Prayer for March 20, 2020: Please pray with me. God who calms the raging seas of life, we ask that you show up and calm the storms around us. We are surrounded by fear, anger, panic, and scarcity. But you are a God who keeps reminding us to not be afraid. How easy those words come to us when everything is under control. How easy it is for us to wave them away or make excuses for why they don’t apply in times of trouble. Why must we be fair-weathered followers? Do we really believe in you? Or do we believe that we believe in you? You are a God of abundance. But that abundance often doesn’t show itself in ways that we expect. You are a God who calms the storm. But again, not in ways that we like. Open us to your ways – knowing that your ways are not our ways. Our minds are not like yours. Change our hearts. Let us go from panic and fear to trust in you. That is scary for many. But the alternative is far riskier. Amen.
Prayer for March 10, 2020: Please pray with me. God of nations, we pray for all those who are dealing with infectious disease, whether that be COVID-19 or any other infectious disease. We pray that those who are sick may recover. We pray that people take proper precautions. We pray that the masses take heed of your words that you have spoken throughout Scripture – “Do not be afraid.” In this message, you aren’t promises that everything turns out just dandy and fine. Instead, you promise that you will be with us, regardless of what happens. Amen.
Prayer for March 9, 2020: Please pray with me. God who creates, create in us a clean heart. We are told in your Scripture that you create humans in your image and likeness. If we are made this way, why do so many have difficulty seeing your image in our fellow human beings? How has this been so difficult for humanity over the eons? Why do we insist on not seeing your image in others? I don’t know. Regardless of what others will do, or how they will see, create in me a clean heart. Create in me clear eyes that may see you in the people around me. Create in me an openness to see your image. Amen.
Prayer for March 4, 2020: Please pray with me. God who creates in your own image, open our eyes. Let us see reality – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let us see our brokenness. Let us see the image of God in one another. Let us see how we need you. Open our eyes to see how false idols corrupt us. Then open our hearts to let go of these false idols. Our ourselves to repentance and transformation. Open us to forgiveness. Open us to your love. And then make us an instrument. An instrument of your peace. An instrument of your love, grace, and mercy. Amen.
Prayer for March 2, 2020: Please pray with me. God of life, you are the essence of what life is about. Things that are alive change, adapt, grow, and transform. That is you. You are alive. And it is what you offer each one of us. Too often we claim to fear change. But really, it is not change that we fear. We fear no longer being in control, knowing what is going to happen. We fear losing whatever privilege we may have. We fear not being the center of it all. But why? If we were really in control, we wouldn’t have anything to fear. Maybe what we really fear is finding out that it was a lie we told ourselves that we were ever in control. But your message gives us a different message – an empowering message. A message that says that we are not in control. A message that allows us to be who we are – fully. A message that tells us that you love us anyway. Thank you. Amen.
Prayer for February 28, 2020: Please pray with me. God of the seasons, as we enter the season of Lent may we fully embrace the opportunity of Lent. This is a season of preparation. A season in which we encounter you in unpleasant ways. This is a season in which we intentionally look at death – where it on our face on Ash Wednesday. This is a season in which we are challenges to ask ourselves – what needs to die in me? Help us to let go of the things that separate us from you. Empower us to let die the things that prevent us from loving you and our neighbor. Give us the courage to let die those things, ideas, beliefs, attitudes, and loyalties that we cling to that prevent us from seeing the Image of God in others and see your handiwork in creation. Let this Lent be a holy season in which we let death do it’s work, so that we may experience resurrected life in our lives. Amen.
Prayer for February 25, 2020: Please pray with me. God who gives rest, I’m tired. I’m tired of encountering the idol of being right. This idol has a death grip on so much – so much of politics, on our social media, on our religions, on so many people. It’s a deadly idol that kills relationships. I’m tired of seeing and hearing your ways, O Lord, being dismissed because your ways don’t match with the beliefs we cling to, the false salvation that we seek. There is so much in this world that we don’t know. If only we would listen – listen for understanding, listen to hear the pain of the other. If only we would have eyes that could see – see the image of God in the other, see how our blind devotion to our beliefs and ideas and opinions are killing us. I’m tired Lord. I’m tired of people being so sure they are right, especially when they rationalize away what you tell us. I’m tired of people repeating the cultish rhetoric of politicians and political parties who only care about short sighted winning at all costs and obtaining power. I’m tired of people being willing to dehumanize others in order to be right. I’m tired of people’s politics consuming their identity. I’m tired Lord. There is no rest in this world when we place our hope and trust in politicians and political parties. There can never be any rest in them. There will always be another danger, enemy, opponent to fear and fight against. There will always be another issue to fight about. There will always be redemptive violence in word or deed that needs to be done. But in you, O Lord, we find rest. Your ways are not our ways – Thank you for that. Your ways are so much better. As St. Augustine said, we will not find rest, until we rest in you. Your ways are the ways of peace – not as an unattainable make believe destination – but as the actual way of life. Your ways are grace and mercy – getting what we don’t deserve and keeping use away from what we do deserve. Your ways are the ways of justice – for all people. That is what it means to love you and to love our neighbor. Your ways are the way of Sabbath – rest from producing and work – to be just being. Your ways are the ways of the Image of God. Yes, your ways are better than our ways. Why do we reject your ways, O Lord? Why do we fool ourselves into believing that we know better than you? Have we not failed enough in this venture? Have we not destroyed enough? Radically reorient us away from these ways – from the ways of partisanship, of blind loyalty to politicians and political parties, of literalism in religion, of fear, of anger, of an unwillingness to hear you and follow your ways because we don’t want to. I’m tired Lord. And I suspect there are many other who are just as tired. And don’t know what to do. Make us instruments of your peace. Make us instruments of your love. Give us the courage to pick up our cross and step forward. Give us the courage to die daily to ourselves so that we may know you, follow you, and receive your resurrected life. Amen.