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. Let the words that come out of our mouth bring you glory, offer words of forgiveness, peace, mercy, grace, and love. Let us speak truth with love and not use truth as a device to beat our opponents into submission. Let our thirst for being in control and being right be starved and die before it kills others’ humanity. Let our leaders speak words that lift up the people they represent. Let the words that they speak that create walls of separation and that demean people be silenced. And let us respond to such rotten fruit in a manner that builds up the kingdom of God and does not succumb to partaking in it. If we truly believe that your Word changes hearts, minds, and the world, then let us speak these words, believe them, and to trust that you your will is moving forward in spite of the apparent odds. Rotting fruit doesn’t last – only the fruit of your Word lasts. Amen.
Prayer for March 26: Please pray with me. God of nature, speak to us. We go in search of you in all sorts of places, thinking that you are somewhere in remote places away from everyone else. You are there, but you are also in our midst in the chaos and pain of life. But how often do we miss those times? We thank you for the opportunities to break away to hear you clearly so that we can go back into our “normal.” You show up in our normal. Help us to see you and hear you. Amen.
Prayer for February 6: Please pray with me. God who is very real, come to us. We live in an age in which some have difficulty discerning what is real and what is fake. We live in an age in which there is a severe lack of trust in others. We live in an age in which the highest value many hold is how much attention they can get from others. Turn us from complaining about this only Lord. That helps no one. Instead, work through us – through our actions and our words. Work through us to be your voice and presence in this world. When we confront other who ask “What is truth?”, work through us to show your truth to others. Help us to live true to your word and your teachings. Strengthen us that our actions and words might be in alignment with your will and word. Move us away from the sin of certainty, purity of belief tests, and making orthodoxy into an idol. Instead let your word guide us each day. We aren’t called to go around and beat others over the head and into submission in order for them to follow our version of “right.” Rather, we called to listen to your will, and live it out – with love, compassion, forgiveness, and peace. We are called to live our grace and offer grace to others. It in living this way that we follow your will. No one ever came to belief because we beat them over the head with our version of being right. No one ever came to belief because we shamed them or brought fear into their lives. Why would they? Faith is a gift that you give, oh Holy One. We are called to respond in trust to that gift. Give us the courage to respond. Give the wisdom to know that it is not us that gives faith or salvation to others – it is only you. Amen.
Prayer for February 5: Please pray with me. God of wisdom, send your wisdom to us. Real wisdom Lord. You know we need it. So often we mistake information for wisdom. But these are not the same thing. We are drowning in information, yet we seem to lacking wisdom. Send your Spirit to us to guide our path. 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 27: Please pray with me. God who fixes things, be the great repairer of our lives. So often we plan out so much, yet it doesn’t turn out the way we want it to. So often, many say to you “I never expected life to go this way.” But also help us to see that it is not our plans that ultimately matter – rather it is your will and the unfolding of your kingdom that matters. Open our hearts and align our wills with this unfolding. Make us open to this – especially when it doesn’t look like what we planned, which happens to be most of the time. Amen.
Prayer for October 24: Please pray with me. Eternal Word, we pray that you would speak words of mercy and understanding through each one of us. Speak words of forgiveness when we screw up. Speak words of compassion when there is confusion. Speak words of dignity when we feel we have had our humanity taken away from us. Speak words of reconciliation when we are caught in division. Amen.