Monday, January 12, 2009

Prayer in Troubled Times

I have learned sometimes that prayer is as meaningful in worship as the sermon. It is also just as spirit-forming. Sometimes rather than preaching at people praying with them does more. In prayer before God, the congregation is open, and sometimes more vulnerable, less able to resist.

Last Sunday, I took the opportunity to pray about our times and about our new president. Many commented that it was a helpful prayer. I hope it is helpful to you. Here it is:

O God of all creation, whose love is over all his works, whose will is ever directed toward his children’s good. We are praying, and we are listening to you, for you, for your word. We come to worship this day with some concern.

The last six months we have watched things spiral downward. Some of us have lost our jobs; some have lost their homes; some have lost their savings; some, their retirement. We know that you have always taught us that money is a fickle lover; you taught us not to put our trust in riches, not to look to money for fulfillment or for security.

And yet…here we are. Afraid that things will get worse; afraid that things will not turn around…afraid…Can you hear that, Lord?

We know that you can make things different and new. You turned water to wine, you set slaves free, you sent your son into the world…We know you can, but what will you do, O God?

Into and out of this kind of world we come and go. Remind us, O God, that everything belongs to you. Remind us that we can trust you to bring us back, to restore, to heal.

O God, our country is about to inaugurate a new president, one different from all the rest. You, who came, not as a white man but as a Jew, open our eyes to the wonders that are doing among us still. We pray for Barak Obama, for his family and for all who will be a part of his new administration. We pray for him safety and success.

We ask your care for President Bush as he moves back to private life. We give thanks for his willingness to serve, his courage in 911, and his love for our country.

Now, in this moment, let your Holy Spirit come, with power, with joy, to lift our hearts again in faith. Be with all who are sick or in need. And, guide us as we seek to do your will.

In the name of Jesus Christ, who taught us all to pray saying…Our Father...

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

The Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee