Prayer for January 22: Please pray with me. Holy One, you cause us to raise many, many questions. We question and wonder about so many things. We question and wonder about people and their lives and their beliefs. Yet we think our lives and beliefs make perfect sense and that you agree with us. How foolish. We are flawed Lord. We can’t understand. We don’t understand others or how they come to conclusions. Yet, we have no trouble making someone an enemy or opponent when we don’t understand them. Turn us to see people differently – not as a puzzle to figure out or an opponent to defeat, but rather as a Child of God. That can be difficult though Lord – let’s not kid ourselves. That can be very difficult when some people are so disagreeable and temperamental. But remind us that we can’t control others. We can only learn from them. Help us to stop trying to force others to believe like we do or live our way. Help us to invite people to come and see what God is doing in our lives – how God forgives us and transforms us. This should be obviously evident though Lord – as long as we aren’t trying to fool ourselves or others. It should go through us and out of us and impact our relationship and interactions with those around us. Let your forgiveness and transformation not stop with us, but go through us to others. Amen.
Prayer for January 10: Please pray with me. Patient God, today we pray for our enemies, our opponents, those who annoy the crap out of us, those that we don’t like or trust. We really don’t want to pray for them Lord. We’d rather call them names, fight them, dehumanize them, shame them and so much more. Yet, you call on us to pray for our enemies. This is not easy – in fact, it sucks. But then again, following you was never meant to be easy. We pray that all those opposed to us would have a change of heart. And more importantly Lord, we pray for ourselves – change our hearts towards our enemies and opponents. Silence us before we respond in anger. Hold us back before we respond with violence. Stop us before we type our of frustration. Close our mouths before we say something we will regret. There are frustrating people in the world Lord. Help us to see when we are frustrating someone else so that we might instead offer mercy, forgiveness, patience, and if need be, make us walk away to give space to others. Amen.