A prayer for worship after a week of shootings...
Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 04:53PM
Joe Stobaugh

Oh God, we come before you again with broken hearts, with a heavy burden, and with tired souls. We find ourselves joining the ancient prophets who asked you the question we now ask: “How long, oh Lord, how long?”

         How long will humanity continue to believe in the myth of redemptive violence? Jesus your death on the cross shattered once and for all the temptation to believe that violence is our only answer to the wrongs of the world.

         How long will we misunderstand your will for us, which is to be one people, the human family, united in the strength and beauty of the diversity that you authored in each of us?

         How long must we all, black, white, yellow, red, and brown, endure the horribly alienation and tragedy of the racism inherent in our society?

         How long will the black men in our country feel hunted?

         How long will our law enforcement officers have to live in fear at every traffic stop they make?

         Enough is enough.

         How long, oh Lord? How much longer must we wait?


         And yet…we must now embrace the pain, the loneliness, the isolation, the anger, and the rage, which we feel. We must embrace it, sit with it, and live with it for the valid human experience it is. Through this pain we can be taught deeper lessons of compassion, even wisdom.


         And then, oh God, after sitting with it, after reckoning with this week, move us to be a people who take up the ministry of reconciliation that you, Jesus, have entrusted us. We are to be your hands and feet in the world.  We must work with you for change in our hearts, in our lives, and in our world. The only way these emotions can truly and permanently hurt us is if they do not lead to action. Help us God, empower us Spirit, guide us Jesus, as we seek to be the peacemakers that you call us to be.


         We pause now, in the silence of our hearts, to pray the prayers we need to pray….


Give a few minutes of silence….


Together we lift these prayers as one people, praying the prayer Jesus, the crucified and risen one,  taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…

Article originally appeared on Joe Stobaugh (http://www.joestobaugh.com/).
See website for complete article licensing information.