Liturgy, Prayer, The People Pray

Maybe we didn’t sleep much

Holy One,

Maybe we didn’t sleep much last night.
It’s a familiar feeling
from the last time,
and all the other times
when the news holds headlines
that shake our comfortable worlds.

We need shaking, Lord.
We need it so we don’t forget.
We need it so we speak up.

We see the sour fruit of violence
when we see the way the strong,
the armed, the militarized,
treat the undefended.

Give us courage
to say the things
that need to be said,
to walk the walk
that needs to be walked,
to live the lives
you call us to live.

Help us, please,
for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Photo by Tito Texidor III on Unsplash

I wrote a version of this prayer during the protests after Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri. I wish it didn’t bear repeating. You’re welcome to use the prayer or the image in whatever way is useful this week. 

I will be taking time for professional development and vacation in August.
My weekly Reflectionary email (subscribe here) will move to Tuesdays when it returns on September 8, and these blog posts will push later in the week.

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.