Prayers for Pastors

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My God
When we read the news
Morning or night
There is
Always more

More cruelty
More devastation
More prejudice
More suffering

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My God
We wonder where to start
How to keep going

Listen to Jesus
And it is clear

By speaking truth
Gathering strength
Sharing resources
Offering comfort and
Outrage as needed

Always more

You give us what we need

Mind and heart
Body and spirit
To get the work done
To get the word out

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No one can do it alone
We thank you for community
For catalysts and cohorts
For our connection in you

For Christ
Who is
Always more

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Prayers for Pastors

To raise holy hell

To raise holy hellHoly One

You give us strength
To face oppressors
To fight injustice
To bear misunderstanding
To bring peace

To resist evil

You make us ready
To comfort the suffering
To encourage the humble
To call out the hypocrites
To equip the saints

To unsettle the satisfied

You call on us
To walk our talk
To sing Your song
To shout down evil
To take a knee

To raise holy hell

May we rise up
To the tasks set
When they are hard
And necessary
Unpopular and
Revolutionary

In the name of Jesus

Amen

Prayers for Pastors

Would we open the doors?

Dear God,

I ask myself,

Would we open the doors
On a Friday night
And shelter protestors?

Or would we stop short,
Worried about the police,
Or angry neighbors?

Would we turn off the lights,
Draw the blinds,
Hide in the office?

Or would we be ready
With water and cookies,
And first aid kits?

Would we welcome strangers,
For Your sake,
And keep them safe?

O God,
who opens doors,
I hope so.


(Offered with thanksgiving for Central Reform Congregation and University United Methodist Church in St. Louis and their hospitality to protestors this weekend.)

Prayers for Pastors

No Grocery Store Bread (a prayer for pastors)

A jug of bleach
A bottle of water
A loaf of bread

We start a list of things needed
when a storm is on the horizon.

Everyone grabs loaves of bread
a guarantee against short-term hunger.

Bleach is to disinfect drinking water
in case you don’t have power to boil it.

My friend bakes a cake,
to pass the time waiting
for the storm to hit
and humor the household.

We know how to prepare for a storm.

Meanwhile the news points elsewhere:
to resignations and pardons,
to discrimination and deportation.

What jug, what bottle, what loaf
can bolster us for the struggle
against the wrong people do?

No grocery store bread can do it.

We know what you did, Lord Jesus.

You put your own body on the line
for goodness, for mercy, for justice.

You are the bread we need,
the bread that will sustain us.

Give us life
and strength to live it
on the line for You.

Prayers for Pastors

In that moment (a prayer for pastors)

Dear Holy

in that moment
when we rise
to speak

(words they may not want to hear)

in that moment
when we pause
to look

(and see faces we cannot read)

in that moment
when we feel
the mood

(and whether it agrees with ours)

in that moment
when we know
we can’t

(do it the way we have always done it before)

move us past
the way we do things
in all the other moments

to the words
of Your Mouth
and the meditations
of Your Heart

Amen

Prayers for Pastors, Reflectionary

After a Sunday off (a prayer for pastors)

Dear Holy,

After a Sunday off,
I find it hard to come back.
I am grateful for the rest,
but still managing re-entry.

It’s probably true that
I haven’t forgotten how
to write a sermon, to craft
a prayer, to offer a blessing,

after a Sunday offbut somewhere in the middle
between“I got this!”
and “what was I thinking?”
is the post-vacation muddle,

not so much “not ready”
as “not fully present”
not so much “unwilling”
as “not sure I’m able.”

Ground me, dear Holy,
in this time and space,
with the people I serve,
and a true word from You.

Amen.

Prayers for Pastors

You changed our lives (a prayer for pastors)

When You called us into ministry,
You changed our lives.

Service became discipleship –
an awareness that any good we do
is from You and for You.

Caring became vocation –
a commitment to love others
on Your behalf.

Prayer became preparation –
a discipline not just for self-improvement
but for Your people.

Contemplation became profession –
an arrangement of divergent strands
for Your glory.

Worship became work –
a commitment of all our gifts,
given for You.

Help us to equip all people
for Your worship, for Your work
in the world.

When You called us into baptism,
You changed our lives.


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