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 20: Please pray with me. God of creation, you walk with us in the wilderness. You wander with us when we are lost. You traveled with the people of Israel as they journeyed in the wilderness for 40 years. You cast Jesus out into the wilderness where he spent 40 days facing temptation. Be with us in our time of wilderness. We feel lost, yet, this is temporary. Just as the Israelites came out of the wilderness into the promised land and just as Jesus came out of the wilderness to start his ministry, we know we will also come out of the wilderness where you want us to be. Give us patience to keep going through the wilderness until our journey is done. Amen.
Prayer for February 19: Please pray with me. God who sees our true nature, open our eyes to see ourselves as you see us. Open our eyes to see ourselves as others see us – especially those who do not profess a faith in you. Do people see us as people of faith? How so? Is it because they know we are people of faith because of our love and care of others? Or do they we are people of faith because of our political fights and stands, our anger and fear, our belittling and dehumanizing, our blind loyalty to party or politician? Lord help us if this is the case. Give us a change of heart to follow you – to follow you in the way that you call. You call us not to pick a side in a battle of the status quo, but rather to participate in the unfolding of your reign – a new reality that is unfolding where love, grace, hope, and forgiveness are lived out and given freely. A new reality. Help us to live into this new reality and invite others into it as well. Amen.
Prayer for February 16: Please pray with me. God of life, today we pray that life may abound and thrive. We are surrounded by death – it comes at us in force and if we are honest, it comes because we invite it in. Yet, this is not your intention for us. Help us to let go of things that bring death – our worship of being right, our divisions that separate, our broken relationships, our violence, our demands and thirst for control. You have a different intention Holy One. You promise a time when you will dwell with us and death will be no more. We wait in anticipation for that time. Forgive us when we become obstacles to the fulfillment of your reign. For we know not what we do. Come Holy One. Fill our hearts with a burning desire for life for all. Use us to create an environment where life can thrive and death is discarded. Come Holy One. Amen.
Prayer for February 15: Please pray with me. God who feeds us, we hunger to be fed. So many are without food, even in the richest countries of the world. How can this be so Lord. We make excuses and claim they are lazy. We blame and scapegoat. Why? It’s easier than doing something about it. It’s easier to blame, then to feed. Because it gets to the heart of the problem – hunger, poverty, and all other challenges exist not primarily because of material lack, but because of brokenness – broken relationships with you, with others, with ourselves, with creation, with broken system, with broken institutions, with broken people. Help us to stop just throwing money at problems. Material things can’t solve non-material problems. They can help certainly, but there are more than just material answers. Why do we fear the non-material? Why do we fear talking about the spiritual? Why do we refuse to recognize the whole of a person? Are we lazy? Are we afraid of seeing our own brokenness? Are we afraid of seeing how we contribute to the problems that exist around us? No, we’d rather just throw money at the problem and feel good about ourselves and show how much we care. This isn’t true of everyone Lord, you know that. This is a cultural problem. Lord, we are hungry – hungry for more than just material wealth. We hunger for spiritual growth and satisfaction. We are hungry for purpose. We hunger for healing. We hunger for justice. We hunger for meaning. We hunger because of the fear we feed on – a meal that doesn’t satisfy us, but makes us sick, and is poisoning us. You satisfy the hungry heart Lord. Radically reorient us towards you. Give us the courage to face the challenges that exist in our midst. Guides us in how we are to respond to what you are doing in our lives. Thank you. Amen.
Prayer for February 14: Please pray with me. God who formed us from the dust of the earth, today we are reminded that we are dust and to dust we shall return. Yes Lord, today is a day of contrast. We celebrate love in St. Valentine’s example and we face the reality of death in Ash Wednesday. Love and death. So much could be said about this pair. Give love to those who need it. For those of us who receive ashes on our forehead, let them be a sobering reminder of our own mortality. But also let them be a reminder of the love that you have for your creation. Let them be a reminder for the promises you make to us – the promise of life. You promise us renewed, transformed, resurrected life. give us a foretaste of this life to come. Remind us that death does not have the final say – love does, you do. Amen.
Prayer for February 13: Please pray with me. God of the both/and, you are the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. You are merciful and just. So often we believe and act as though there are only two choices and that we are stuck choosing one of them. Yet, you teach us over and over again that this is not so. You didn’t create the world to be a dichotomy of either/or, us/them. Rather, there is an alternative that makes this conflict unnecessary. Help us to embrace the both/and that characterizes who you are. Amen.