Liturgy, Prayer, The People Pray

We are the weeds

Holy One, 

Sometimes we have planted carefully and nurtured new growth with passionate patience, then celebrated the bounty of our garden without noticing your little ones who go hungry.

You know what we take pride in, both our effort and our ignorance.

Please, we pray, forgive us.

Sometimes we are tempted to look at someone else’s garden and see only the weeds, without admitting our own failures.

You know what we hold onto, both our self-importance and our denial.

Please, we pray, forgive us. 

Sometimes we think we there is no difference between what you want and what we want; we are the weeds among the wheat, and the wheat crowded by weeds.

You know what we believe, both our certainty and our stubbornness.

Please, we pray, forgive us.

In Christ Jesus, who sows seeds of new life, we are forgiven!

I wrote this prayer in conversation with Psalm 139:1-12 and 23-24 and Matthew 13:24-30. You’re welcome to use the prayer or the image in any way that would be useful this week.

Liturgy, Prayer

The wrong we have done

All-knowing God,

We do not want you to know what we do.

When we say we do what we hate
what we mean is this:
we do exactly what we want
and we expect that no one will know,
or no one will stop us. 

The good we want is hard,
or it is painful,
or it requires discipline or honesty
or self-reflection,
and we do not do it.

The evil we do is easy
or attractive
or tempting
or so commonplace
it can be hard to believe it is wrong.

Help us to look at ourselves and see
how things really are,
not the fairy tale versions who do no wrong,
but our actual selves, 
in all our brokenness.

Help us to take an honest look
and not despair
or resort to defensiveness.

Help us to face the wrong we have done,
and the things our ancestors have done
and left undone before us.

From our stories and yours
help us to learn a better way,
to begin to live in wholeness
as the people you made us to be. We ask it in the holy name of Jesus. Amen. 

I wrote this prayer in response to Romans 7:15-25a. You’re welcome to use it, or the image below, in any way that would be useful this week.

Liturgy, Prayer

Make us the engineers of your change

Holy God,

We know you call us to faithful lives. You send us emissaries, both in the stories of Holy Scripture and in the lives of people we meet. We give thanks for the brave proclaimers of truth, the tireless workers against injustice, and the quiet heroes of goodness who respond to your call by saying, “Here I am.”

And yet, we hesitate.

We confess our own fear of speaking up. We confess our exhaustion in the struggle. We confess our fear of seeming different from our friends and neighbors.

Help us to welcome your messengers, no matter what the world may think. Help us to open more than our doors, to offer more than a cup of cold water. Help us to open our hearts to your Word. Help us to offer our lives for your Way.

Give us the courage to take the next step, to follow where you lead, and to live lives that testify to your truth. 

Make us the engineers of your change in the world: the protestors for peace, the provokers of justice, the agitators of love, and the instigators of mercy. 

(Add local prayers here.)

We ask all these things in the name of the One who offered us everything, Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray saying…

You’re welcome to use the prayer above or the image below in any way that would be useful this week.