Prayer for January 18: Please pray with me. Timeless God, you touch creation in many ways over history. You work in mysterious ways. How fortunate that we get to see the results. How blessed are we when you choose us to carry out your will. Yet, don’t let that go to our heads. We aren’t the only ones that you choose to work through. We aren’t the first ones either. Nor will we be the last. And, this isn’t the only place where you are active. You work throughout creation, across time to bring about your reign. Let us be instruments of your will, but don’t let us be tools who buy into thinking that we are more important and more special than others. Amen.
Prayer for January 16: Please pray with me. God who resides in uncomfortable and inconvenient places, we seek you out. Help us to see you where you are – not in the nice clean places that we think you should be in at a time that is convenient to our schedules. No, if we know anything, it is that following you is uncomfortable and inconvenient. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe that’s the way you show us that we are not in charge. Because if we were, then we’d encounter you only at the fancy restaurants and grocery stores, the fancy offices and glamour jobs, the amusement parks and popular TV shows. Not that you can’t encounter us there. I just don’t think we are even open to seeing how you encounter us there all the time. We’re too busy staring at the lights and the shiny objects of fame and fortune. Rather, your hiddenness becomes so apparent in the places we’d rather not go and in the people we’d rather not be with – the poor, the homeless, the prostitute, the druggie, the sex slave, the illegal immigrant, and more. They are dirty Lord. They are messy Lord. They are dangerous Lord. Yet, what can we do when you call to us and say “Follow me.” We follow. And we go where we would rather not. And you encounter us. And lives are changes – including our own. And, like Philip, when asked if anything good can come from Nazareth, responded by saying “Come and see.” Give us the courage to respond with “come and see.” Amen.
Prayer for January 12: Please pray with me. God of all people, how long will it take for us to get this – to really understand this to the point that it changes us? How long will it be until we see other human beings with different skin color as our brothers and sisters? How long will it be until we are willing to go beyond skin deep? How long will it be until we stop blaming others for what happens to us – anyone who looks, sounds, speaks, or thinks differently? How long will it be until we stop building walls to separate us from those that are different and we start beating swords into plowshares? How long will it be until the lion and lamb can lie together? Break the chains that imprison us. Break the chains of racism. Break the chains. Believing that one skin color is superior to another is asinine Lord. Yet, so often we live in self-segregated worlds. Why? Fear? Move us past the fear we have. Move us past the fear of what might be if things change. Open our eyes to see the humanity of others. Open our eyes to seeing how we benefit from systems designed to make some of us comfortable. Open our eyes to the outcast in our midst. And not only open our eyes, make us uncomfortable and inconvenienced enough to live your calling in our lives – to proclaim boldly your loving presence, to follow your lead in breaking the chains that enslave us all, to be your hands in breaking the chains of sin that bind us. Amen.
Prayer for January 11: Please pray with me. God who calls us and sends us out, we want to listen, but we don’t. We want to answer your call, but in our own way. Yet you have different plans for us. You are in the business of changing lives, for creating miracles. And you use us to do this. Give us the courage to be your tools, to be your hands and feet, to be your voice and to share your words of grace, forgiveness, peace, and love to those that desperately need to hear it – and to those who don’t realize that they need it too. Use us as the tools that bring about change in people’s lives. And change us too. This isn’t just about others encountering you and being changed. It also for us. Encounter us, change our lives so that we can bring you with us to other so they can encounter you as well and have their lives changed. Amen.
Prayer for January 5: Please pray with me. God of faith, today we lift up all those you give the gift of faith to. Set our hearts on fire and send us out to do your will. Faith doesn’t end with some intellectual assent. It is only the beginning. Faith transforms us, our very being. It causes us to move and go. Faith causes action. Get us moving Lord. Amen.
Prayer for January 4: Please pray with me. God who makes disciples, we are called to follow. Boy, is that a scary proposition. “But God, I want to be in control!” “But God, I know what’s best for me!” “But God, what do you know about what’s best for me?” “But God…” Yet, the amazing thing is that you stick with us. You keep calling us. You refuse to quit. Why have you chosen us – weak, fragile creatures prone to listen to the ego. Yet you do as you have throughout the ages. Long ago, you called Abram to leave his home and his kindred. You called him to go to a “land that I will show you.” You call on us to leave what is familiar to go to a “land that I will show you.” Give us the courage to follow. Give us the weakness to stop fighting you. Give us the strength for the journey ahead. Give us ears that hear and eyes that see. Give us faith that can respond in trust to your call. Amen.
Prayer for January 3: Please pray with me. Patient God, when will we learn? How many times will we mess this up? We claim to be your followers, yet we swear our allegiance to so many other things and put these things before you. We claim that you are our God, yet so often we follow the wishes of idols. We claim that you are the who forms our beliefs, yet so often our set of beliefs are nothing more than platform statements of the political party we swear allegiance to. Yet, all these things will pass and fade with time. They will be forgotten to history. And then what? What will remain? Only you. How patient you are Eternal One. How patient you are with us. Radically reorient us to follow your Word and ways of life. To embrace forgiveness, peace, love, grace, and joy. Embody these things within us and make us so uncomfortable that we actually change. Sometimes our comfortable lives and ways lead us to our downfall. Raise us up in uncomfortableness God. Amen.