O God, hear our confession We’ve failed to fully love. At times, we have turned inward Or let our fear take hold. We’re like your first disciples Who quickly turned away. We want to be more loving. God, please show us the way. To the tune of PASSION CHORALE (O Sacred Head, Now Wounded)
A Prayerful Response to Isaiah 59:1-12 Connect me once again, O God, To the expansive world around me. Help me see beyond my own perspective. Create in me a propensity to listen, to love, to seek, And to redefine dividing lines. Let me move into new places. Lead me in the direction of justice. Equip me to hold the beauty and the pain. And, may I play a role in repairing the breach. Amen.
A prayer after reading Luke 3:1-6 O God, you are a dynamic God, You call us to a dynamic response. You call us to prepare a way. You call us to partner with you, So we might further your restorative work in this world And see positive change continue to unfold in new and meaningful ways. God, you call us. Help us heed that call. May we be open to your inspiration, responsive to your direction, active participants in your movement of love, peace, justice, and healing. May we prepare the way of the Lord. Amen.
A prayer after reading Luke 3:1-6 God, I like to feel prepared, organized, ready. I try to stay focused, work diligently, and prepare, So that I do my job well. In my head, my job well done will benefit others and please you. And I think, to some extent, that’s true. But God, I also recognize that I want to feel prepared to help calm my anxiety, to cling to some illusion of control, and to try to avoid embarrassment. Yet in this season, O God, you call us to prepare Not so we feel less anxious, not so we avoid embarrassment, or so we look good. In this season and beyond, You call us to prepare for your sake, so you may be known, So a pathway to your people may be clear; so that your spirit may freely move in, through, and all around us. God, in this Advent season, may I shift my focus, turning my attention to you and preparing for your hope, peace, joy, and love to flourish in this world. This is my prayer. Amen.
Maundy Thursday O God, just when we're ready to diminish the meaning of love, Jesus challenges us to redefine it. As we're misusing the word and "falling in love" with trends, bad habits, and material things, Jesus foregoes words altogether and embodies a new way. He bends down and washes the tired feet of those gathered. He gives undivided attention to each soul he encounters and shows us the way of compassion and humble service. Knowing this, how could we go back to our old ways of loving? O God, help us move forward in love and explore the depths of what that means. Amen.
God of Transformation, bring healing into our lives. Bring doctors, bring counselors, bring the faithful, bring the teachers, bring the spiritual guides and the law makers, bring fresh new voices and wisdom from experience, bring souls who desire loving transformation, bring your beloved community together. God, bring healing into our lives, so we may see your work taking hold in this hurting world, and so that we may begin to see ourselves as people who together can further your healing love, your reconciliation, your peace, your truly transformative ways. Amen.
I once learned to pray with my hands clasped, Head bowed, feet on the floor, feeling grounded, connected to the abiding presence of God. I also learned to open my hands, To open my eyes, and to open myself, To the Spirit of God all around me. And still, I learned another way to pray, To assume a posture of compassion and solidarity, And to stretch out my arms in service to others. I commit myself again to living out this Trinitarian prayer: To be rooted in the love of my Maker, Open to the Spirit all around me, And to be compassionate and in solidarity with others like my servant Lord.
God, give me a faith that travels from my mind, down to my feet that lands in unfamiliar places and stirs up meaning in the mundane. May my faith hold up in trials And never tire when things look dim May it always have a community in which to stretch and rest and grow. God, give me a faith that travels, Breaks down barriers and brings a love that I cannot quite fathom yet But that’s transformative, no doubt. God, propel my faith to travel through My heart, my hands, my voice. Wherever next its needed, God, may it find its way there.