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.

Prayer, The People Pray

Are you listening?

Holy One,

Sometimes we wonder, are you listening?

We come to you with our ordinary prayers, the ones you probably expect. We have prayed for the same things for a long time. We pray about our jobs, our children, our friends. and our parents. We pray for healing and peace and change and relief. We raise our joy and our bitterness, our hopes and our despair. We demand justice, or maybe we shyly ask to better understand what it might mean. 

We pour it all out to you. 

Are you listening, O God?

Sometimes we see a glimmer, get a hint, feel the nudge, a moment of something that assures us, yes. Yet so much that we pray for does not come to be. So much has not come to pass.

Are you listening, O God? O God, you are listening. 

Give us the nudge, we pray, that rouses us from a comfortable slumber, that propels us out of the seat, that equips us for the work you call us to do —

the work that brings hope where there is despair
the work that offers joy to sweeten bitterness
the work that brings the justice we seek. 

Are you listening, O God? O God, you are listening.

We will call on you as long as we live. 

In Christ’s name. Amen.