Grinding Teeth, A Prayer

Sometimes I wonder
If Jesus ground his teeth

Did you wake up in the middle of the night
Feeling like you were about to fall?
From some inexplicable nightmare?

When you got through a harrowing encounter
with the officially officials—you know the ones that had been building
Did you come home with a headache?

Did you practice breathing techniques, and peaceable responses, and politeness and smiles
like most of the women, disabled people and marginalized around you…
All of us knowing—this is how we make it

Did you preach the Good News as a survival technique
Not as a toxic positivity to push on people

But the Bare Bones to give those hungry for scraps of answers of

“Why am I Here? And “Does this even Matter?” And “How Do I face tomorrow?”

And did you sit and look at the stars—Christ—and evaluate your day, and try to comfort yourself:
With the little things that went right; and the good things you saw, and the big picture you were working towards.

Did you ache with the work of it all Jesus? And roll your jaw, and take a deep breath to relax your shoulders, before you faced another fully human day?

Thank you for being human with us Jesus.

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

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Justice, A Prayer.

God,

I long for justice
I ache for it so much
that when I go to bed at night
I am convinced that it whispers to me
In a language too complicated for human ears.

And when I wake up and hear
of courts
and punishments
and other things

My soul sits confused
unable to responds to these paltry efforts.

I want justice that feeds the hungry,
frees the prisoner
and yes breaks the teeth of my enemy–but
in such a way that I am too busy partying to notice.

Jesus, did every meal with you taste like justice
or hope
comfort and freedom?

Or was it enough to just sit with you?

Holy Spirit, I find that this longing for justice is really something.
It is not the gift I asked for, and yet it was given to me–unasked
and so here I am

Not waiting for justice, Because we all know, justice does not allow one to wait.
But still,
Walking,
Running,
Resting
towards justice, because I do not know any other way to be.

And that’s why I talk, yell and cry to you God.
It’s this justice hole in my soul.
You poke it and prod it with me, like the great physician you are.

And say, where does it hurt?

And confirm.

Yes.
Yes, We should work on that.

Here we go again God.

Amen.

Feel free to use/share/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

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Abortion is Healthcare, A Prayer

God, can we talk?
You and I know
that
Abortion is healthcare

America doesn’t believe in healthcare
We ignore it
stop it,
charge ludicrous amounts for it

We create “Companies” and give them authority to have
“feelings” about it
“We feel like you don’t need that medication”

Ha, right

And, then, finally make it illegal

America doesn’t do healthcare
It’s that simple
and that hard

So I guess we need to start at the very beginning

What is healthcare God?

Because I don’t think we’ve even started, yet

Help us
Care
About
Health
Please.

Or to Care
Help us.
Selah

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Thank God for Nonbinary People, A Prayer of Praise

Thank God for our Nonbinary* siblings!

The both/and

The not really,

the sort of

The people of twilights

sunrises and sunsets

The today I do this, and tomorrow I’ll do that.

The ones who escape easy definition,

and yet are so definitely

xe

ze

sie

co

them.

Here’s to those who help us to understand aspects of God,

That we never understood before,

male and female Both in the image of God.

Mother and Father God.

God of many breasts, God almighty, God of many mounds.

Here is to the enbys, whose sense of fashion is superior,

and yet we still don’t know how to market to them

(silly commercial straight/cis, whatever people)

Here is the the nonbinary people,

beautiful, perfect, made in God’s image.

God bless you.

Thank you.

I hope you are affirmed and blessed,

today and everyday.

Amen.

*(If you need to research to start understanding being nonbinary, please start researching being nonbinary and use queer and nonbinary resources so here is a place to start)

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Any & All errors on this prayer are my own and I take full responsibility for them as an ally who is still learning.

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Not Oppressed, A Prayer

God
How stupid are humans
That we have to claim
Christians are oppressed
To get attention

Is it bc we know
Your the God of the oppressed?

Oh Jesus
Who weeps
Who wants to protect
The broken under your wings

Tell the Pharaohs,
Street Corner Prayers,
Herods & Warmongers

To shut up
(a word we gloss
Differently in the Bible)

And if they don’t listen
Shut them up
Anyway

Do your thing God
For the oppressed,
Enslaved, orphaned,
Widowed
Care for the children.

Do your Prince of Peace thing
Because surely
That is the way
To help the oppressed

And we Christians,
We will muddle along
Definitely not oppressed
And hopefully
Helping the oppressed
Too

Lead the way Prince of Peace.
Lead the way.
Amen!

Feel free to share/adapt/use with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Bad News, A Prayer

AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH

18-20yr Old Gunman, White
Kills 6 Onlookers, And injures 24 more
Independence Day Parade; Highland Park, Chicago suburb, IL

This is not News to You God.

10 Year old Pregnant by Rape,
Just over 6 weeks,
Denied Abortion

This is not News to You God

LGBTQIA reporters being denied access,
to writing articles and opinions, Don’t Say Gay Laws in Effect
Being told their voices are Not Needed

This is not News to You God

God, I fully admit I’m following you,
Not cause its glamorous–
have you seen what people are doing in your name?

I know, I know,

This is not News to You God

But I have nowhere else to go.
Your way is not easy, but it is Just and inclusive;
Because I know you know God, we don’t know what we are doing

This is not News to You God.

So I am not going to turn off the News (much)
But I am going to follow you,
Your promises are more solid than anything human
And…I have nowhere else to go;

This is Not News to You God.

So I’ll Scream and Sigh to You God,

And remind myself, that You Know, and You Know us,

This is Not News to You God.

And take comfort in that fact. As we strive to do better
to make things better.
Amen.

Feel free to adapt/share/use with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

With thanks to Rev. Tawnya Denise Anderson about her thought provoking fb post about how the disciples stuck with Jesus because they had nowhere else to go, i.e. it wasn’t always exciting to follow Jesus, but it was the best option they had, and sometimes that’s what following God means

4th of July

God,
Here we are again,
Celebrating “Freedom” or whatever

But Black Lives still don’t matter
LGBTQIA rights are worse
Women subjugated
Children hunger and forgotten
Hate crimes up and rising

And I just Can’t,
Free to do what?
What are we celebrating?
I hate how Americans have turned
Freedom into an equivalency for Selfishness

And we all know that this has been a problem
For a while.
But I had some hope in the days of Black Lives Matter
and when Covid efforts were new
That we might actually learn some things.

But we are still a country
That throws more money at war and police
Then schools and social efforts and equality.

Some countries have Kings
We have Capitalism, Liberty, Christianity and White Supremacy
We all are living with the results of this.

So here’s my prayer:
for human dignity,
the right to belong
the right to eat good food, shelter and be clothed
the right to water, education and clean air
the freedom to be oneself.
The right to pray and to refrain from praying
I hope everyone gets a moment to just be today.

And maybe tomorrow, we will work for each other’s freedom’s
Instead of our own.

Please Jesus, show us the way.
Amen.

Feel free to use/share/Adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Don’t Give up, A Prayer

God

I am pretty mad at humans today

and Old White Men

and the powers that be

And the manipulators

Who thought one dollar more

was more important

than getting justice done

and the church

who put off

flipping tables

for another time and place

And I want to rage

and scream

and find the right punishment

for all of my enemies

except I don’t really know who my enemies are

just they they are out there

whispering nonsense about

pro-life and family first and great america

as they grind these things into dust

as they deal death

with additive drugs like “safety” “religion” and “whiteness”

And I feel like I’m going to throw up or pass out,

and my soul hurts with the magnitude of it all.

Is this when you run away into the desert? Jesus?

Or hop a boat into the ocean?

Or feed 5,000 people just for the hell of it?

Or invite yourself over to the tax collector’s house to dinner, just to piss everyone off?

Because at times like these I feel like if I don’t enact justice viscerally, I’m going to implode.

And then I have to remind myself I’m not Jesus, I cannot save the world.

So I beat my chest, scream a tree, write an angsty psalm, cry.

And maybe I retreat for one day instead of forty,

maybe I feed one person instead of 5,000

maybe I invite someone I’ve been meaning to over to dinner instead of a tax collector.

And I remind myself, it all counts.

Because all justice counts,

Because I’m not a Jesus or a superhero,

but at least I can do something,

and I’m not giving up.

Thanks for reminding us not to give up God.

Amen.

Feel free to adapt/use/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Idolatry

God

Jesus

Holy Spirit

How can I pray to the Holy Trinity

In a work of idols?

How can explore the mystery faith

When we humans use labels as weapons?

Instead of names of exploratory wonder..

I don’t know creator,

When humans seem bent on being destructors

And death cults

And weapon makers

How to bear your image, how to preach your image,

how God can I better be your image in the universe??

::am I doing it wrong?:: my very soul whispers.

How can we free ourselves from our idols?

How can we become seed planters and tenders of things that grow?

God I long for healthy growing things..

(And you know I have a black thumb so if it need to be metaphorical so be it)

Our hearts are already broken—return us to life and live I pray.

Return us to community we pray.

Amen

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Truth: A Prayer

Guns don’t spell peace

Just like White Supremacy can’t define Jesus

And Transphobia doesn’t protect families–but breaks them

And making abortion illegal, never, ever prevents abortions

God,

How can we humans be so confused

as to take the truth and completely

misconstrue it

so that somehow we make Christianity about power

and Church about politics?

Sometimes I think about this and I think,

only us humans are silly enough to mess up

messages as simple and easy as:

Love and serve one another

or the last shall be first.

Yet here we are God,

Tangling Truths around our Tongues,

Tricking ourselves, with comforting lies.

Ignoring the whisper of the Holy Spirit that says:

Fear Not.

Nothing can separate you from the Love of God

You can never be replaced.*

I hope you have some truth for us today, God.

Some clear, cool and collected truth,

gathered into the waters of baptism–

spilling into our hearts and souls.

Because we need your truth.

Help us to tell ourselves the truth

I pray.

We pray.

Amen. Feel Free to share/adapt/use with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

*replacement theory is a dangerous white supremacist theory that white Americans are being replaced usually by Jewish and Black People and it promotes violence and terrorism against said “replacement” races and religions. It is dehumanizing, bigoted, wrong and as stated a terrorist training ground. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/15/us/replacement-theory-shooting-tucker-carlson.html

Shannon A Thompson

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