Pastoral Prayer 1/22/17

God whose love extends beyond the distance between East and West, North and South, You find us, where ever we are. Whether we are hiding behind any cover we can find, or jumping up and shouting while frantically waving our arms, Your abiding presence is there.

In and among the bramble and briar,
car horns and smoggy exhaust,
fog-drenched plains and sun burning flats,
your voice is able to be heard if we but stop and listen.

You call us to be a voice of hope for the
broken,
oppressed,
shaken.

You call us to be
healers,
offerers,
reconcilers,

But too often we give into the temptation of division and scarcity focusing on only what effects us and those closest to us.

We confess the love which you show to us day after day in the forgiveness of our sins and the everlasting grace given to us does not always translate into love, forgiveness, and grace on our part. Forgive us when we forget your commandment to love one another as you first loved us.

The World which you spoke into creation is hurting. The shalom and justice you envision for us seems like only a pipe dream of a long and forgotten people who were naive. Division and discord seem to be the law of the land. But through it all, we hear your voice.

And so we pray today for those persons who feel their brokenness so deep in their bones they search for a scapegoat. Help us to heal their wounds deeper than we know.

We pray for those who are oppressed who long for their chains of abandonment, neglect, and derision to be cast off. Help us to offer a hand out of the valley of the shadow of death.

We pray for those who are shaken by the tenor of words spouted without thought, by the women are treated and children forgotten, by how races are blamed and nations are pitted against each other. Help us bring about an age of reconciliation where persons from across the spectrum of humanity might come together through your love and grace.

Stir in us the same Spirit which alighted on Jesus pushing him to reach the poor, captive, blind, and oppressed. Give us the strength to be his Disciples this and every day. AMEN.

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