The sermon yesterday included a call to prayer. If you missed it (or want to share it or listen again...) you can hear it here or on iTunes. This is not a comprehensive guide, but a hopeful nudge to remove barriers. As I suggested yesterday, the Psalms may also give voice to our prayer even as we struggle to find the words.
We cannot wait for legislation, even as we advocate for it. We cannot wait for others, we must seek God's way, that we might help facilitate meaningful change. I wanted to provide a little more direction on the "how" to pray, particularly as we seek to change the world. First, we pray for God's guidance.
"Lord God, we seek to do your will. Guide our hearts, our thoughts, our will. Reveal to us how we can be effective followers of your way and share your truth. Give us words that encourage sharing, give us words to respond to hatred as you would, rather than as our egos would respond. Help us relinquish control and our own preconceptions, that your will may be done. Amen."
Then, we must pay attention (listen). God will guide us. It often amazes me how these prayers are answered. Don't be discouraged if you need to repeat a prayer like this a lot. In fact, as we truly listen to one another we may need to offer it more frequently.
Next, I believe we are all tempted to pray that the "others" heart may be changed. This is not unlike prayers for a sports team to win? Even when we cannot see how the other's thoughts can be reconciled with God, they need to be heard (and God loves them... truly loves the 'other').
"Lord God, as I seek to do your will I seek change in the world. This will require change of me and of others. Lead me to actions that are pleasing to you, guide my listening and my words. Help me to listen. Help me to see the good in others, even when we disagree. I want to be faithful to your plan, even as it requires change of me. Amen."
May we each remember to rely on God. May we each remember to pray faithfully. May we allow God to guide us, in our interactions with others and in our living. May we be guided by the example of Christ, seeing true power coming from love and grace, rather than sword or throne.