Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Prayer for Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Differences

O God,

Thank you for the differences that exist
between person and person and
between people and people.

Thank you for the great variety that exists
in skin tone,
in language,
in accent,
in ethnicity,
in religion,
in nationality,
in social background,
in lifestyle,
in philosophy,
and
in perspective.

Forgive us for allowing our differences
to become divisions;
forgive us for letting the fact of our differences
become a justification for conflict.

Help us to embrace the differences
that should be embraced
and to celebrate the differences
that should be celebrated.

Help us to overcome the divisions
that should be overcome
and to heal the divisions
that should be healed.

In too many cases we have
put a thin layer of veneer
over gaping cracks so that
when just a little pressure is applied
the cracks open up again and
when a lot of pressure is applied
the cracks become much wider.

Show us how to go beyond applying veneer;
show us how to do something about the cracks.

Amen.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Prayer for Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ferguson

O God,

We don’t have to tell you that the city of Ferguson, Missouri is coming apart at the seams.

Please give the people there peace with justice and justice with peace.
Please cool the passion and lessen the tension in that community.
Please protect those who are making a good faith effort to restore order.

When the immediate crisis has passed, give the community leaders the wisdom to do the hard work of trying to address the problems and issues that had been lying beneath the service awaiting the event that would cause them to erupt.

Please help the family of Michael Brown.
Please help police officer Darren Wilson and his family.

Forgive those who are using this crisis to gain profit for themselves, be it in obvious ways such as looting or in more subtle ways such as promoting some agenda. Help them to turn away from their sins and to become a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.

Remind us that our town could be the next Ferguson. Give us the courage and strength to look hard at our own community’s situation in order to identify the underlying issues and tensions that could, given the right spark, erupt into violence and chaos. Give us the grace and wisdom to work together to try to find solutions and then to take actions to implement those solutions.

Help us to see things from the perspective of others.
Help us to pray, talk, serve, and work together to make things better.
Help us to develop relationships of such quality that when a crisis arises in our community our immediate response will be to work together to make things better rather than to work separately to make things worse.

Bless the community of Ferguson.
Bless the community where we live.

Amen.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Prayer for Monday, August 18, 2014

People

O God,

We will encounter lots of people this week.

As we do, help us to remember that
people are frail,
people are fallible,
people are complicated,
and
people are often unaware of
just how frail, fallible, and complicated
they are.

Help us to remember that
people can be noble and petty,
people can be generous and selfish,
people can be loving and apathetic,
and
people can be forgiving and vengeful—
sometimes all at the same time.

Help us to remember that
we are people, too.

And help us to remember that
we are all—every last one of us—
loved by you.

As we encounter people this week
and as they encounter us,
help us to be empathetic with
and kind to one another.

You know that they and we need it …

Amen.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Prayer for Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Lord’s Day

O God,

Today we will gather
as the body of Christ,
as the family of faith,
and
as the community of the Spirit
to worship you.

Even as we focus our worship
on you and you alone,
help us to grow toward truly being
a body,
a family,
and
a community.

Help us to become
a stronger body,
a stronger family,
and
a stronger community
as we grow in
our willingness and even eagerness
to embrace our sameness and our diversity,
to accept our agreements and disagreements,
and
to celebrate our individuality and our commonality.

Amen.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Prayer for Saturday, August 16, 2014

With

O God,

Thank you that
you love us enough to
be with us.

Thank you that
you came to
be with us
in Jesus Christ our Lord
and
that you continue to
be with us
in your Holy Spirit.

Thank you that as you
make your home with us
you bind us together as
one great family
in one great home.

We want to love you
so much that we want to
be with you;
we want to love you
so much that we want to
be with you
for all eternity
starting with every moment
here and now.

We want to love you
so much that we want to
be with each other;
we want to love each other
so much that we are willing to
give ourselves up
for each other.

Thank you that
you are with us
and that
you call us to
be with you
and
to be with each other.

Let our lives reflect
the great community
of which we are
all members.

Amen.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Prayer for Friday, August 15, 2014

Simple

O God,

In the midst of this complex world and complex life,
show us how to keep things simple.

Help us to have, to maintain, and to develop

simple wants that we might be grateful for what we have,
simple trust that we might depend on you alone,
simple expectations that we might look forward to what tomorrow will bring,
a simple lifestyle that we might not be distracted by many things,
and
a simple love that we might do what we can when we can.

Thank you
for hearing this simple prayer
and
for answering this simple request.

Amen.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Prayer for Thursday, August 14, 2014

Complex

O God,

Help us to remember that no one is simple and that no event is simple.

Help us to remember that everyone is complex and that every event is complex.

Remind us that within every person is a genetic history, a family history, a social history, a psychological history, and a spiritual history, all of which come together to form that person, regardless of whether he or she is conscious of that history.

Remind us that behind every event is a political history, an economic history, a social history, a psychological history, and a spiritual history, all of which come together to instigate that event, regardless of whether the participants in the event are conscious of that history.

Remind us that as we deal with people and respond to events we are doing so out of our own history as well; we are as complex as anyone and anything else. So help us to perceive and to understand our own history.

As we deal with people and events, give us a sensitivity to history and an understanding of the forces that drive us and that help to determine our perspectives, our motives, our decisions, our responses, and our actions.

As we deal with people and events, give us wise minds, understanding hearts, and compassionate spirits.

Amen.