A Relevant Prayer
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God is quoted to say,
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their rah day-wreft (literally, hurtful ways)…
then I will hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin,
and heal their land.”
It’s a relevant prayer for the present time, as leaders (lay and clergy) from our denomination gather this coming week to talk, pray and discern a way forward for the United Methodist church on the question of human sexuality. Of course there are even deeper concerns, such as our ability to share a common mission despite any differences we may have, and the future of the universal church which, except in a few places is in a steep decline with less the 20% of Americans attending church regularly.
The larger question seems to be, have our disagreements taken us off mission…are we failing to be the Church? It is no longer a question of who wins and who loses…
we all lose if we fail to reach this hurting broken, world with the message of God’s love in Jesus.
So friends, we invite you into a special time of prayer where we seek God’s wisdom, we ask for God’s humility, and we listen to what God’s heart is telling us.
And so we pray:
God of all creation, we are those who are called by your name. We have been marked as your servants, called to be his disciples, and use our own life as an example to show your path of love.
You call us to humility… beyond our person, to put aside any agenda we have and instead to seek your Kin-dom’s will. For when we look beyond I, we see the full picture of your magnificent creation of life.
We know your desire is to reign in every heart and that you are at work in every life through grace, even without our knowing it.
You call us to seek your face, your presence…just as we are to bless others with the words, “May the Lord make his face to shine upon you…”
To turn from hurting or wounding the people around us, and instead to love our neighbor just as we love ourselves, knowing that you (not us) are the change agent in people’s lives. Jesus showed us what this looks like so there is no confusion over what is expected of us.
We worry about the future of our children knowing there are 22 million reasons to be concerned. And as Parkland again reminded us this last week, our children are growing up in an increasingly hate filled world. They need us to walk the path of peace and lead our world through reconciliation instead of violence. They need our protection.
So we pray.
We pray that you would hear from heaven and forgive us our sin, and heal our faith community, this nation, and this world. Let us be a part of your Kin-dom work, individually and as your church, a force like a mighty river flowing against the flood of hate and evil in the world.
We pray all this in the precious name of Jesus.
Prayer written by Rev. Don Lee with adaptations by Laura Byrd for use in Mosaic Worship. @mosaicfumc