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 November 2: Please pray with me. God of sinners, today we pray that you would radically reorient us away from the broken relationship of sin. Oh how we love to scapegoat and lay blame on others. Oh how it makes us feel clean. Yet, we are not Holy God. Clear the dirt from our eyes to see that laying blame on others doesn’t make us clean, but it just spreads the dirt around. We want to lay blame when something bad happens. We want someone to pay the price. We want an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. We want to make it appear like we are righteous and innocent. But what would happen if we looked at our selves? What would we see? What if we looked at our culture? What would we see? Would we like it? Help us to stop enabling our culture to promote violence against others. Help us to stop enabling ourselves to prop up a culture that makes excuses for violence and makes scapegoats – both foreign and domestic. Amen.
Prayer for April 5: Please Pray with me. God who breaks hearts of stone, break through the walls we set up around our hearts – keeping you and others out. Give us a mirror to see how ugly we can be when we scapegoat, dehumanize, overpower, and cause violence. Let us see it on our faces so that we can be convicted. And in being convicted, embrace us with your love, forgiveness, and your Spirit – move through us and change us Lord. Change us so that we embrace others. Amen.
Prayer for July 15: Please pray with me. How long oh Lord? How long must our cries rise up to you? How many people must be killed for who they are? How many must be scapegoated? How many must be our enemies? Why must we insist in creating an us and a them? Help me understand, oh Lord. We see attacks and we want to respond in anger and with vengeance. We hear the scapegoating and we want to scream in frustration. But we are reminded, time and again, that responding in anger will only bring more anger and more violence. We are reminded that frustration will only lead to giving up. Instead, Holy God, we pray that you make us an instrument of peace, today and every day. That you make us an instrument of mercy, forgiveness, and healing. Not just in word, but in action as well. Give me the courage to be these things in a world that rejects them, but desperately needs them. Amen.