Prayer for January 29: Please pray with me. God of life, you call to us to follow you. How often do we do that half-heartedly? How often do we think we are doing the bare minimum to keep you happy? How often do we go hold back from following you? What are we waiting for? Do we think we get to retire from following you? Do we think that you let us off the hook after we do so much work for you? Do we think that you work on transactions? You are a relational God that comes to us, calls us, and sends us out. Give us what we need to follow you. Amen.
Prayer for January 25: Please pray with me. God of the nations, you created humanity in diverse richness. You painted a rainbow of colors on humanity’s skin. At the creation, you said over and over again – “It is good.” So why do we too often reject your assessment of your creation? Why do we see the diversity of creation, and especially humanity, and respond in fear? Why do we not see that our salvation is tied directly to so many others? Why do we refuse to see that our well-being is tied directly to the well-being of our neighbors and enemies? Why? Because we are broken and sinful. Forgive us. Radically reorient us. Clear our eyes, cleanse our hearts. Empower us to love – love those different from us, to love ourselves, and ultimately, to love you. Amen.
Prayer for January 24: Please pray with me. God of mercy, help us to be merciful to others. Help us to see that how we treat others is a reflection on ourselves. Help us to know that what we say about others is an echo about ourselves. When we speak in fear of others, it says we are fear-filled. When we label others, it says that we can’t see the humanity of another person. When we seek to divide, it says that we feel threatened. Holy One, radically reorient us to seek out the best of others – even our enemies. To see their humanity. To see them through the lens of you. Amen.
Prayer for January 23: Please pray with me. God of truth, help us to follow you. So often we claim to be your followers, yet we shun what you tell us to do. Forgive us and change us. Give us a desire to follow you, not just with our words, but with our very lives. Make us disciples that joyfully follow you and look forward to hearing your word. Open our hearts to seek out your ways and your will for our lives. Strengthen us to serve our neighbors so that we may show how much we love you. Give us courage to love our enemies, and in so doing show the world that we take your word seriously. Make us channels of your peace. Amen.
Prayer for January 22: Please pray with me. God of the oppressed, how do we really see ourselves? Do we identify with the oppressed, poor, outcast? Do we think we are in one of these groups? Are we really though? Some who pray along certainly are Lord. Be with them as you promise you will. Some who pray along are definitely not Lord. Stir their hearts as you often do, to serve their neighbors. Some who pray think they are Lord. Open their eyes to know what being oppressed, poor, or an outcast is really like. Make us uncomfortable so that we are shaken up enough to walk with those that are actually oppressed, poor, and outcast from society. Make us so uncomfortable that we feel we have no choice but to speak up and act. To use our privilege and standing in society to raise up the oppressed, poor, and outcast. Amen.
Prayer for January 17: Please pray with me. God of creation, we wonder why. We question why. We want to know why. And so often we think we know the answer to these questions. But only you know the real answers. You are the reason for why anything exists at all. Turn us to look to you for the questions of life. Amen.
Prayer for January 16: Please pray with me. God of the means, you tell us that you favor the poor. We don’t like to hear that. We don’t like that at all. But you said it. You come to the aid of the outcast and oppressed. You restore the downtrodden. You stand with the weak. You walk with the hungry and thirsty. You shiver with the naked. You come to the aid of the stranger. You sit with the sick and you free the captive. We don’t like to hear this. It goes against what our society and culture values. Too often we hear an alternative gospel being proclaimed loudly to us – that the ends justify the means, that might makes right, and that the strong survive. These are heretical theologies and false gospels. Prominent people proclaim these messages and feed off the vulnerable with these ideas. But you are a just God. In the end, these are empty theologies that offer false promises of salvation. Those that adhere to these beliefs will be sorely disappointed. Those that adhere to these ideas will find themselves run over by these very same ideas they held dear. And they will know that the ends justify the means is a lie. You are God of the means. The means are the salvation for us. Thank you. Amen.