Prayer for April 16: Please pray with me. God of the nations, we love to claim you as our own. We love to say that you bless our nation. All nations love to claim that they are blessed by you. We love the idea of being blessed – that we are somehow special and that no one else is. That we are your favorites. That it is us that you find to be extra special and just so good. But you know better Lord. We aren’t fooling you. We are only fooling ourselves. You tell us in your word that you love the whole of creation – not just a small slice of it. You tell us in your word that you love all of humanity – not just those we deem as the “good guys.” We like to think we can tell you how to be God. Forgive us Lord. We are not you. We are your creation. We are limited. We are broken. We are sinful. Forgive us. Help us to see through your lens at creation. Help us to live out your call for us. Convict us to actually be your followers, not just claim the label. 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.
Prayer for March 26: Please pray with me. God of nature, speak to us. We go in search of you in all sorts of places, thinking that you are somewhere in remote places away from everyone else. You are there, but you are also in our midst in the chaos and pain of life. But how often do we miss those times? We thank you for the opportunities to break away to hear you clearly so that we can go back into our “normal.” You show up in our normal. Help us to see you and hear you. Amen.
Prayer for March 20: Please pray with me. Holy one, you show up in places we least expect from one who is so almighty. Humanity expects God to show up in the cleanest and holiest of places. Many expects God to show up in strength ready to vanquish the enemy. Many expect God to be just like a mighty general at the helm of an army of angels. But you show up in ways humanity doesn’t understand. You show up where the homeless rest for the night and in soup kitchens where the hungry are fed. You show up in hospitals and in hospice care. You show up at funerals. You show up in times of trauma. You show up in the midst of division and strife. You show up in the bars and clubs where there is hopelessness. You show up in the darkest places of this world. You show up there because you love the world so much that you are the only light that can penetrate these dark places. It is only your light that can bring hope to the hopeless. It is your light of forgiveness and grace that shines brightly in a darkness of judgements and loss. You show up and your light shines. Shine into our lives and let us reflect that light to those around us. Amen.
Prayer for March 2: Please pray with me. God of life, you come to us to give us life. Yet, often we reject this and you. You love us so much that you give us the freedom to reject you. You love us so much that were willing to be scapegoated – an ultimate scapegoat. That is self-sacrifice. That is love – selfless love. We can’t comprehend this kind of love. So often we love but with strings attached. We forgive, but with conditions. We advocate peace, but with exceptions. We offer grace, but for a limited time. Yet, you do all of this without the “buts.” Help us to be more like you God. To give without expecting anything in return. To give generously. To give selflessly. To give lovingly. And forgive us when we fail each day as you know we will. Forgive us so that we might be able to offer forgiveness in return to others. Amen.
Prayer for February 23: Please pray with me. God of light, shine down in the darkness. Let your light of love shine bright throughout creation. Make use lamps that shine out your light of love to those around us. So often we feel besieged by darkness that encroaches upon us, seemingly lurking and waiting to consume us. The darkness shows up in confusion, despair, anger, and fear. These are not your gospel messages. They are false gospels that proclaim ultimate defeat and death. Your Gospel is a message of hope, promise, grace, forgiveness, and love. Proclaim this message to us in ways that cause us to change. And in so doing, cause us to proclaim your message boldly to those around us. Amen.
Prayer for February 21: please pray with me. God of time, we seek you out. There are many who read your Word and are besieged by fear. They see you as wrathful and desiring destruction. We are oriented towards death and destruction because of sin. But this is not the whole story – not even close. You promise to renew and restore at the culmination of time, not to destroy. You promise to transform and offer us hope because you are a God of life. Help us to accept this promise. And to live into it as well. Amen.