Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Prayer for Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving

O God,

Thank you for all of the blessings of life.

Forgive us when we are careless about how we think about those blessings. Forgive us when we let ourselves nurture a sense of entitlement or develop a sense of pride. Never let us forget that you cause the rain to fall on the just and the unjust and so our reception of natural and material blessings proves nothing about our character and says nothing about our worthiness.

Help us instead to develop true gratitude; help us to remember that no matter how hard we work for what we have or no matter how unexpected our success has been, we finally would be nothing and have nothing apart from your grace.

Let our gratitude be expressed in the practical thanksgiving of generosity; let us be inspired by what we have been given to give in return.

Let our thanksgiving be a whole-hearted thanksgiving but at the same time let it be a restless thanksgiving; let our gratitude be a sincere gratitude but at the same time let it be an uneasy gratitude; let our satisfaction be a thorough satisfaction but at the same time let it be an incomplete satisfaction.

Let us not be at ease so long as there is anyone who does not have the blessings that we have. Give us a perpetual desire and willingness to do what we can to help anyone that we can help; give us courage to work to overcome the powers and to change the structures that keep people from knowing the basic blessings of life.

Thank you for all the blessings of life.

Please give those who lack them the same blessings.

As we look forward to that time when we will all be blessed in your eternal presence, let us do all that we can to move closer to a situation here and now in which we can celebrate together our mutual reception of the blessings of life.

After all, we are already here together and you are already here with us …

Amen.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Prayer for Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Race

O God,

Thank you for who you in your grace made me to be.

Thank you for who you in your grace made everybody else to be, too. Some of us happen to be black, some brown, and some white. Whatever we look like on the outside, form us on the inside to be people who experience and share love, grace, and mercy and who practice acceptance and understanding.

Protect us from inordinate pride in our skin tone; after all, we had nothing to do with it.
Protect us from the unthinking assumption that everyone should experience life as we do.
Protect us from using our history to excuse our attitudes and actions while criticizing others for doing the same.

Help us to remember—and to talk and act in ways that show we remember—that we are all indeed precious in your sight.

Help us to remember—and to talk and act in ways that show we remember—that we are finally all members of the same race—the human race.

Help us to remember—and to talk and act in ways that show we remember—that what unites us is stronger and more important than what separates us.

Help us to remember—and to talk and act in ways that show we remember—that the road is long and the way is hard and that we really, really need each other as we travel it.

Help us to remember—and to talk and act in ways that show we remember—that you are in the process of bringing all things together in your Son and that as your children we are to contribute to that process.

Let us grow every day in seeing each other as you see us and in loving each other as you love all of us.

Amen.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Prayer for Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Restraint

O God,

Help us to show appropriate restraint in the words we speak and in the actions we take in response to the situations we face, particularly those situations that threaten us and thus cause us to want to respond out of pride, anger, or fear.

At the same time, help us to show no restraint in the ways in which we speak and act in the pursuit and practice of love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, fairness, and understanding.

Amen.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Prayer for Monday, November 24, 2014

Here

O God,

Here we are at the beginning of another week.

Here we are

with our hopes and dreams,
with our doubts and fears,
with our goals and aims,
with our history and potential,
and
with our ideals and realities.

Here we are, about to try again to get it right—or at least to get it more right.

Here we are asking for your help again.

Here we are trusting in your grace and in your guidance.

Here we are.

Here we go …

Amen.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Prayer for Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Lord’s Day

O God,

During this church year we have remembered, celebrated, and reflected on all that you have done, are doing, and will do in your Son, through your Spirit, and in, with, and through your people.

Here on this last Sunday of the church year we proclaim the reality that Christ is King and reaffirm our allegiance to him.

Help us better to see what it means for Christ to be King.
Help us to mean it when we give our lives to him.

Help us to learn better what it means that you raised Jesus from the dead after he had humbled himself to the point of death through living a life of obedience to you that showed itself in sacrificial service; especially help us to learn what that means for the ways that you call us to live.

As we proclaim today that Christ is King, let us remember that we are also proclaiming that we are his subjects.

Let us love like he loved, let us serve like he served, and let us sacrifice like he sacrificed …

Amen.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Prayer for Saturday, November 22, 2014

Simple

O God,

We live complicated lives and
deal with complicated situations
in this complicated world.

At the heart of who we are,
help us to keep it simple.

Let us base our lives

on simple faith,
on simple love,
on simple grace,
on simple hope,
on simple needs,
on simple wants,
and
on simple words.

After all, your Son put it pretty simply
when he told us how to live:

love God, love others.

Help us to base our lives
on those simple commitments …

Amen.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Prayer for Friday, November 21, 2014

Together

O God,

According to your Book, you are in Christ bringing all things together; you are in Christ making all things one.

That’s an amazing goal considering the expansiveness of the Universe and the diversity among people.

But you are God and if that’s what you say you’re doing then that’s what you’re doing. We acknowledge that we can celebrate it but that we can’t understand it.

So we thank you for what you are doing and we ask that you give us grace, love, and determination to participate in and to contribute to what you are doing.

Help us to commit our lives to helping bring things together; help us to live in pursuit of greater understanding of your Creation and to support those who give their lives to the pursuit of understanding it so that we can better comprehend the ways in which this planet and this Universe work so that we can participate better in your work of bringing all things together.

Help us to commit our lives to helping bring people together; help us to live in pursuit of greater understanding of, respect for, and concern for each other. Show us how to seek unity in our families, in our churches, in our communities, in our nation, and in our world. Give us a commitment to peace with a goal of not just reducing conflict but of building real relationships.

We praise you for what you are doing to bring all people and all things together.
We ask you to give us courage and commitment to be a part of it.

Amen.