Tag Archives: National Day of Prayer

National Day of Prayer: A Prayer for Places of Worship

Image result for national day of prayer imageI was invited again to share in the National Day of Prayer with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, other clergy and government officials.  Praying for our nation or any other is a part of the biblical narrative and our faith tradition.  Though marked on our calendar, this practice of interceding, of talking to God on behalf of a group is shared with both Old and New Testament figures.  This morning, I joined with across our country and prayed for houses of worship.

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God, our Divine Community, made of Persons—not aliens, strangers or immigrants.  All made in Your image and for Your pleasure, there are no second- hand humans.  No persons to be discounted or displaced because there is always room in Your presence.  You have created us all– not packing us in boxes labeled beige, black, brown, red, yellow and white people.  Without human construction, we are all housed under Your name.

Made outside of time and political seasons but in Your hands— not in capitalism’s sweat shops or squeezed out of political machines.  All flesh is tagged the same: Made by God.

You are not a gated community but we are all allowed in.  No one foreign because You are related to us all.  Your hands have touched us all, gathering us all under Your name.  Because under the name of God, we should be protected.  Under the name of God, we should feel at home, comfortable to bear our souls, to reveal our scars, to share our strengths and struggles.  Under Your name, we should be free to bow our heads without watching our backs.

No bullets or bombs only holy books.  No guns, only Your glory. No hatred, only love.  No chaos, only peace.  No division, only unity.

Let Your house and Your hands be a sanctuary for all souls—less we tear each other apart.

Still, no matter how we try to pull You to our side, Your hands hold us all together.  Made of the same holy dust, same mix of flesh and spirit, You have molded us together.  We have gathered to fold our hands together to pray for more holy days and holy ways to stick together, to fasten our hearts together in unconditional love.  Let us see every body as Your temple, created sacred and for Your glory.

The earth is Yours and therefore all places are for Your worship.  Remove the beams of our bias, the stained- glass spectacles from our eyes so that we can see it together, tearing down anything that stands in the way of Your vision of community.  In the name of the God who houses all of humanity, I pray.  Amen.

A Prayer to the Family God

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This morning, I was afforded the opportunity to attend and serve in Governor Larry Hogan’s National Day of Prayer Breakfast at the Navy- Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  I was asked to pray for families in keeping with the theme of the gathering “Celebrating Peace and Unity in the Community.”  I offer these words to attendees and now to you:

We have come to beseech the God of family, Who does not call us subjects but daughters and sons, amazed that You are not simply familiar with us but You know us by name. No birth order, there is no first, middle or last child.  Loved without position or subsequent hierarchy, we are all the same and all mysteriously Your favorite.

We have come to bless the God of family, Who works eternally but comes home to us and prepares a table for us, managing the calendar of eternity and our day- to- day schedule, Who carpools with angels yet delights in walking with us, Who pulls up a chair to share in our life’s stories— because You can relate to us. We are so grateful that You meet us eye- to- eye and we bow our heads in hopes of one day looking up to see in each other our kinship. We confess that because You are related to us all, there is no need for comparison, conceit or competition.

We are all family and we pray for the ties that bind us together: umbilical cords, shoestrings, jump ropes and spaghetti dinners. We pray that they might be strengthened by the hope of Your heart. We ask that its beat would become our rhythm, that its cadence might become our calling, that we might live with the understanding that our fellowship can never end, that we are stuck together—because You are the Thread that holds us all together.

We pray that You would tie up loose ends, righting wrongs and making peace out of accountability, forgiveness and trust, stirring in unmeasured amounts of love, grace and mercy for taste. We pray that clasped hands might join hands more readily, letting go of all defenses, making ourselves vulnerable again to each other. We pray that You would reconcile and restore our connection as husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, Your daughters and sons—because we have always been Your family.  Amen.

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On this National Day of Prayer

On this National Day of Prayer, I am thinking about the hands that I may never hold, not because I am not reaching out but because the person that I am reaching for does not like its social coloring.  We pray to the same God but we may never pray together.  As siblings, we ask for the same “daily bread” but may never share a meal.  We read the same Bible but may never have the same pastor, share the same pew or program.  Though we are members of Christ’s body, we may never be members of the same church.  This is racism’s call to love and to worship God– separately.

Today, this is my prayer:

Precious Lord and our great Christ,

May the shadow of Your cross cast light on the foolishness of racism and block out all social colors so that we can hold hands today, tomorrow and always.  Amen.

Surroundings

Today is the National Day of Prayer. It is another opportunity to drop our heads, sink to our knees, clasp our hands together and talk to the One who knows the words on our tongue before they arrive yet inclines His ear to hear them all (Psalm 139.4). We pause to talk to the One who can wipe away our tears and yet collects them (Psalm 56.8), the God who is all- powerful and yet tender toward us.

We are reminded that refuge is found only in the name of our God and that You have given Your Son, Jesus, the name that is above all others.  And it is the name of Christ that I submit my morning prayer:

Dear God,

Remove from me what is unclean
Let not my eyes see what is impure
Take away the sin fashioned by my hands
Your presence to ensure
 
Stop the sound of violence
Plug my ears to the voice of bloodshed
The screams of anguish and of anger
You are the God of the living not the dead[1]
 
Don’t let the enemy encircle me
Don’t allow what is dark to enclose
Shine Your light all around me
My steps You dispose
 
I pray Your Spirit envelope me,
Your Word contain me,
Your arms surround me
Your will sustain me.
 
Amen.
 
 
 

[1] Mark 12.27