Prayer for August 16: Please pray with me. God of forgiveness, today we pray a really difficult prayer – a prayer we’d rather not pray. There seems to be a lot of these prayers lately Lord. Today, we pray for white supremacists. Yes, those people. The people we would rather shout and curse at. The people we’d rather slap up side the head to knock some sense into. The people we have great difficulty loving or showing any kind of love towards. Yet, somehow they are a part of your creation too. We don’t understand them Lord. In a sense, we don’t want to. We just want the craziness to stop, the racism to end, the violence to cease. St. Silouan once said that the man who cries out against evil men but refuses to pray for them will never know the grace of God. That’s not easy Lord. Yet, here are. We are praying for these people. We pray an imperfect prayer, a prayer that feels so odd and where our words are carefully crafted and yet uncertain at the same time. Ultimately our prayer can only be this – we place these people in your hands Lord. Give us the courage and strength to confront evil when we see and hear it. But help us to confront it in a way that brings life to people and creation – not destruction. Help us to show an alternative so that we don’t adopt the same techniques and strategies as those who proclaim a gospel of hate and fear. Soften their hard hearts. Open our hearts and teach us to show love for those we find unlovable. Touch our imaginations so we can see how we are to love these people and in so doing unleash love’s power to change lives – even those lives that seem unchangeable. Help our unbelief that these people could never change. Change their hearts and minds as only you can Lord. We want a miracle. We need a miracle. We ask for a miracle. We are desperate for a miracle. Help us to believe that it is not only possible, but that it is unfolding right before our eyes and in our hearts. And in so doing, dare we say it, make us an instrument of your peace and the most unlikely of miracles. Amen.