Forgive us, Lord, when our pocketbooks get in the way of your justice. Let our hearts melt like the candles we light in your name. Absolve us from closing our eyes to the injustices around us, empower us to speak up breaking free from the chains that shackle us. Exonerate us from the crime of indifference towards the systematic dehumanizing of our neighbors. Strengthen us to stand with the oppressed even though we might already be free. Open our hearts and our minds to the truth that none are free until we all are free.
forgive us when we don’t want to get up,
when we would rather hide under our covers of fear and security,
when we wait for others to help
and turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to your call,
God, we come to you recognizing that we often forget that you made the world and all that it is in it. We so quickly point the finger at the other, the neighbor, the outcast, the one who is different from us. Forgive us for expecting to be forgiven without forgiving others. Forgive us for rash decisions and hateful words. Forgive us for projecting our fears onto those whom we fear. Help us to see past our differences, past the barriers that we have created, and remind us to love others as you have loved us.
We pray for change.
We pray for transformation.
We pray for transfiguration.
We pray that the world around us will be changed to suit our needs,
to agree with us,
to be like the world we want.
We do not give space for God’s work,
trying to control it,
thinking we know best.
We pray for change—but only on our terms.
God, forgive us for praying for everyone but us to change.
God, forgive us for thinking we know best.
God, be with us.
Strengthen us for the hard work of personal change,
for the difficult task of trusting you,
for the uneasy feeling that we might be wrong.
We label ourselves liberal conservative democrat republican young and old. We say that we are welcoming to all but we condemn those with whom we disagree. We hold our line with military precision and the strength of a toddler who refuses to give up their toy. God grant us the space to let go. Grant us the peace to relinquish control. Grant us the strength to stand up and speak your peace in the ears of our neighborhood, our nation, our world.
Time for silent reflection.
Submitted by Rev. Greg Bolt, First Presbyterian Church, Nebraska City NE.