Prayer for November 13: Please pray with me. Holy One, today we lift up those who have suffered from violence against them. We especially pray for victims of sexual violence and abuse, manipulation, and from threats of violence. Give them the healing they need Lord – not just of their body, but rather, the whole person. We also lift up those who would harm others sexually. They are in your hands Lord. Amen.
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.
Prayer for August 14: Please pray with me. God who comes to us in the tumult of life, today we pray a prayer we’d rather not pray. As the events of the last couple of days in Charlottesville, VA settle down, we pray for for the family of the person who lost their life. Give them the strength they need to get through these difficult times. We pray for the counter protestors – to give a strong voice to the voiceless. We pray that those who counter extremists would be given wisdom and courage to respond in effective ways that shift the attention away from extremists and their message to a message of hope, love, and radical inclusiveness that you give us Lord. And finally we pray for those who are consumed by fear and hatred. We place them in your hands Lord because we just don’t understand how anyone can thrive with these beliefs. We place them in your hands Lord because we just don’t know who to reach people consumed by fear and hatred. We place them in your hands Lord because we just don’t know what to do with them. Guide our words towards those who see the world completely different. Guide our hearts in the tumult of life. Amen.
Prayer for May 31: Please pray with me. Holy God, we pray for an end to violence – senseless violence, domestic violence, relationship violence, religious violence, political violence, violence directed at individuals and groups because of skin color, sexual orientation, nationality, gender, age, physical ability, helplessness, and more. In place of violence, let your love flow. Amen.
Prayer for April 28: Please pray with me. God of the nations, today we pray for peace. Help leaders to recognize that peace isn’t a destination – something to be obtained if the circumstances work out that way. No, instead, help leaders and their people, to see that peace is a way of life, decision. It is not an easy decision, nor any easy road to follow. There will be plenty opportunities to put peace aside in favor of violence, war, division, revenge, and judgement. Yet, help us to set those easy paths aside. They all lead to the same result – death. Give us the courage to choose peace. Give leaders wisdom to choose peace for their people. Radically reorient those who choose a more violent path so that swords may be beaten into ploughshares. Amen.
Prayer for April 18. Please pray with me. On this Easter Tuesday we pray for the victims of terror, war, and violence. So often we are far removed from these evils – they seem to happen in far off lands and the victims are faceless and nameless to us. Yet we know that terror, war, and violence cause you to mourn. We ask that you act – that you bring not just an end to hostility, but also you breath peace to people involved in these evils. Amen.
Prayer for April 12: Please pray with me. Today we pray for all those who would betray friends and cause violence. We place these people in your hands Lord. We don’t know what to do or what to say when this happens. We feel anger, resentment, sadness, betrayal, and hurt. We trust that you Lord. If we had it our way, we would seek revenge. Yet, that is not your way. Thank you that this is not your way. Help us to go forward with our lives when we are hurt by others. Help us to mourn the loss of friendship and to heal as we need to. And we pray that your will, not our will, be done. Amen.
Prayer for April 4: Please Pray with me. God of the oppressed, today we remember Martin Luther King, Jr, on the day of his assassination. Let his memory be a lamp on a hill to shine forth and testify to your saving power that will bring forth justice to all people. Change our hearts and turn all away from violence. And we pray for all who would oppress others, who cause harm to others, to take away others’ humanity, and who dehumanize others. Help them to see that in doing these things to others, they also do them to themselves. 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.
Prayer for July 25: Please pray with me: Holy God, today we pray for the families of victims of violence and terror – they are modern day martyrs. They died for who they were, what they stood for, and what they believed. Many died not knowing why. We ask that you be with the families and friends – be with them in this time of pain and sorrow. We know you weep with them. Help them to feel your presence.
God of peace, we also pray for those who condone violence, are committed to death and fear, and those who perpetuate these things in the world – maybe even in your name. We ask for a change of heart. Break down the walls around their hearts and minds. Soften their hearts Lord. Help them to see you, to see your face in the face of these martyrs. Change them and their ways Lord. Let them experience love, forgiveness, mercy, and peace so that they would start to live these things.
Help us to break the cycle of violence in not seeking revenge or retribution, but in offering peace and forgiveness – even to those who have wronged us and to those who hate us. That’s a tall order Lord, but we know only you can make that happen in us and in those who are different from us. We believe that this change can happen Lord – we truly believe it. Help us to be peacemakers, as costly as it is, being the ones who take the first step. We pray for the impossible Lord, knowing that you are in the business of making the impossible not just possible, but reality. We pray this in the name of the one known as the Prince of Peace. Amen.