Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Prayer for Thursday, June 30, 2011

“What Then Did You Go Out to See?”

O God, if we bear witness to you in the world—and we do, one way or another—people will see us. Cause us to consider what kind of witness we offer to them.

Help us to be strong and even prophetic in our witness. Moreover, help us to be real and authentic in our witness.

More than anything else, though, help us through our witness to prepare the way for others to see you.


“As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.”’” (Matthew 11:7-10)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Prayer for Wednesday, June 29, 2011

“Blessed is Anyone Who Takes No Offense at Me”

Forgive us, O Lord, when we expect Jesus to be something other than he is; forgive us when we expect him to do something other than what he does.

Give us, O Lord, eyes to see the wonderful and amazing gifts of wholeness, meaning, and hope that come to broken people—and we are all broken people—because of who Jesus is and what Jesus does.

Cause us, O Lord, to be true disciples of Jesus who give our time, energy, and resources to accomplishing the same kinds of good that he accomplished and still accomplishes.

Not to seek forgiveness for expecting Jesus to be other than who he is, not to see the grace he brings to broken people, and not to follow him by doing what he did—those are all ways that we show that we take offense at him.

Lord, have mercy.


“When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.’” (Matthew 11:2-6)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Prayer for Tuesday, June 28, 2011

“He Went On”

Help us, God, to do what Jesus did. Help us always to focus both on (1) teaching disciples so that we can be effective and mature in our living and serving and (2) going on to the people who still need to be introduced to your love and grace.

Protect us from taking an “either/or” approach to ministry; help us to take a “both/and” approach to ministry.

Lead us to learn of and from Jesus through prayer, Bible study, and conversations with fellow disciples; lead us also to take what we learn to people who need to be introduced to the one of and from whom we are learning so much.


“Now when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and proclaim his message in their cities.” (Matthew 11:1)

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Prayer for Monday, June 27, 2011

“Whoever Welcomes You Welcomes Me”

Lord, we thank you that sometimes we receive help, encouragement, and support from people we know and in ways that we can see and acknowledge.

But Lord, we also thank you that sometimes we receive help, encouragement, and support from people we don’t know and in ways that we can’t see or acknowledge.

Lord, give us grace neither to take the first situation for granted nor to be surprised by the second; give us grace to be grateful for all the help, encouragement, and support that we receive as we make this journey of following you.


“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.” (Matthew 10:40-42)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Prayer for Sunday, June 26, 2011

“Lose Their Life”

Help us, Lord, to love you in a way that puts and keeps all our other loves in their proper perspective.

Help us, Lord, to follow Jesus in a way that puts and keeps all our other loyalties in their proper perspective.

Help us, Lord, to live our lives in a way that puts and keeps all of our life in its proper perspective.

Cause us to remember that while loving, following, and living in those ways is costly in the short term, it leads to real and abundant life in the long term.


“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their live will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Prayer for Saturday, June 25, 2011

“Not…Peace, but a Sword”

Why is it, O God, that few things in life are more divisive than religion? Why is it that few things in life create more conflict than differences in religious conviction and practice?

We confess the arrogance and presumption that cause us to assume that our way is necessarily better than someone else’s way. We acknowledge the simple faith in you that is the life preserver to which we must cling when we begin to wade into deep theological differences and discussions with someone whose perspective is different; inspire us to offer to share our life preserver with our opponents rather than to try to drown them in the deep waters that could, after all, drown us, too.

At the same time, protect us from foolish thinking that would lead us to believe that other people, even—and maybe especially—those to whom we are closest will necessarily be pleased at our way of living and will be kindly disposed toward us so that all will be well.

Remind us that it is not necessarily that way; remind us that the good news of Jesus Christ with all its love and grace creates opposition and conflict even among families because, for reasons that are a mystery to us, the good news doesn’t sound good to some and changed lives, even lives that are changed for the better, don’t always go over well with those who are used to us being another way, even a much worse way.

But God, if we must encounter opposition from people, even people who are close to us, let it be not because we seek it but because it is the inevitable result of a legitimate and humble faith; please do not let conflict arise because we are pompous, superior, or arrogant in our supposed faith.

Finally, God, please help those people in lands and in situations for whom conflict with families because of their Christian faith is a very real, very hurtful, and even very dangerous situation.


“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.” (Matthew 10:34-36)

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Prayer for Friday, June 24, 2011

“Everyone…Who Acknowledges Me”

Since we are joined to Jesus by grace through faith and since we follow Jesus by grace through faith, O God, help us to acknowledge him—to testify to our very real relationship with him—by the ways we talk with, act toward, and treat other people.

May our relationship with him have such legitimacy and such integrity that it is obvious and evident to us, to other people, to Jesus, and to you, O God.

Remind us that it is not so much the words and the actions that matter but the real life and the real relationship that lie behind and that motivate the words and the actions. Remind us too, though, that if the real life and relationship are there, so will the words and actions be.


“Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Prayer for Thursday, June 23, 2011

“So Do Not Be Afraid”

Help us, O God, to be confident rather than afraid.

Help us to be confident in thinking what needs to be thought, in believing what needs to be believed, in saying what needs to be said, and in doing what needs to be done; help us not to be afraid of thinking, believing, saying, and doing what we must.

Help us to be confident in your perspective, mercy and justice; help us not to be afraid of people’s lack of perspective, mercy and justice.

Help us to be confident in your gracious provision and care that extends to us in ways that we cannot see and have a hard time even imagining; help us not to be afraid of personal pain and loss in a way that betrays a lack of trust in your dependable if mysterious providence.

Help us, O God, to be confident rather than afraid.


“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:26-31)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Prayer for Wednesday, June 22, 2011

“To Be Like the Teacher”

Lord, deliver us from a martyr complex that would lead us to want to be maligned; deliver us also from a persecution complex that would lead us to believe that we are being persecuted whether we in fact are or not.

At the same time, though, teach us the hard lessons that the road less traveled is not easy street and that going against the current is not a leisurely swim.

Cause us to be true to the ways of Jesus Christ our Lord—the ways of radical grace, love, mercy, peace, faith, hope, and forgiveness. Cause us to be reminded—not morbidly but realistically—of what those ways cost Jesus. Deliver us from a shallowness and foolishness that would let us believe that if we live his life in the world the people we encounter will accept us better than they did him.

When we pray that we want to be like Jesus, O God, give us clarity as to what exactly we are praying for.


“A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!” (Matthew 10:24-25)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Prayer for Tuesday, June 21, 2011

“Endures to the End”

Lord, strengthen, encourage, and protect your followers for whom being your disciple truly is a divisive, dangerous, and risky reality. Help them to serve you and to bear witness to you in all circumstances; enable them to endure to the end.

Lord, strengthen, encourage, and protect those of us for whom being your disciple is not a divisive, dangerous, and risky reality. Forgive us for our failure truly to follow you that results in a lack of distinctiveness from our culture that keeps us from being misunderstood and mistreated; help us to be faithful enough that we are at risk enough that we will be driven to ask you to help us to endure to the end.

Strengthen those for whom having the heart to endure to the end is a real issue.

Convict those for whom having the heart to endure to the end is a non-issue.


“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” (Matthew 10:21-23)

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Prayer for Monday, June 20, 2011

“What You Are to Say Will Be Given to You”

We praise you, O God, that your Spirit goes with us, speaks to us, and speaks through us.

Help us to cultivate such a close relationship with you that not only our words but also our feelings, thoughts, motives, and responses will be guided by your Spirit, not only when we are under stress and pressure, but all the time.


“When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:19-20)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Prayer for Sunday, June 19, 2011

“As a Testimony”

Forgive us, Lord, for the carelessness and shallowness that sometimes characterize our faith; forgive us for thinking and for acting as if our lives bear witness to your presence in them best when—or only when—we are healthy, wealthy, and well regarded.

Remind us, Lord, that the most meaningful and most effective testimony we can offer is a faithfulness that is practiced and a joy that is experienced even when—especially when—we are suffering, poor, and badly regarded—or disregarded.

Help us to be a testimony in all circumstances to your presence in us in all circumstances.


“Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles.” (Matthew 10:17-18)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Prayer for Saturday, June 18, 2011

“Be…Wise…and Innocent”

We acknowledge, O God, that the life you have given us to live is a challenging life and the mission you have given us to carry out is a risky mission. We acknowledge that if we as sheep faithfully follow our shepherd, that if we consistently and intentionally try to live and love as Jesus lived and loved, we will run afoul of the wolves in the world like he did.

So, O God, give us sharp and nimble minds that will navigate our way in the world with insight and wisdom.

At the same time, give us hearts that are in the right place—that are in your place—so that we can do what we do and say what we say out of a solid place within us; give us the motives of grace, service, and selflessness that befit followers of Jesus Christ.


“See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be as wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Prayer for Friday, June 17, 2011

“Shake Off the Dust from Your Feet”

Lord, protect us from the pride that can come from the knowledge that we represent you in the world; give us instead humility and grace.

Lord, protect us from the defensiveness that can come from an expectation that our words will be rejected; give us instead a realistic hope.

Lord, protect us from the vindictiveness that can come from a too easy assumption that our opponents are your enemies; give us instead trust in your justice.

Lord, protect us from the belief that in shaking the dust off our feet we have disconnected ourselves from people; give us instead a sense that in shaking the dust off our feet we leave a little of ourselves behind as well.


“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” (Matthew 10:14-15)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Prayer for Thursday, June 16, 2011


Grant, Lord, that as we share your grace and love through the living of our lives we will do so with a spirit of hospitality and blessing.

Help us to grow in our receiving of others and in our acceptance of our reception by others.

Help us to grow in our assumption that our blessing will be appreciated, well-received, and reciprocated.

Help us to grow in our desire to partner with others in the sharing of your grace and love.

At the same time, help us to grow in our understanding that not everyone will accept us or accept being accepted by us or will bless us or accept being blessed by us. When such refusals happen, grant that they will be directed at us and not be practiced by us. When they are directed at us, may we not deserve them due to arrogance, presumption, or pride and, if we do not invite rejection by our failure to practice Christian grace, give us grace to pray for and to love those who reject us.


“Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.” (Matthew 10:11-13)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Prayer for Wednesday, June 15, 2011

“Give…Take No…”

Lord, as we live our lives day by day, help us to live fully equipped with grace that inspires us to serve with great freedom and with faith that inspires us to trust in your great provision.


“You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food.” (Matthew 10:8a-10)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Prayer for Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Remind us, O Lord, that instructions tend to be intended for a particular people in a particular place in a particular time. So, for example…given that the good news was eventually preached to the Samaritans and the Gentiles, your instructions to the Twelve to go only to the lost sheep of Israel clearly don’t apply to us in our time and place; indeed, they applied to the Twelve only on that particular mission and not to their later mission efforts.

We ask, therefore, for wisdom and discernment both in understanding how the instructions given in biblical texts apply to us in our situation and in understanding the instructions that we receive from you in prayer and through the Holy Spirit.

Remind us also, O Lord, that some instructions are given for all your people in all times and in all places. So, for example, even now we are to do what you told the Twelve to do as they went to the people of Israel—we are to carry out ministries of help, healing, and wholeness in your name.

We ask, therefore, for wisdom and discernment in recognizing the instructions in your Book that are intended for us and for the grace and strength not to explain them away but rather to carry them out.


“These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.” (Matthew 10:5-8a)

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Prayer for Monday, June 13, 2011

“Jesus Summoned his Twelve Disciples”

Thank you, Lord, that you call and send your people as a group to do your work and will; thank you that we are not in this most important work alone.

Thank you also, Lord, that you know, call, and send us by name; thank you that we are not to you just nameless faces in a crowd.

Thank you in addition, Lord, that we have you and that we have each other as we strive to be who we are supposed to be and to do what we are supposed to do.


“Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.” (Matthew 10:1-4)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Prayer for Sunday, June 12, 2011

“Ask the Lord…to Send out Laborers”

Thank you, Lord, that the physical absence of Jesus from this world does not mean the absence of the Body of Christ; thank you that the Church, made up of followers of Jesus Christ, constitutes the body of Christ in the world today.

May we who are the Church be filled with your compassion, motivated by your grace, and fueled by your Spirit to be the Body of Christ in the world by continuing the ministry of Jesus in preaching, teaching, and helping so that people who are harassed and helpless might come to know and to love you.

In line with the instructions of Jesus, we ask that you will send the needed laborers out into the world. Whatever the tasks we do and the roles we fill in our daily lives, help us always to know that we are doing your work of offering your compassion and love to everyone we meet.


“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” (Matthew 9:37-38)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Prayer for Saturday, June 11, 2011

“He Had Compassion”

The crowds are still with us, O God, and they are still harassed and helpless, like followers without a leader—or at least without a leader who has their best interests at heart.

Help us to be so filled with the compassion of Jesus—a compassion that, after all, is making all the difference for us—that we will reach out to the people around us in the ways that we talk, act, and help, even if such talking, acting, and helping is costly to us—and it will be. Grant that our acts of compassion will always be motivated by compassion and nothing but compassion; grant that they will never be motivated by selfish motives of seeking status or power.

The crowds are still with us, O God, and they need you. May we be conduits for your compassion.


“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”(Matthew 9:35-36)

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Prayer for Friday, June 10, 2011

“Never Has Anything Like This Been Seen”

Thank you, Lord, for all that we have seen you do in our lives and in the lives of others.

Forgive us for how we take your amazing grace and miraculous love for granted.

Help us to live in grateful acceptance of the ways that you work in us and in others.


“After they had gone away, a demoniac who was mute was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed and said, ‘Never has anything like this been seen in Israel.’ But the Pharisees said, ‘By the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons.’” (Matthew 9:32-34)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Prayer for Thursday, June 9, 2011

They…Spread the News

Thank you, Lord, for the ways in which you touch us and make us whole; we affirm that when you make us whole it changes us in ways that can hardly be hidden and in ways that inspire us to, one way or another, make it known to others.

Did these two formerly blind men need to be forgiven for violating your order not to let anyone know that you had healed them? Given that they once were blind but now could see, did you really expect them to keep the change a secret? Surely you weren’t surprised when they couldn’t stop themselves from telling people what you had done for them.

Do we need to be forgiven for not spreading the news? Surely you are surprised when we can and do stop ourselves from telling people what you have done for us or don't even think about letting people know what you have done for us. Help us, Lord, not to hide our witness, both in the speaking of words and in the living of life, to who you are and to what you have done in our lives.

Hopefully it shows whether we are aware of it or not.


“Then Jesus sternly ordered them, ‘See that no one knows of this.’ But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district.” (Matthew 9:30b-31)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Prayer for Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Lord, we are blind in any number of ways—blind to our faults, blind to our blessings, blind to our abilities, blind to our sins, blind to our forgiveness, blind to your judgment, blind to your grace—Lord, we are blind in so many ways.

We believe that you are able to heal our blindness; please help our unbelief.

Open our eyes, Lord, so that we might see what we really need to see so that we can really live.


“As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you.’ And their eyes were opened.” (Matthew 9:27-30a)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Prayer for Tuesday, June 7, 2011

“Not Dead but Sleeping”

O God, sometimes we feel like we’re dead or dying—remind us that we’re only sleeping.

O God, one day we will die—remind us that we’ll only be sleeping.

O God, when we feel like we’re dead or dying, take us by the hand so we can get up. And when we are dead and the great getting up morning comes, take us by the hand so we can get up.


“When Jesus came to the leader’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, ‘Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. And the report of this spread throughout that district.” (Matthew 9:23-26)

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Prayer for Monday, June 6, 2011

“Your Faith Has Made You Well”

We thank you, Lord, that sometimes our trust in you leads to a kind of wholeness and restoration that we and others can see.

But we also thank you, Lord, that sometimes our ability to trust in you regardless of our outward circumstances is in and of itself a very important kind of wholeness and restoration, even if the wholeness and restoration is in inward places that you—and maybe we—can see.

Thank you for the wholeness and restoration, be it the temporary physical kind or the permanent spiritual kind, that come to us when we put our trust in you.


“Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, ‘Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well.” (Matthew 9:22)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Prayer for Sunday, June 5, 2011

If I Only…

O God, give us the kind of faith that doesn’t need, expect, look for, or demand more than coming into contact with you. Give us a heart that needs only a simple, basic, relationship with you. Give us a spirit that expects no more of ourselves than we can do and no more of you than we should expect.

We are tempted to say,

“If I only move a mountain” or
“If I only have no doubt” or
“If I only commit no sin” or
“If I only am acknowledged as good by everyone” or
“If I only have no more struggles”

or the like.

Give us the kind of faith that can say, “If I only touch his cloak”—and mean it.

To come into contact with you, Lord—we affirm that it is enough.


“Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.’” (Matthew 9:20-21)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Prayer for Saturday, June 4, 2011

“With His Disciples”

O God, we acknowledge that people still come to and kneel before Jesus Christ, offering up very real requests that come from the very real love that they have for the very real people in their lives.

O God, we furthermore acknowledge that, when people come and kneel before Jesus, he still gets up and follows them to the place where the person they love can be found.

And God, we furthermore acknowledge that it is still important that we who are the disciples of Jesus get up and go with him to that place of need and to that person in need; indeed, it may be even more important now because in these days, we who are the disciples of Jesus are the Body of Christ in the world and thus are the channels for the healing and helping power of the Spirit of Christ.

Inspire and compel us to go where Jesus goes and remind us that he goes to the places where people are in pain and in need.


“Suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying, ‘My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.’ And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples.” (Matthew 9:18b-19)

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Prayer for Friday, June 3, 2011

“While He Was Saying These Things to Them…”

Thank you, God, for the opportunities we have to engage in conversations; thank you for what is gained in the exchange of thoughts, words, and lives.

Thank you also for the opportunities we have to talk to and to listen to you.

Make us attentive, though, to the lives that are being lived around us as we engage in conversations—even in edifying spiritual conversations; they in their hurts and needs and longings just might need our attention and our action.

Give us grace to engage fully with those with whom we are talking; give us grace also to disengage from them if someone in need comes along.


“While he was saying these things to them…” (Matthew 9:18a)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Prayer for Thursday, June 2, 2011

“Fresh Wineskins”

The old ways are generally and usually good.

Sometimes, though, they must be altered or adapted for new circumstances.

And sometimes they must be discarded altogether in favor of something new, particularly something new that our following of Jesus and our listening to the Spirit require.

Give us, O Lord, wisdom and grace to know, from moment to moment, from day to day, and from situation to situation, which approach is required.


“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:16-17)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Prayer for Wednesday, June 1, 2011

“Then They Will Fast”

On the one hand, we live on the other side of the crucifixion, so mourning and fasting are appropriate.

On the other hand, we live on the other side of the resurrection, so celebrating and feasting are appropriate.

Sometimes—maybe all the time, in a sense—we mourn and fast because we recognize our lack and our need.

Sometimes—maybe all the time, in a sense—we celebrate and feast because we recognize our abundance and our fulfillment.

Help us, O God, to live in the balance between mourning/fasting and celebrating/feasting that reveals our recognition of both how far we have to go and how far we’ve come.


“And Jesus said to them, ‘The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.’” (Matthew 9:15)