Submitted by Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Watchung Avenue Presbyterian Church, North Plainfield, NJ.
Many times O God we take steps backwards instead of forward. We retreat from our lives and from our calling. We wander or struggle. We become directionless. In those moments we have lost sight of You, and we have lost sight of ourselves. We no longer have a vision or a dream inside of us. Sometimes this season in life lasts for just a moment, or a short day. Other times it lasts much longer—and we struggle to regain control. This happens to all of us. And so today O God we pray for you to be with us and make us new when this way of life is of our doing, because of our refusal to follow your call. And we pray O God for you to help us when this way of life is not our doing—when depression or hopelessness has a grip on our lives we are unable to release on our own. And we especially pray O God that we might have compassion and patience to love each other through all seasons of the lives that we share—and to always remind others of your Good News, your Eternal Love, and your Hope-filled Promises. We pray these things in Christ’s name. Amen.