Tag Archives: justice

Prayers from Matthew and Esther: For Such a Time as This

These prayers were written with Matthew 10:34-49 and Esther 4:1-17 in my mind and my transgender friends in my heart.

Let us pray.

Speak to us this day, O God,
and humble us to hear your word.
Make us still enough to notice your presence,
Quiet enough to hear your voice,
Brave enough to speak your good news,
and wise enough to follow your spirit.

So often we pray to you for life:
to preserve life, to prolong life,
to guard life, to begin life.
Today we pray something else.
We pray for courage to lose our life for your sake,
and we pray for the wisdom to find it.

As Mordecai challenged Esther to be faithful at all costs,
make us hear the voices of people oppressed,
whose stories challenge our way of life.

We pray for your children everywhere:

For your people who are suffering,
Discriminated against because of their race, gender identity,
sexuality, or religion.
For your people who are fearful,
Faced with losing their access to healthcare or treatment.
For your people who are isolated,
Living in the shackles of addiction or abuse.

Holy comforter, challenger, redeemer,
We know that you are in our midst.
Help us recognize your spirit on the move,
and empower us to join your work.

Help us be your church, reformed and still being reformed.
Help us be your people, formed and still being formed.
Help us boldly share the news of your love,
For such a time as this.

Amen.

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In Step With The Spirit: A Prayer After the March

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Atlanta Women’s March, January 21, 2017

This prayer was written for worship at Central Presbyterian Church the day after the international marches for women and social justice, inspired by the gospel lectionary for the day: Matthew 4:17-23.

Holy one and holy three,

We give you thanks for your presence in this place,

For your call in our lives,

For your gifts in this world.

 

We pray, O God,

That we may hear and follow your voice.

Guide us as we seek to walk toward love and away from hate;

Toward freedom and away from oppression;

Toward justice and away from mere comfort;

Toward community and away from isolation.

Move us, O God, to walk in step with your spirit.

 

Keep us humble, O Christ.

Remind us not to walk alone,

For you never called the disciples to walk alone.

Lead us to walk together, hand in hand,

Supporting one another and reminding one another

To walk in step with your spirit.

 

We pray for our nation’s leaders,

And all who have great power in this world.

Move them, O God, to walk in step with your spirit.

 

We pray for all who feel the tug of your calling

After the weekend’s marches.

Challenge us, O God, to continue to march for a new way,

Not only in organized crowds,

But in our daily walks in and out of the workplace,

The bank,

The voting booth,

And the school.

Move us, O God, to walk in step with your spirit.

 

In the name of one who called us to follow in his steps,

Amen.

 

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Hear the Prayers of Women

In honor of domestic violence awareness month, a litany for women.

Lord, hear the prayers of women,

        of bodies objectified by culture,

       spirits broken by sexism,

       minds denied access to education.

Lord, hear the prayers of women,

       of mothers who sacrifice their happiness,

       daughters who are sacrificed on the altar of patriarchy,

       sisters who are disempowered and isolated.

Lord, hear the prayers of women,

       of victims who are silenced and ignored,

       advocates who are threatened and disempowered,

       children who are powerless and terrified.

Lord, hear the prayers of women,

       of students seeking to be taken seriously,

       graduates tirelessly searching for jobs,

       professionals repeatedly denied promotions.

Lord, hear the prayers of women,

       and tell us to keep praying.

Tell us to keep dreaming,

       keep chanting,

Keep dancing,

       keep laughing,

Keep asking,

       keep crying,

Keep shouting.

       And may our shouts bring awareness.

May the the awareness bring action.

       May the action bring change.

May the change bring peace.

       May the peace bring joy.

Lord, hear the prayers of women.

       Amen.

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October 3, 2013 · 11:40 am

How Long? A Litany for Peace.

Two years ago, I wrote this litany in response to the Treyvon Martin ruling. In the wake of the Charleston shooting last night, its words seem to be especially relevant. May it bring some peace.

Refrain (Sung)

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How long will injustice overwhelm your people? And how long will your people be silent?

Refrain

How long will we wait until justice prevails–until you are feared more than corrupt laws and unjust court systems? until your peace is more coveted than power and money? How long until love speaks louder than hatred?

Refrain

How long until we all come to defend what is righteous, instead of defending the status quo? until we ignite flames to melt injustice, instead of pretending we don’t feel its frigid breeze against our skin?

Refrain

We know, oh God, that you love justice, mercy, and kindness. How long until we learn to love them, too? We know that you walk with the stranger, the outsider, the poor, the oppressed. How long until we walk with them, too?

Refrain

Hear us, God. Move us, God. Empower us, that our whispers of hope might become shouts for justice–shouts of truth so true that it cannot be ignored, shouts of love so deep that it cannot be overcome, shouts of your spirit so present that you cannot be denied.

Refrain

And may those shouts someday turn to laughter–the calm, joyful laughter of a peaceful land, where wolf lies down with lamb, neighbor with neighbor, stranger with stranger. And until then, may we keep praying, “How long?”

Refrain

Amen.

May it be so.

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