I foolishly tried to write a prayer for this week that holds it all. At this, like every other week, I will fail. It won’t hold it all. Only God can do that. But I am confident that God will show up anyway, and that God’s love will be washing over everything, anyway. That’s the prayer within a prayer, right? God, let our prayers and worship and action and hope… Let us be enough. So join me in intention and prayer:
God, in this world full of darkness and terror, let us shine your love-light and hope. In a world where there is skew and lenses of privilege in every news source, help us to do our best to pray for the world.
We lift up Paris. We lift up bombs in Beirut. We lift up terror in Baghdad. We lift up misguided blaming of refugees. We lift up the transgender community, this week mourning the names and lives of over 200 killed this year. We lift up Palestine and College Campuses and racism in America. We lift up hopelessness and despair and those affected by mental illness and suicide and addiction. We lift up the evils of cancer and chronic pain, the unseen weight we carry in our minds, the horror of abuse and torture, across the world and close to, or in our, homes. We lift up hunger and pain and homelessness. We lift up our hands open and wanting and falling short asking for your help, God of Ages.
Hold to us the ability to open our hearts and see beyond our own understanding of the world, into the reality of a multiracial, multicultural, multi-religious global community where all are cherished.
Remind us through our holy scriptures to Love our Neighbors, to work for peace, justice and mercy. Remind us, too, that other faith traditions’ Holy Scriptures say the same thing, and that most of the followers are living life as we are, trying hard to Love more fully and follow God more closely. Demand us, Lord, not to clump “those people” into “that religion” and to pull the plank from our own eye, acknowledging the extremists even in Christianity.
God, hold us accountable to our own faith, that we stretch to know and love even those we perceive as different than us. Turn us and stretch us, invite us to transformation and always, to love You, Neighbor, Self.
Hold us in healing: we who grieve, weeping still. We, who direct all attention to repair our bodies and minds, we who carry Gospel with us everywhere we go, speaking sometimes and acting all times. Hold us in healing: for relationships and broken trust. Hold us in healing: holding the work of hope towards us, pointing a way and offering opportunity for us to live into our compassion.
God, we pray for peace that passes all understanding, and restoration. We hold up our apathy and anger as gifts, inviting you to take them away, that we may see and act. We pray for wholeness for ourselves, our world. We pray knowing that you hold our collective and individual prayers… those voiced here in this space, and those offered through our hearts…