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 10: Please pray with me. God of action, you call us to get up and get moving. You are a God of movement. You moved through the creation. You moved through prophets. You moved through people. You move us still today. You call to us, you invite us to participate in your movement. Give us what we need to respond in trust, to be moved. Move us with being uncomfortable and inconvenienced with the injustices that we see and turn a blind eye to – right in our midst. Make us so uncomfortable and inconvenienced that we can’t avoid living out the faith that you give us. And don’t let us get away with passing the buck onto someone else, as if they know more, are better, or can do a better job. You call on us for a reason. You give us exactly what is needed at the right time, and in the right place. You have a great deal of faith in us. Yet, we doubt – ourselves, and the faith that you give us and have in us. Forgive us, and show us that we are as ready as we’ll ever need to be to follow you. Amen.
Prayer for December 13: Please pray with me. Holy One, you have to be laughing. You just have to. You have to be laughing at our ridiculous attempts to control things around us – to impose rules on those around us and control people. You have to be laughing at our self-importance. You have to be face palming our attempts to figure out how to govern ourselves. You have to be sighing at how we place so much importance in our elections – as if our very salvation depended on it. Oh how foolish of us to make elections so very important. How did we get to this point that we have made elections into life or death situations? How did we get to the point that our identity as your children is willingly replaced with identity to political party? Why are we willing to trade in our identity as your children for a tool used to obtain worldly power? Is it worth it? Hardly. But then, what can you expect from sinful, broken people Lord. We will keep getting it wrong Lord. We’ll keep equating your will with some election result here or there – fooling ourselves into believing that we are somehow special in history or as a people. We’ll fool ourselves into believing that you have chosen our nation as something unique and that you offer us some kind of special blessing. We’ll fool ourselves into believing that your will matches the agenda of one political party or the other and that your will is an extension of our nation’s greatness – greatness defined in terms of power and might rather than love. We’ll keep doing this Lord. And you’ll keep being patient. You’ll keep forgiving us. You’ll keep loving us. And some of us will stand in awe and wonder of you and your persistence to encounter us and change our lives. Thank you for your persistence Holy One. Amen.
Prayer for December 5: Please pray with me. God of all – yes, even (or maybe especially) the hypocrite, today we ask for a special blessing. We are all hypocrites at our core Lord. That is because we are all broken and see the world through our own brokenness. We all see our way as the best way – the right way. Yet, we don’t give those opposed to us a pass – that maybe they have a better way of going about things. Forgive us in our judgements, our attacks on people, our character assassinations, our efforts to make our opponents into something less than human – into fools. How foolish of us Lord! Forgive us and in so doing, move us to forgive those around us. Change our hearts and in so doing send us out to change hearts around us. Open our eyes to see the humanity of our opponents and to realize that they come to their conclusions for very good reasons – not because they are interested in destroying the world. Thank you for your patience with us Lord – we are slow to learn, yet you are quick to forgive. It makes no sense, but we are eternally grateful for this irrational love that you are. Amen.
Prayer for November 17: Please pray with me. God of abundance, today we ask that you touch out lives in ways that show your abundance to us. Turn our hearts to be open to the abundant love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness you give to us. Open our arms to receive the blessings of life you give to us each day. In receiving all things, remind us that it is you who give these to us and you call on us to go out and use these blessings to expand your kingdom. How truly blessed are we that you invite us to participate in the unfolding of your kingdom. How truly blessed are we that you call on us, broken as we are, to respond to what you have given us first, by going out to give these same blessings to others. Thank you God. Amen.
Prayer for November 15: Please pray with me. God who comes to creation over and over, keep coming Lord. We are a bit slow on the learning curve God. You make a promise and keep it, and then we break our end of the bargain. And yet, you keep coming after us. Not to come and smite us because you are ticked off. Rather, you keep pursuing us over and over again because of your great love for us and all of creation. Thank you. We can’t even begin to comprehend this. All we can say is thank you. And that’s all that is needed. Amen.