Prayers for Pastors

On my list (a mid-week prayer for pastors)

O God,

when I consider all the people and places
and problems on my list today,
I wonder how you expect us to manage anything.
We know too much,
hear so much instant bad news
and so little of the slower-traveling reasons for hope.
Fixing things takes so much effort.
Why repair when we can throw away?
Why work at understanding when we can silo with those who agree,
enjoying our digital segregation?

O my God.

I am guilty of this, because I have another list.
On it are the people who frustrate me,
the ones who cannot see what I clearly know is true,
the ones who disagree with *my* beliefs about you,
about your world and your people.

O, dear God.

I am praying for people of color at risk
in a world where we idolize whiteness.
I am praying for non-binary people
whose families don’t “get” their pronouns.
I am praying for trans people
who just want to pee and wash their hands.
I am praying for anyone trying to pass
because it’s dangerous to be who they are.

IMG_7808-2O, my God,

help me to make another list,
with ruthless honesty,
of my own prejudices,
inherent biases,
ignored assumptions,
and previously unconscious
but painfully revealed sins
against you
and against others.

Oh my.
My God.

Thank you for second chances,
and third and ninety-ninth.
Thank you that even though
it is late,
very late,
it is not too late
to listen,
to learn,
to do better,
and maybe,
if we mean it,
to get it right
with your help.

4 thoughts on “On my list (a mid-week prayer for pastors)”

  1. I love this, Martha. It so speaks to the frustration I’m feeling at the church I’m serving where we’re beginning to meet and talk about being extravagantly welcoming and then someone who seems to be so supportive says, “I’m all in, except for the marriage in the church part.” After a sermon the positive response I receive about accepting trans people is capped off with, “I get what you’re saying except I don’t know about the bathroom thing. The bathroom part sure bugs me.” Sheesh. It really does get to be tiring and yet I know that the best I can do is to listen and listen and listen and nudge everyday toward a world where we all truly do accept one another for who we really are. I know there’s hope because my sister used to be one of those who made comments about ‘those people’ and I called her on it, only back in 2008. She heard me and just helped organize her Methodist church in Media, Pa to become a Reconciling congregation. Baby steps. Amen.

    1. I’m working to be mindful of the places where I am ridiculously fragile, as well as those places where I don’t even see how far off base I’ve been. We are all works in progress. But it must seem very slow to God.

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