Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Time to Pray


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.  [Lam. 3:22-23]


As I was pondering life on a Tuesday evening, thinking about what I might post for Wednesday reading, it seemed appropriate to simply ask you, my readers, to join me in prayer. In recent weeks we have seen Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma hit the Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean, as well as fires in the west. On Tuesday Hurricane Maria, another category 5 storm hit Dominica, a small island nation, where a sister of a member of the church resides with her family, a hurricane that will hit elsewhere in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico (I have friends with family in Puerto Rico), and then a massive 7.1 earthquake hit the Mexico City area. All of this happens while the UN General Assembly is meeting, at which the President of the United States warned of the possibility of wiping a nation off the map.

These are sobering times. I do not live in fear. That is not who I am. Indeed, I am by nature an optimistic realist. But, that does not mean I am unconcerned about the state of things. It does not mean I do not care. I simply recognize that there are somethings over which I have no control, though I also understand that there are things I can do to make a difference. One of the things I can do is pray. After all, prayer centers us in God's presence. So, acting in the Spirit, I can pray for peace, healing, hope, resilience, fortitude, good will.  I would invite you to do the same.

In the spirit of the writer of Lamentations, let us come before God, whose love never ceases, and whose faithfulness is great. It is not a controlling love, but a love that invites us to participate in the work of God in the world.

God of peace, 
You are ever faithful to your promises,
You are steadfast in your love.
Even in the midst of great tragedy, you are never far away from us.
We cry out to you, we release our fear, our sense of foreboding.
We commit ourselves to you and to your cause, the realm of God. 
We look at the world, we watch as nature unleashes its destructive force.
We understand that at one level, this is simply nature being nature.
But, we know that we must confess, that we have contributed to at least some of nature's fury.
We seek your forgiveness and your comfort.
We pray for all who are affected by hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, 
famine, war, the threat of war. 
When all seems lost, we come before you, trusting in your steadfast love.
Amen.


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