Prayer for April 19: Please pray with me. God of the hopeless, give hope abundantly. We have a world of hopelessness – to the point that people have given up. Yet you call on us to be in community and in relationship. You remind us that we are not alone. You walk with us. Be with those who feel alone and lonely. You call on us to help and to be helped, not just to provide material resources to people. The material is important, but there is more. Take us to a deeper level to grasp what you seek in us. Amen.
Prayer for April 18: Please pray with me. God of grace, you come to us in odd ways and through means that we would never choose. You show up in ways that shock us. But I’m not sure why. You’ve been showing up in these ways for many centuries. You show up through your word, through prophets, through messengers, and for Christians, we believe that you took on flesh in your son and showed up in the most unlikely of ways. You are a God that shows up. If only we would do the same. Send us out to show up – to show up where the homeless are. To show up to feed the hungry. To show up where the lonely are. To show up to visit the prisoners. To show up where people are being trafficked. To show up where your Good News needs to be heard. Let us stop just taking the label of follower of you and instead transform us in to follower of you with our actions. Amen.
Prayer for April 17: Please pray with me. God who calls us, open our ears and our hearts to hear your call for our lives. How wonderful to follow you in the good times. How pleasant are those times when following you is joyful and as beautiful as a gorgeous sunset. Yet, that is not what following you is ultimately about. The true test of trust is following you when it is uncomfortable and inconvenient – the times when we would rather not, the times when it is costly. In those cases, we’d rather just keep the label of Christ-follower and ditch the practice. We don’t voice them, but we raise questions God – do you really know what you are doing? We’d do it differently, thank you very much. Your ways are not our ways, and your thoughts are not our thoughts. Following you is not always wonderful. That’s why prophets tried to run from you. But you never cease to pursue us. And you never stop calling to us. Your love goes beyond our understanding. It goes beyond this life. Open our hearts to respond to your call for our lives with trust. Trust is scary. It leaves us in the dark. We are not in control. And that’s about as close to the truth about ourselves as we can experience. We want to respond in trust Lord. Strengthen us to respond in trust. Weaken our ego so it does not get in the way. Amen.
Prayer for April 13: Please pray with me. Holy One, you are a God of the Word. You speak creation into existence. You speak words of forgiveness, mercy, peace, and grace. You embody these and speak them through us to those in desperate need of hearing them. There are so many false gospel narratives out there Lord. So many voices and proclamations of where to find salvation. So many turn to these distractions and idols for their salvation. Yet you are patient, calm, and persistent. It is a miracle your Gospel persists, yet it does. Why do we pursue these false gospels? Why do we think we can find salvation in anything outside of you? Why? Is it because we like to put ourselves in your place? Is it because we know deep down, that the faith you give us will make us so uncomfortable and inconvenienced that it will change our lives and we don’t want that? Is it because we prefer the status quo of our lives and fear the unknown of not being in control? Forgive us of these sins. Forgive us when we withhold our trust in you, even when you freely give us faith. Forgive us when we become an obstacle to the unfolding of your kingdom. Amen.
Prayer for April 11: Please pray with me. God of love, there are some people who we find really difficult to love Lord. I mean really difficult. We’d rather yell profanity at them. It certainly would feel better. But you call us to love even these people. This is not easy Lord. I mean seriously God – you mean I have to love the person I can’t stand?!? The person who drives me up a wall at even the mention of their name? Really? But wait, I wonder how many people think the same thing about us? For how many people are we the person they can’t stand? For how many people are we the one who drives someone else up the wall? For how many people are we the one the causes someone to scream profanities? Ouch. That hurts. Help us to love – especially those we don’t like. Help those that don’t like us to love us too. We need it Lord. Loving someone doesn’t mean we have to like them or like what they do. And sometimes it means that the best way to love someone is to avoid them all together so that we don’t do something that we might regret or something that would cause harm to another. Let us start with that if we must Lord. You know what we need God. Encounter us with your grace, forgiveness, mercy, and love so that we can share these things with others – especially those we don’t care for. Give us huge doses of these things – we need them. And we need to give huge doses away too. Amen.
Prayer for April 9: Please pray with me. God of faith, you give us faith as a gift. Help us to use this gift to advance your kingdom. But so many of us will sit and wait though – we want a clear path and clear insight into what we are to do. We want answers Lord. Yet, you send people out without any answers more often than not. Why? Is it so that those you send will rely on you as opposed to their own insights? Is it because that is a key ingredient of faith? Is it so that we can experience what hope really means? Send us Lord. We have doubts and questions – and you welcome them. We want to know – and you send us anyway. Amen.
Prayer for April 6: Please pray with me. God of travelers, guide the path of the traveler. But also help us to see that we are all travelers – we are on the journey of faith in our lives and in the journey of life in faith. Your Word is a map for us to follow. You put people along the path to be guides and companions on the journey. You give us times of respite when we need it. We come across people who are with us on our journey for a time and then go. You offer us hostels to stay for a period of time – places that we call churches. Some us stay at a hostel for longer than others. But eventually our journey ends and our long-awaited sleep begins. We will sleep soundly until the dawn of the new day when you return and wake us from our sleep to the resurrection and a renewed, restored, and transformed world and life. We look forward to this time. Amen.