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 August 17: Please pray with me. Radical God, today we pray that you would radically change us and touch our lives in radical ways. When John the Baptist yells out “Repent!” he is calling on us to radically reorient our lives towards God. We read about radicals and those one the extremes of the political spectrum and we don’t know what to do or how to respond. Yet, how radical is it for people to be consumed by fear and hatred and turn to violence as an answer to their problems. That’s not radical at all – that’s the majority of human history thanks to sin. Radically reorient us Lord to be true radicals – to actually live out what we claim in our identity as children of God. Let us live out Proverbs call to embrace wisdom. Let us live out Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Let us live out the call to love our neighbor and our enemies, to feed the hungry, cloth those who need clothing, to shelter the homeless, to visit the sick and imprisoned, to care for the orphan and widow. That is radical. That is what we are called to. Give us the courage to be radical in ways that the world doesn’t understand and ridicules. Amen.
Prayer for August 4: Please pray with me. God of Truth, clear the blinders from our eyes. Make us the blind man whom Jesus restored sight to. Help us to see that we are not the ultimate arbiters of truth – only you are. Move us away, far away, from our preferred binary beliefs that pit people against one another, that create the “good” and the “bad” people. Push us far away from cornering people into either/or decisions. Deep down we know that life is messy and full of gray. That doesn’t mean that anything goes. It means we are dealing with the reality of humanity. And help us in our unbelief of thinking that our faith is based on what we believe. If that is so, then our faith is pretty shaky and nothing more than a house of cards that is ready to cave in at any moment. Open our hearts to live into trust in you, not knowing what the future holds, but knowing that you walk along side us as we journey forth. Amen.
Prayer for July 24: Please pray with me. God of the unexpected, today we ask that you surprise us. Open our eyes to see and our ears to hear your Word anew. Help us to hear your word of grace and love for those around us – friend and foe. Help us to see the humanity of those around us. Remind us that our job is not to judge and force others to be like us and adopt our version of “right.” Instead our job is to respond to the grace and love you give us by being wheat in the midst of weeds – to live differently, to proactively live out the kingdom, to forgive, to love, to care, to be peacemakers. Amen
Prayer for April 4: Please Pray with me. God of the oppressed, today we remember Martin Luther King, Jr, on the day of his assassination. Let his memory be a lamp on a hill to shine forth and testify to your saving power that will bring forth justice to all people. Change our hearts and turn all away from violence. And we pray for all who would oppress others, who cause harm to others, to take away others’ humanity, and who dehumanize others. Help them to see that in doing these things to others, they also do them to themselves. Amen.
Prayer for February 20: Please pray with me. God of wisdom, today we thank you for crazy sounding things that you tell us in your Gospel. They sound crazy to the world – things like love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Yet, we know that humanity’s history is full of insanity – people killing each over time and time again and expecting a different result. Who’s the crazy one? Seems like we are. Give us the courage to do what the world thinks is crazy – to love our enemies. Amen.
Prayer for December 7: Please pray with me. God of history, today we pray that we would be open to learning from the mistakes of the past. Humanity seems to be rather thick-headed Lord, forgive us for not learning lessons that have been taught over and over and over again. Open our hearts to remembering that war is an answer with devastating consequences for all involved. Open our hearts to remember that peace is not a destination, but rather a way of life. And open our hearts to hear your call to pick up and carry our cross, regardless of what others may do. Amen.
Prayer for November 23: Please pray with me. Reconciling God, today we pray a difficult prayer. We pray for our enemies. We don’t pray for their defeat and destruction. Rather we pray that there would be a change of heart – for both them and us. Help them and us to see the humanity of each other. Help them and us to see that violence and anger and division lead to death. You have a different way Lord, a difficult way. Make both them and us unsatisfied in our judgements of each other. Turn us from seeking out what is the worst for one another. Help us to see that our most serious enemy is not anyone out there, no them at all, but rather, the enemy within that wants to claim control over our lives. Help us to see that our real enemy is the sin, the broken relationship with God and with others, the smug attitudes we cling to, the desire to be right no matter the cost, the excessive pride, the destructive envy, the lust for power and attention. Teach us to follow your example – to love our enemies in a most vulnerable way. Amen.
Prayer for October 7: Please pray with me. God of all humanity, today we pray that you rip our desire to divide and separate people away from us. It’s extremely exhausting keeping track of who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. It’s draining to investigate what everyone believes to see who the heretics are. It’s tiring to maintain the mantle of protecting you as though you need us for anything. Instead, you, tell us that your yoke is light. It has to be compared to the huge divisive stone we put on our own backs. Cut us free from this stone so we can fully be who you created us to be. Amen.
Prayer for June 20: Please pray with me. God of peace, today we pray that your peace would wash over the earth. We pray that all people would look for ways to be peacemakers, that they would look at you and see peace, that they would see difference in humanity as opportunities for understanding. Help us to leave violence. Help us to be the first to act with peace, especially when we are treated with violence and hate. Amen.