Category Archives: prayer
A clear voice of hope and reconciliation from the Church
Father, in the face of a day filled with memories of both evil and heroism, prepare the hearts and the voice of your church. Let your people be known for compassion, grace and mercy just as you have made yourself known to us. We pray for your mission of reconciliation in the midst of all creation – we acknowledge our calling to participate in this mission and we confess the many ways in which we have failed to live into our calling.
We praise you God, for the ways that you have led us into reconciliation with others. We rejoice because of the ways in which disciples of Jesus have proclaimed the new life in your kingdom through their actions. We ask for you to open our eyes to the similar opportunities you have placed in front of each of us.
Wherever we encounter voices of fear, distrust, violence, greed, selfishness and coercion, give us words and actions of faith, hope and love in response. We pray that our faith will not lead us to abandon the world, but will propel us into reconcile with those who are estranged, reclaim the things which have been stolen by sin, and remake that which has been broken. Lord, we acknowledge that this is your mission, not our own, and we thank you for inviting us to join in something so substantial.
Leaders who lead through visions of justice rather than fear
Holy God, we trust that perfect love drives out fear and yet we confess that too often, fear remains our constant companion. Open our eyes to the ways in which we allow fear, rather than faith, hope and love, to drive our decisions. We pray for the leaders of our country, local governments, influential organizations and your church. May our leaders lead through visions of justice rather than reactions to, and manipulation of, fear. We pray for your perfect love to be made perfect within us. Lord have mercy.
Forgiveness and love for enemies
God we repent for being so quick to respond with violence in our hearts and our actions. Teach us your ways, O Lord. We pray that we will be more fully conformed to the image of Christ; that we will love our enemies and forgive those who have wronged us. We confess that we often have no idea how to pursue justice in the Way of Jesus. You have showed us a better way – rid us of our propensity for violence, vengeance and retribution and teach us how to pursue justice for the oppressed in ways which honor your kingdom.
Comfort those who mourn
Lord, as we approach the anniversary of day filled with pain and violence, we add our voices to those who are even now crying out in mourning. We lift up the plea of those still in pain over the loss of loved ones ten years ago. We weep with the countless people who are suffering and dying every day, as well as though who feel cursed to survive. And we cling to the hope that while they are countless to us, you see each face and know each name. Holy God, as we mourn with those who mourn, we ask for your comfort, your protection, your deliverance from injustice and death. Hasten, O God, to save us.
Holy God, we cry out to you on behalf of all those who struggle daily for sustainable income; those who have searched for employment and have been met instead with rejection; for those plagued by structures and systems which block their ability to work – including the system of corporate sin which marginalizes the weak and that of personal sin, by which we make destructive choices hindering our ability to maintain employment.
Lord we ask for rest and rescue for those who feel trapped in jobs which are unhealthy, dehumanizing, unethical or even illegal. Where our situations are the result of – and capable of being resolved through – our own conscious decisions, we ask for wisdom and courage. Where they are a result of priorities or goals contrary to the values of your kingdom, we pray for conversion of our hearts and obedience to your will. Where they are a result of the goals, priorities and decisions of others, we pray for your deliverance and protection.
Almighty One, for those who have honest employment of whatever kind, we thank you. We ask, Lord, for your Spirit to strengthen our spirits in order to carry out our responsibilities, whatever they may be, as though we were performing them directly for You. We desire to honor your name and proclaim your kingdom in all we do.
We pray also for the women and men who devote countless hours managing household matters, caring for children, elderly family or others, in partnership with a spouse or other family member who works outside the home. We pray that you will keep loneliness and isolation at bay. We ask you, O God, to strengthen these relationships of mutual support and encouragement – give each partner eyes to see and appreciate the contribution of the other.
In all things, Most Holy God, we put our hope in you. Where we have learned first hand the insecurity of job security, we pray that you will reveal to us first hand the security of faith in your provision. Where we are guilty of trusting too much in our own efforts, we pray that you will gently restore within us hearts that trust first in you.
Faithfulness and Courage in My Life
God of Faithfulness, we confess that in so many ways we’ve failed to live the full and adventurous life of faith that you have prepared for us. We confess that we have not loved you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and we have not loved our neighbor as ourself. Our lack of faith and courage are displayed more often than we’d like to admit. Almighty God, pour out your spirit of boldness so that we will go forward today in great faith. When the darkness surrounds us, Lord we will look to you for light and follow you deeper into the heart of darkness. We know that you are with us, we believe that you are at work in this place. We reach out to take hold of the courage to have faith that your Kingdom is indeed at hand. O God of Faithfulness, grant that we catch a glimpse of this Kingdom so that we will be encouraged to continue forward until the light of dawn finally opens our eyes to all your greatness.
Spend some time reflecting on the ways in which you have NOT acted out of faith and courage. Then lay these specific things before God in prayer and LEAVE THEM THERE. Once you’ve released these failures to God, spend a few minutes in silence asking God to fill the void left by that baggage with courage and faith to move forward into a new day. Trust that God has the desire and the ability to transform your life in this and many other ways.
Faithfulness and Courage in the face of Poverty and Oppression
God of Faithfulness, the problems of poverty and oppression are so great. We believe that you are greater, help us in our unbelief. God we long for it to be said that no one in our midst was in need. We know that everything we have is yours, give us the faith to use the resources we’ve been entrusted with accordingly. Almighty Father, give us the courage to stand boldly in solidarity with the oppressed against the systems and structures of oppression. In all things, O God of Faithfulness, teach us to align ourselves with your values so that the people we encounter will praise your name.
What would it mean for you to show more solidarity with the poor and oppressed, whether near or far? What is one thing you could do or one thing you could stop doing to stand with the least of these? Whatever this one thing is, no matter how great or small, share it with someone else and ask them to help you put it into practice.
Faithfulness and Courage in the Global Community
God of Faithfulness, we pray for those who are working even now to proclaim hope in the darkest regions of this world. We pray that you strengthen and encourage them. Thank you God for allowing us to live in such a time that we are able to hear stories of transformation from the far reaches of earth. O God of Faithfulness, give us faith to see the ways in which we can lend our voices, our hands and our resources to join with and support these works, and give us courage to do so.
Who do you know (or have heard of) that has stepped out in courage to do something about the darkness and brokenness in some place beyond their hometown? Consider contacting them to ask 1) how you can pray for or encourage them and 2) what brought them to the point that they were willing to take such a bold risk? Spend a few minutes in prayer for such boldness in your own life, whether it leads you to the other side of the world, or the other side of the street.
Prayers for Wisdom for Ourselves
God of Wisdom, we praise you and we ask you to grant us a full measure of discernment through your Spirit. Let us not despair when we encounter chaos, for we walk in confidence at your side. We offer you our doubts, insecurities, fears and confusion, and we pray that you sanctify these offerings and return to us a spirit of power and self-confidence. We pray for wisdom in order that we may experience continued transformation into the likeness of Christ. We know that this transformation is not for ourselves alone; we know that you bless us and expect us to bless others in return. Create in us clean hearts of discernment, O Lord, so that we may be equipped to bless others in your will. We thank you, Father, because we know that our sincere requests for wisdom will not go unheeded. We confess the presence of our false and impure motives and ask that you purify our intentions. Thank you, O God of Wisdom.
Look back on the issues you identified on Sunday. Have you received any clarity? If so, rejoice and thank God! Take the opportunity to share these stories with others. Post them on facebook, twitter, at missionalmonks.com or on my blog, where these prayers are posted daily (www.ancientjourney.blogspot.com). Those who are part of Christ Journey will have an opportunity to talk about them in our gathering Sunday – if you are part of another congregation, seek out ways to share with your worshiping community.
If you don’t feel any closer to the response to this issue, consider bringing it to your community for continued prayer seeking wisdom and discernment.
Prayers for Wisdom in Caring for the Poor and Oppressed
God of Wisdom, you know the human heart in ways we cannot fathom. We believe that you are grieved and angered at the way the poor are exploited and the marginalized continually oppressed by the powerful. We pray for wisdom in how to serve the least; in how to show solidarity with the forgotten and overlooked. There are poor among us and this should not be. Lead us in paths of Christlike discernment regarding the sharing of our resources. We confess that we desperately need your wisdom just to keep ourselves from being co-opted by the ploys of those who seek personal gain behind a facade of concern for others. Only in you can we find the guidance to navigate these waters, O Lord. You have the Words of Life, continue to translate them on the hearts of your people for the benefit of others. Hear the cries of the oppressed and open our ears as well, O God of Wisdom.
Assisting the poor is often a complicated issue; pray for wisdom regarding how best to work on behalf of the poor in this area and beyond. If possible, contact someone who works with these people on a daily basis. Pray for wisdom in their service and ask them what is going unaddressed. If the answer is something you can do, do it. If its a larger systemic issue, add this to the list of matters you bring before God in prayers for wisdom in our leaders.