Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Prayer for Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Lord’s Day

O God,

We’ll participate in worship today for lots of reasons.

It might be

because we like the music,
because we like the preacher,
because we want seven principles for successful living,
because it’s the right thing to do,
because it improves our reputation,
because it’s what proper folks do,
because it’s what’s expected of us, or
because it’s what we’ve always done.

But what if we participated in worship

because we want to praise you for
the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ,

because Jesus’ resurrection paves
the way for our resurrection,

because Jesus’ resurrection leads
to the renewal of all creation, and

because Jesus’ resurrection means that
we’ve been raised to walk in newness of life?

As we worship you today, let it be

because Christ the Lord is risen,
because Christ the Lord is risen indeed.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Prayer for Saturday, July 30, 2016


O God,

We praise you that we are
fearfully and wonderfully made.

We praise you for the human genome.
We praise you for all the stuff of which we are made.

We praise you that our
genome contains chromosomes,
which in turn contain genes,
which in turn contain DNA.

We praise you that every person’s genome
is 99.9% the same as every other person’s.

Help us remember that.

Help us always keep in mind, when we think

about people,
about relationships,
about politics,
about “foreigners,”
about race,
about immigrants,
about nationalities,
about ethnicities,
about us, and
about them,

that we are, every last one of us,

99.9% the same.

We also praise you for the uniqueness in each person’s genome.

We praise you that we are not all exactly the same.
We praise you that we’re not boring.
We praise you for what we all bring to the table.

Help us embrace our sameness and our uniqueness.
Help us see how wonderful it all is.
Help us see how wonderful we all are.

While we’re at it, we also praise you that we are
only 99% the same as our closest genetic relative,

the chimpanzee.

We really, really praise you for that.


Friday, July 29, 2016

A Prayer for Friday, July 29, 2016


O God,

As we

hear what we hear,
see what we see, and
think what we think,

help us sift

the good from the bad,
the best from the good,
the right from the wrong,
the wise from the foolish,
the helpful from the hurtful,
the just from the unjust,
the constructive from the destructive,
the hopeful from the despairing, and
the loving from the hateful.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Prayer for Thursday, July 28, 2016


O God,

Scientists have found a bacterium in the human nose that produces an antibiotic that can fight MRSA.

First, thank you for scientists. Thank you for the work they do to increase our understanding and to assist humanity.

Second, thank you for the wonder of the human body. We are indeed wonderfully made.

Third, help us pay attention to what’s right under our noses. Who knows what else is readily available to us to help us deal with our problems? You just might have given us plenty of grace, hope, and love to treat the spiritual and social problems that threaten human health. Help us keep looking until we find them. And having found them, help us make good use of them.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Prayer for Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dems 2016

O God,

The Democratic Convention is taking place in Philadelphia. Hillary Clinton is officially the party’s nominee for President.

Please bless the delegates and others who are gathered for the convention. Give them wisdom. Grant them safety.

Watch over Secretary Clinton and Senator Kaine and their families. Keep them safe during the upcoming campaign.

Let the Democratic agenda be guided by compassion for those who are suffering, by concern for those who are oppressed, and by hope for those who are in despair.

Help the Democrats be a voice and a force for positive change in our nation and in our world.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Prayer for Tuesday, July 26, 2016


O God,

There’s too much killing.

Too many people believe that the best way to make their point or to express their feelings is to harm and kill other people. Too many people are willing to use a gun, a bomb, a knife, a truck, or some other weapon to inflict pain and grief on others.

Lead us to repent of violence. Lead us to repent of our attitudes and motives that accept and even fuel violence. Help us not to nurture thoughts of anger and desires for vengeance.

Help us as a community, be it local, national, or universal, address the societal problems that prompt people to believe that killing will help them or their cause. Help us address mental illness, prejudice, oppression, inequality, ignorance, and other situations that lie behind the violence and killing that are far too commonplace.

Help us as followers of the Prince of Peace to do all we can to promote, advocate for, and live in peace.


Monday, July 25, 2016

A Prayer for Monday, July 25, 2016


O God,

Let us be quick

to understand,
to accept,
to forgive,
to help,
to give, and
to love.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Prayer for Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Lord’s Day

O God,

We worship you

as Creator,
as Savior, and
as Lord.

We offer you
our presence and
our praise.

Help us offer you
our lives as well.

Help us offer you

our attitudes,
our motives,
our words, and
our actions.

Let our prayer be,
“Not our will, but
your will be done.”

Let the way we live
be your answer …


Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Prayer for Saturday, July 23, 2016


O God,

We are in the midst of a presidential election season.

It’s been ugly. We expect it to get uglier.

Forgive those who think that’s a good thing. Forgive us if we think it’s a good thing.

The discourse during this campaign has often spread darkness more than light and obscured truth more than revealed it.

We pray that the candidates and their campaigns will be motivated by a desire to do what’s best for the nation and for the world. We pray that they will speak the truth and act with integrity so we can evaluate them on the basis of what they say and do.

We recognize that they are likely to fall short of such ideals.

So we pray that you will give us wisdom and discernment. Give us the ability to know the truth and to act on it. Help us to interpret political discourse well so we can make the best decision possible when we vote this fall. Let our hearing, understanding, and responding be guided by grace, love, empathy, and compassion.

We recognize that we are likely to fall short of such ideals.

So—Lord, have mercy …


Friday, July 22, 2016

A Prayer for Friday, July 22, 2016


O God,

Help us trust in you.

Help us know that you are, that you love, and that you care.

Don’t let fear lead us to seek security in inappropriate ways and from inappropriate sources.

Instead, let us find our security in you.

Let our trust in you show itself in our following of the way your Son lived before us.

Let it be seen in our practice of sacrificial love, of embracing grace, and of forgiving mercy.

Let our lives show that we trust you and your ways.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Prayer for Thursday, July 21, 2016


O God,

Sometimes we sync our various devices so they’ll all have the same data. That way, we can listen to our favorite songs whether we’re using our phones, our tablets, or our computers.

Help us sync with you as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Help us sync with you in your fullness.

Let us have the same attitudes, desires, and motives as you.

Especially let love become our defining characteristic and our primary motivation.

You are love. Sync us with you so we’ll grow toward being love.

Help us love like you do. Let our love be the love that Jesus demonstrated: love that gives itself away for the sake of others.

Sync us with you, O God.

And make us able to bear it …


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Prayer for Wednesday, July 20, 2016

GOP 2016

O God,

The Republican party is in the midst of its 2016 convention. Last night, they officially nominated Donald Trump as their candidate for President of the United States.

Thank you for the freedom we have in America to choose our leaders. Help us appreciate that freedom. Help us take it very seriously.

Watch over Mr. Trump and his family. Protect them as they campaign over the next few months.

Give the Republican party a vision for America that is based on what is best for all Americans. Help them think, talk, and act in ways that will contribute to bringing us together.

Help the GOP be a positive contributor to our national conversation.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Prayer for Tuesday, July 19, 2016


O God,

Sometimes we think about the past. Sometimes we look back with nostalgia, sometimes with guilt, and sometimes with regret.

Sometimes we think about the future. Sometimes we look ahead with hope, sometimes with fear, and sometimes with foresight.

Help us learn from the past as we should—but don’t let us try to live there.

Help us plan for the future as we should—but don’t let us try to live there.

Help us instead to live now. Help us to live in this moment.

It is, after all, in this moment that we are alive.

Help us be fully alive in it.

Help us be fully present in what is happening now, fully involved in what we are doing now, and fully attentive to the people we are with now.

Thank you for now.

Help us make full use of it.


Monday, July 18, 2016

A Prayer for Monday, July 18, 2016


O God,

Thank you for those who try to keep us safe by enforcing the law.

The recent shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge have made us more aware than usual of the dangers law enforcement officials face.

Bless the families, friends, and fellow officers of the officers who were killed or injured in those incidents. Give them the grace, faith, and courage they need for these days. Help the communities where the shootings occurred to deal with their trauma in hopeful, positive, and healing ways.

Protect all of the officers who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting their communities.

Remind us to appreciate and encourage them.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Prayer for Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Lord’s Day

O God,

We praise you for the
life, love, and grace that
we experience in you.

We ask you to let your
life, love, and grace so
permeate our lives that
others can experience
them through us.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Prayer for Saturday, July 16, 2016


O God,

The latest reports indicate that the government of Turkey has survived an attempted coup. They also indicate that some 160 people have died and that some 1500 military officers have been arrested.

It’s more instability in a very unstable region in this unstable world.

We pray for peace in Turkey. We do so for many reasons.

We pray for peace in Turkey because the Turkish people need peace so they can live and thrive.

We pray for peace in Turkey because that nation is strategically important because of its location and because of its long tradition of secular rule in an Islamic country.

We pray for peace in Turkey because in today’s world, everyone is connected to everyone else and every nation is connected to every other nation, so what happens in Turkey affects us all.

We pray for peace in Turkey because we serve the Prince of Peace who said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Give Turkey peace.

Show them how to work out their problems without resorting to further violence.

Lead them to work at resolving their differences rather than fighting over them.


Friday, July 15, 2016

A Prayer for Friday, July 15, 2016


O God,

We reel from the news of another devastating attack, this time in Nice, France.

We are moved by the irony that it happened on Bastille Day, when the French people celebrate their freedom.

Help those families directly impacted by this tragedy. Give them grace to grieve appropriately.

Help the people of France. Give them grace to deal yet another blow to their nation.

Help all of us. Give us grace to live in faith and hope, and not to live in fear.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Prayer for Thursday, July 14, 2016


O God,

Thank you for the gift of laughter.

Thank you for the relief and release laughter brings.

Thank you that, even in the midst of hard times and serious problems, we can laugh.

Help us laugh at ourselves, so we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

Help us laugh together, so we can celebrate our common humanity.

Thank you for the gift of laughter.

Help us use it well.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Prayer for Wednesday, July 13, 2016


O God,

On the one hand, it’s hard to love everybody.
It’s overwhelming, since we can’t get to them all.

On the other hand, it’s easy to love everybody.
As long as we keep it general, we can’t do anything about it.

So help us to love people one person at a time.

Help us love people by loving the person who is front of us at the moment.

Help us love the person in front of us

by listening to them closely,
by taking their experiences seriously,
by thinking about their perspectives deeply,
by conversing with them honestly,
by sharing our lives with them vulnerably, and
by giving ourselves to them generously.

We can’t love seven billion people.

But we can love one.

Help us do it well …


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Prayer for Tuesday, July 12, 2016


O God,

Help us put aside those
things that make for conflict:

ignorance, and

Help us pick up those
things that make for peace:

understanding, and


Monday, July 11, 2016

A Prayer for Monday, July 11, 2016


O God,

Thank you for the gift of our race.

It is indeed a gift—we were born with it, we didn’t ask for it, and we didn’t’ earn it.

It just is.

And it is a fact of our lives.

Thank you that we are black and white and brown, in any number of variations and combinations.

Forgive us when we assume, consciously or unconsciously, that our race is better than or superior to someone else’s. Forgive us when we believe, consciously or unconsciously, that our race is worse than or inferior to someone else’s.

Make us glad to be what we are. Make us glad that others are what they are.

Help us be appropriately aware of our heritage. Help us be appropriately grateful for what is positive in it and appropriately remorseful for what is negative in it.

Help us be appreciative and respectful of each other’s heritage.

Make us as aware as we can be of each other’s experience. Help us get to know each other. Help us treat each other as companions on the human journey. Help us understand that we are all in this together, so we will either rise up or collapse together.

Help us grow in unity even as we respect and embrace our diversity.

Thank you for how far we’ve come. Forgive us for having come no farther than we have. Help us use our current problems as an opportunity to move toward a healthier human community.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Prayer for Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Lord’s Day

O God,

It’s been a hard week.

For many of us, it’s been a hard life.

Still, we praise you for all your blessings even as we ask for your grace, peace, love, and guidance.

If and as we have been involved in or complicit in ways of thinking, talking, and acting that have made life hard for others, forgive us. Give us grace to repent. Give us grace to make things right, insofar as we can.

Help us to come together.

Let your great love that we see in Jesus Christ—love that gives itself up for others’ sake—fill and inspire us, so that we become your ambassadors for peace.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Prayer for Saturday, July 9, 2016


O God,

Let us be always ready

to listen,
to understand,
to forgive,
to help, and
to love.


Friday, July 8, 2016

A Prayer for Friday, July 8, 2016


O God,

Our society is so violent.

Why are people so afraid? Why do they assume the worst of others and see them as threats?

Why are people so angry? Why do they seek vengeance for real or perceived wrongs?

Why do people think violence helps anything? Why do they inflict pain and death on others?

Help us not to think and speak in clich├ęs. Help us instead to seek and face real explanations, complicated and troublesome though they may be. Help us instead to seek and work for real solutions, challenging and difficult though they may be.

Help us not to think in terms of them and us. Help us rather to accept our mutual responsibility so that we can together seek ways to make things better.

Help us do what we can.

But God, we need you. We need your grace, your guidance, your Spirit, your love, and your peace.

We who follow the Prince of peace need to be at peace so we can be peacemakers.

Help us all to turn to you.

If necessary, please help us despite ourselves.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Prayer for Thursday, July 7, 2016


O God,

Broaden our lives.


our minds,
our experience,
our perspective,
our understanding,
our hearts,
our grace,
our mercy, and
our love.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Prayer for Wednesday, July 6, 2016


O God,

Lessen our fear, lest we be motivated by self-protection.

Lessen our worry, lest we be motivated by anxiety.

Lessen our apathy, lest we be motivated by unconcern.

Lessen our pride, lest we be motivated by ego.

Lessen our greed, lest we be motivated by selfishness.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Prayer for Tuesday, July 5, 2016


O God,

Make us interested
in people and in problems,
not so we can gossip and complain,
but so we can understand and help.


Monday, July 4, 2016

A Prayer for Monday, July 4, 2016


O God,

Thank you for the freedom we enjoy.

Thank you that we are free in America.
Thank you that we are free in Christ.

Help us practice our freedoms as Americans
in light of our freedoms as Christians.

Help us see our American freedoms as
opportunities to exercise Christian love.

Show us what it means to embrace our
American liberties in ways that think
more of others than of self and that put
the needs of others ahead of our own.

Let the love that is ours through Christ Jesus—love
that always looks for ways to give self away—guide
every choice we make in living out our American freedoms.


Sunday, July 3, 2016

A Prayer for Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Lord’s Day

O God,

We praise you for the privileges

of knowing you,
of following Jesus, and
of belonging to your family.

Help us grow

in our knowledge of you,
in our following of Jesus, and
in our family relationships.

Let our lives reflect the
relationships we have

with you and
with each other.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

A Prayer for Saturday, July 2, 2016


O God,

Thank you for fun.

Our world has a lot of pain.
Our lives have a lot of stress.
Our minds have a lot of worry.

It’s good to be able to take
a break and have a good time.

Thank you for such opportunities.

Help us take good advantage of them.

Help us use them for
recreation, not for escape.

Thank you for fun.

Let it help us recover from
whatever has happened.

Let it empower us for
whatever is coming.


Friday, July 1, 2016

A Prayer for Friday, July 1, 2016


O God,

Help us know

when to wait and when to act,
when to remain silent and when to speak,
when to disagree and when to agree,
when to withdraw and when to remain,
when to deny and when to affirm, and
when to protest and when to cooperate.