A Prayer for Greatness

This week I’ve been thinking about love, about faith, about fear.

I’ve been thinking of the Letter from a Birmingham Jail. I’ve been meditating on Titus 3. I still have a lot of questions. And I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of words have already been spoken this week. What I need, what we all need, is not more words AT each other but WITH each other.

So here is my prayer. I’d love if you would join me in praying, or add a prayer of your own in the comments below!

Father,

We confess to you our own inadequacies, our own fears, our own anger, our own self-righteousness and self-preservation.

We confess how quickly we look out for our own interests instead of each other’s.

We confess how easy it is to make people an Other, to generalize and polarize.

We confess how hard it is sometimes to trust you, and put our hope in political “success” or “failure.”

We acknowledge this truth: We will all feel perpetually misunderstood unless we are able to lean in and really listen–to each other, and to you.

Teach us how to be a people of kindness, generous towards each other and slow to condemn.

Teach us what it means to “speak evil of no one” and “show perfect courtesy to all,” because we know we once were lost and were only found because of Your Grace.

May we not be afraid of brokenness. Give us gentle, wise, and brave hearts. May we be strong enough to assume the best of others and make a space for everyone at the table.

Show it what it means as followers of Christ to live the upside-down life, a life looking to serve instead of be served. A life that gives instead of takes. Sustain us in this true test of greatness–not in our military power, our abundance of jobs, or the strength of our economy, but in our ability to be kind, to put down our anger, to look out for the most vulnerable and marginalized, and to do all this with grace for when we do so imperfectly.

If there is any way forward through the division and bitterness, it is together. If there is to be any healing from all that’s been smashed up and trampled over, it has to be through love.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.

Father, we ask that you make us people of radical love.

 

“And now these three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love. But the greatest of these is love.”

 

hearthands

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