Prayer for April 14, 2020: Please pray with me. God of life, you come to bring us life. You breath your spirit into us. You give us life. Help us to appreciate what life is about. Help us to be bearers of life to others as well – especially to those who feel anything but alive. Empower us and give us strength to reach out to people who need a human contact. Let us be life to those who are hopeless. Amen.
Prayer for April 13, 2020: Please pray with me. God of resurrection, you tell us over and over again – Do not be afraid. Oh, how we need to hear that. Too often we run into the arms of fear. And when we are afraid, that’s when there is trouble. When we are afraid, we succumb to darkness, and away from the light that we are called to be. We think we will find comfort in ugliness. But we don’t. When we are afraid, we so desperately want someone to blame. We need a scapegoat. Who can we offer as a sacrifice for our troubles? A foreigner? The gays? The poor? The rich? The left? The right? Businesses? Activists? The reality is that any scapegoat will do. And yet…they won’t. Which is why we keep coming up with more scapegoats. Enough already though. When will we see? When will our eyes actually see that all scapegoats are the same? When will we see that eventually we, ourselves, will become someone else’s scapegoat? Enough! Jesus has over come death and sin. Jesus has put an end to the scapegoat system. Enough! Enough, all who claim to be followers of Jesus. Stop looking for scapegoats. Start looking for the Image of God. Start loving your neighbor and your enemy. Amen.
Prayer for April 10, 2020: Please pray with me. God who overcomes death, on this Good Friday, you showed the extent of your love for creation. You are willing to go all the way to death and beyond. Who else could possibly do that? No one. Why do we doubt your love for us? Why do we question your ways when you go to such extremes? Soften our hearts so that they may become sanctuaries for your Spirit. Rip the curtain of our hearts open so that we may be embraced by you. Put our guard down so that we may be enveloped by your love. Help us to let go of the first sin of creation – our desire to be you, to be in control. Radically reorient us towards you. Cause a revolution in our hearts and minds – to throw off the ways of sin and death – and instead raise the flag of the Kingdom of God. On this Good Friday, let us truly understand how Good this day is because of what you have done, what you are doing, and what you will do in our lives, in our congregations, and in your world. Amen.
Prayer for April 9, 2020: Please pray with me. God of creation, you create amazing things out of nothing. You bring order out of chaos. You call us into new ways of living. Yet, so often we resist your ways because we see that we are not in control of them. Too often we embrace the lie that the serpent told Eve in the garden – that we would be like God. That we would be in control. Being in control and desiring to be in control is the first sin. It is pride. And it leads to death. You call us away from pride – away from turning inward on ourselves. You call us outward – to service. Outward to Shalom – wholeness and completeness. You call us to Imago Dei – seeing the image of God in all around us. This is a new way for so many of us Lord. But clear our eyes so that we may see your ways in new ways. That we may see the holiness of your ways. That we may desire to be embraced by these ways. That we may live by these ways. And in so doing, we would participate in the unfolding of your kingdom in our midst. Amen.
Prayer for April 8, 2020: Please pray with me. God of grace and mercy, you come to us in ways that we cannot contain you. How do we measure up? Well, if we are honest, we fail. But that’s ok because it’s not about what we are able to offer you, or how we are able to please you. Rather, it’s about what you do. We are incapable to doing anything to earn your love, grace, mercy, or anything else. But you provide anyway. You do it because that is your nature. You do it because you are the very essence of love and that is what love is all about. It is only then that we can respond to what you are doing. Thank you. Amen.
Prayer for April 7, 2020: Please pray with me. God of life, you are the giver of life. You are a God who overcomes death. You are a God who tells us and shows us that death is not the end of the journey, but merely a stop on the journey. Too often we fear our own mortality. We fear death. But over and over again you send messengers and you tell us yourself – Do not be afraid! No wonder it has to be repeated to us so much. Sin makes us think we are completely separate from you, from others, and from the rest of creation. As if independence were actually possible – or desirable. If we were truly independent, we would have no need to anyone or anything else. How lonely that would be. Instead, you show us that we are interdependent. We need others. Help us to show that need in loving ways and to serve one another. Amen.
Prayer for April 3, 2020: Please pray with me. God of Shalom, oh how we desire your wholeness, your completeness, your tranquility. But do we really? We claim that we do. But that would mean we would have to give us some beliefs and ideas about what wholeness really means. It would mean we’d have to love our enemy. We’d have to make room for those we don’t like and don’t want to tolerate. We’d have to be good stewards of all you give us including the earth. We’d have to reject idols that we have a strong hold of. We’d have to stop listening to false gods like money and partisan loyalty. We’d have to be radically reoriented. That’s impossible for us to do. Thankfully, we can’t do it. Only you can. We are completely out of control in regard to this. But you grace us with your Spirit. You empower us to respond to the faith you give us. You turn us towards you. Turn us. Give us the courage to stop blocking you and instead to be embraced by you. Amen.