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 January 24: Please pray with me. God of holy conversations, come into our conversations and bless them. We ask that you work through us to change the content of our conversations from ones of suspicion and division to conversations that live out our faith with grace, humility, and forgiveness. We can’t wait for someone else to start doing this – we will wait forever. Instead, cause us to be the ones to start. Use us as an example of what is possible. We need a different tone and attitude for difficult and important conversations Lord – conversations about politics and policy, conversations about race, conversations about people from different lands, conversations about work, conversations about humanity. Let grace flow through these conversations. Help us to not react to others, especially when they attack, insult, dehumanize, or degrade. Give us the strength to respond with grace, forgiveness, and a re-establishment of humanity. Let grace flow through our politics. Let grace flow through our conversations. Let grace flow through our lives. Let grace flow Lord. And let it start with me. Amen.
Prayer for October 24: Please pray with me. Eternal Word, we pray that you would speak words of mercy and understanding through each one of us. Speak words of forgiveness when we screw up. Speak words of compassion when there is confusion. Speak words of dignity when we feel we have had our humanity taken away from us. Speak words of reconciliation when we are caught in division. Amen.
Prayer for October 18: Please pray with me. God of our future, today we lift up our futures. So often we see images of a not-so-bright future based on our present. It’s easy to get sucked into a cloud of darkness. There is a great deal of negativity and gloom around us. Yet, you offer an alternative – a message filled with hope, mercy, forgiveness, peace. You offer us something unthinkable – to walk with us in the dark places of our lives and to be a light that shines in the darkness. We walk on a path that leads to places that we have no idea about. And you walk right along side of us. Help us to be vulnerable, to build trust and to be trusting. Open our hearts to respond to your call for us. Amen.
Prayer for September 25: Please pray with me. God who is completely unfair, we thank you for being unfair. Please don’t ever treat us fairly. For by treating us fairly, we would get what we deserve and that’s not going to be pretty for any of us. Instead, continue to treat us unfairly – giving us grace we don’t deserve, giving us forgiveness we certainly don’t deserve, giving us love unconditionally, and giving us mercy when the world demands you be merciless – even some of your so-called followers. Thank you for be unfair with us. Help us to be just as unfair with others, especially our enemies. Amen.
Prayer for September 21: Please pray with me. God of forgiveness, today we pray for forgiveness. Forgive us when we sin, when we do something to hurt someone else – whether knowingly or unknowingly. Forgive when we harm a relationship. Help us to receive forgiveness and be open to receiving it so that we can stop beating ourselves up over our sins. We thank you for your forgiveness and ask that you give us the courage to forgive others when they sin against us. Amen.
Prayer for September 14: Please pray with me. God of forgiveness, boy do we need your forgiveness. We live in a world that is unforgiving. We have leaders who would rather raise the stakes and dig in that offer forgiveness or acknowledge the need for forgiveness. Yet, this is not a way to live and thrive. This goes beyond missing the mark Lord. Those things are minor. Rather, we need forgiveness for deeper things – broken relationship with you, with ourselves, with others, and with the rest of creation. Radically reorient us towards you and others. Amen.
Prayer for September 11: Please pray with me. God of forgiveness, today we pray for all those in conflict. Sin is the breaking of relationship – a type of turning away from you and from others. We ask that you would radically reorient us towards you and others. Love is the drawing in towards one another – let your love grow within us. You have forgiven us and showed great grace and mercy to us. Help us to respond to this gift by also forgiving others with grace and mercy. We can’t control how others will respond, but that isn’t the point. You call on us to offer these things regardless of the response. Give us the courage to do just that. Amen.
Prayer for August 24: Please pray with me. God who made us, today we pray that we would open our hearts to something new – a new way of seeing people. Help us to move past just looking at people exterior but seeing people as you see them. Help us to move away from judging, objectifying, and worse. Move us instead to seeing the beauty you instill in all people. Sometimes that beauty gets eclipsed by the darkness of sin. Let us be willing to forgive and walk with people. Help us to seek forgiveness when we have been the one who is in the wrong. Radically reorient us to be your children God. Amen.
Prayer for August 16: Please pray with me. God of forgiveness, today we pray a really difficult prayer – a prayer we’d rather not pray. There seems to be a lot of these prayers lately Lord. Today, we pray for white supremacists. Yes, those people. The people we would rather shout and curse at. The people we’d rather slap up side the head to knock some sense into. The people we have great difficulty loving or showing any kind of love towards. Yet, somehow they are a part of your creation too. We don’t understand them Lord. In a sense, we don’t want to. We just want the craziness to stop, the racism to end, the violence to cease. St. Silouan once said that the man who cries out against evil men but refuses to pray for them will never know the grace of God. That’s not easy Lord. Yet, here are. We are praying for these people. We pray an imperfect prayer, a prayer that feels so odd and where our words are carefully crafted and yet uncertain at the same time. Ultimately our prayer can only be this – we place these people in your hands Lord. Give us the courage and strength to confront evil when we see and hear it. But help us to confront it in a way that brings life to people and creation – not destruction. Help us to show an alternative so that we don’t adopt the same techniques and strategies as those who proclaim a gospel of hate and fear. Soften their hard hearts. Open our hearts and teach us to show love for those we find unlovable. Touch our imaginations so we can see how we are to love these people and in so doing unleash love’s power to change lives – even those lives that seem unchangeable. Help our unbelief that these people could never change. Change their hearts and minds as only you can Lord. We want a miracle. We need a miracle. We ask for a miracle. We are desperate for a miracle. Help us to believe that it is not only possible, but that it is unfolding right before our eyes and in our hearts. And in so doing, dare we say it, make us an instrument of your peace and the most unlikely of miracles. Amen.