Prayers for Pastors

Here’s a prayer for the ministers among us

O God,

Some weeks are nothing more than a series of complex negotiations with people shrewder than we. They ask for things we cannot reasonably give: baptisms without relationship, weddings that do not mention You, challenges to our faithfulness and flexibility.

Some weeks are sorrowful, the scales overbalanced toward incurable illness, chronic distress, untimely loss, challenges to our emotional energy.

Some weeks we take a hard look in the mirror. We see ourselves as you must see us: manipulative, selfish, incomplete, a challenge, surely, for You to love.

We are up too late arguing with ourselves over what Jesus meant.
We are crying out with Jeremiah for some balm, any balm.
We are on the run like Jacob, cut off from all we ever knew.

How can we find You?

Then, even as we fly for our lives, all attempts to finagle our way failing, our frailty no longer deniable even to ourselves, You meet us.

William Blake, "Jacob's Ladder"
William Blake, “Jacob’s Ladder”

Somehow, wherever we are, You are there, too.

You claim us as Your children.
You nurse our wounds.
You forgive our debts.

We are dumbfounded.

It takes time to sink in, the vision of grace and mercy and healing we experience.

And then
We make a mark…
We name the place…
We memorize the moment when we saw Your face…

We give You thanks.