Prayer for February 14: Please pray with me. God who formed us from the dust of the earth, today we are reminded that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Yes Lord, today is a day of contrast. We celebrate love in St. Valentine’s example and we face the reality of death in Ash Wednesday. Love and death. So much could be said about this pair. Give love to those who need it. For those of us who receive ashes on our forehead, let them be a sobering reminder of our own mortality. But also let them be a reminder of the love that you have for your creation. Let them be a reminder for the promises you make to us – the promise of life. You promise us renewed, transformed, resurrected life. give us a foretaste of this life to come. Remind us that death does not have the final say – love does, you do. Amen.
Prayer for February 13: Please pray with me. God of the both/and, you are the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. You are merciful and just. So often we believe and act as though there are only two choices and that we are stuck choosing one of them. Yet, you teach us over and over again that this is not so. You didn’t create the world to be a dichotomy of either/or, us/them. Rather, there is an alternative that makes this conflict unnecessary. Help us to embrace the both/and that characterizes who you are. Amen.
Prayer for February 12: Please pray with me. Holy one, you know what it means to be vulnerable. You are vulnerable. You call on us to join you in being vulnerable. How else to explain all the times you come to us. You risk it all when you encounter us. You set covenants with your people over and over again, risking it all. You make promises that no one else could possibly keep. Yet, over and over again, you approach us in vulnerability. And you invite us to be vulnerable with you and with each other. But that is not easy for us. So often we fear being vulnerable – as though it is a weakness. We fear others knowing our faults and weaknesses. We fear showing our brokenness. We fear allowing others in. Yet, this is exactly what you call us to. You see it all Lord. You know our faults, our brokenness, and our weakness – and yet you still love us and encounter us. Why? Because you love your creation in ways that are unexplainable. Thank you. Help us to be vulnerable – with you, with others, and with ourselves. Amen.
Prayer for February 9: Please pray with me. God of slumber, give rest to all who need it – to those who labor at night, who work long hours, who do what they can to provide for their families. Give rest to those who are fighting sickness. Give rest to those who face death. So many people are tired Lord. They are worn out and exhausted. They are literally killing themselves through their labor. Give them rest. Even you rested after your work of creation, why do we think we are better than you? Give us the rest we need. Amen.
Prayer for February 8: Please pray with me. God who is our all in all, today we lift up those who face insurmountable odds. We lift up those who will not compromise their faith in the face of tyrants, wherever they may be. We lift up those whose loyalty remains with you. In the Hebrew Bible you gave us the example of Daniel – a faithful servant of you. So faithful that he was willing to die rather than deny you. We pray for those who are persecuted and face death for the faith that you give them. Walk with them as you were with Daniel in the lion’s den. Amen.
Prayer for February 7: Please pray with me. The One True God, we come before you and ask for mercy. We ask for forgiveness. All too often we set up and worship idols – false gods. We substitute humans and human made things in your place. But why? Do we do it because we fear you? Do we not believe you? Do we not trust you? Do we want to control you? Why? Forgive us when we set up idols – those things that we place high above you Lord. Forgive us when we put anything ahead of you. Turn us from this to worship and follow you. These idols, like all idols, will never fill the hole within us. They will never satisfy our longing. They will never provide us the rest we need. They will never give us the meaning and purpose that only you can provide. They are ultimately empty and a waste. Turn us toward you. Turn us away from ourselves and our idols. You are the only thing that matters. 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.