This prayer was written for worship at Central Presbyterian on October 23. The prayer is inspired and shaped by Luke 18:9-14–an exaggerated parable about the exalted and the humble–and by our current election season–a lived experience that feels like an exaggerated parable.
As you read the prayer, I pray that you feel the words in the core your being, and know that the words as true for you as they were for the tax collector in Luke 18. God is love, and you are beloved.
O God of justice and mercy,
We give you thanks:
For your spirit breathing life into the world,
For your Word bringing hope into our hearts.
You alone are God, and we are not alone.
You are Love, and we are beloved.
You are Creator, and we are created.
You are our God, and we are your people.
Give us a glimpse of your vision for the world:
Where the humble are exalted,
The exalted are humble,
And mercy flows like water.
Motivate us to reflect your love to all we meet:
Even those who we are sure are wrong.
Challenge us to see the good.
Convict us to hold ourselves accountable.
Inspire us to work for your peace and justice.
As we hear the reports on battleground states,
Remind us of people for whom “battleground” means something different.
We pray for your children in Yemen, in Aleppo,
And for the ones seeking refuge around the world.
Where there is war, O God, plants seeds of peace,
and help us water them.
Where there is violence, O God, write songs of compassion,
and help us sing them.
Where there is suffering, O God, paint banners of hope,
and help us carry them.
We remember the people in our church family
Who are in special need this day:
(Name your own prayer concerns.)
Breathe peace, deep peace, O God,
And empower us to care for one another
With a compassion that comes from you.
We join our voices now with the faithful across time and place,
Praying the prayer that Jesus taught us, saying,
Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.