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 September 21: Please pray with me. God of forgiveness, today we pray for forgiveness. Forgive us when we sin, when we do something to hurt someone else – whether knowingly or unknowingly. Forgive when we harm a relationship. Help us to receive forgiveness and be open to receiving it so that we can stop beating ourselves up over our sins. We thank you for your forgiveness and ask that you give us the courage to forgive others when they sin against us. Amen.
Prayer for September 13: Please pray with me. God who is love, today we ask that your love would spread over all of creation. Help us to see what that love is really about. And to experience your unending love for your creation. Lord, we were once your enemies because we had been turned away from you due to sin. You radically reorient us back to you. Help us to offer that same kind of love to others knowing that love draws us closer to one another. Amen.
Prayer for September 11: Please pray with me. God of forgiveness, today we pray for all those in conflict. Sin is the breaking of relationship – a type of turning away from you and from others. We ask that you would radically reorient us towards you and others. Love is the drawing in towards one another – let your love grow within us. You have forgiven us and showed great grace and mercy to us. Help us to respond to this gift by also forgiving others with grace and mercy. We can’t control how others will respond, but that isn’t the point. You call on us to offer these things regardless of the response. Give us the courage to do just that. 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 July 19: Please pray with me. God who invites the innocent in, forgive us when we judge and separate others. We so desperately want to claim the right to judge others – why? To make ourselves feel good, to cover our own sin and guilt? To hide the rejection we have felt or are feeling? Help us to identify with the others we would rather judge. Help us to see ourselves in them. Help us to see that there is no them at all. Amen.
Prayer for March 7. Please pray with me. Sin is popular, even if we don’t like to talk about it. It is popular because it is so tempting – so good looking and feeling – so very appealing. And we fall for it. Time and time again. Give us strength to face these temptations. Better yet, take our place Lord when temptation gets in our face and messes with our lives. If we have to deal with it on our own, we’re screwed. Thank you Lord for delivering us from temptation and evil. Amen.
Prayer for March 2. Please pray with me. God of repentance, today we ask that you turn us from our sinful ways. Sin is much deeper than the acts that we do, it is the broken relationships that persist. Our relationship with you, with others, with ourselves, and with the rest of creation are broken. Heal the brokenness, we can’t. Amen.
Prayer for December 26: Please pray with me. God who is with us, set our hearts free from the bondage of sin in all of its many forms. Set us free from our attempts to grasp hold and hang on to our sins that give us false security. Set us free from pride that pushed others away and below us. Set us free from walls that we erect to divide your children from one another. Set us free from seeking wholeness apart from you. Set us free Lord so that we can freely service you in carrying out your mission – to reconcile people and all of creation to you. Amen.
Prayer for December 20: Please pray with me. God of all, today we pray that you shake us up. Rip us from our sinful desire to divide people into camps that are on “our” side and “their” side. This is ridiculous Lord! How dare we separate your creation and children. How dare we claim that you support our cause. How pompous of us to even think that we could use you for our own purposes. If we need humbled, then humble us. And as you humble us, help us to know that you are right there with us and that there are no sides – except the sides we create. Amen.