Empty Handed Prayer

Ok God,

You know that sometimes,

Ok let’s be honest,

All too often,

My hands are outstretched!

Not because I’m throwing my hands up in praise

but rather

because they feel WAY too empty.

And I can’t find a way to help–

So I pray.

So here I am Sweet Jesus,

In the middle of a veritable plague,

on the edge of what could be World War 3,

while dictators invade innocent nations,

while families are treatened to be ripped apart

for supporting and loving and affirming

your God imaged trans and lesbian and gay and nonbinary children

and black and brown people are still killed without warrant or warrants

and books are being banned and burned

and gun violence is up everywhere

and home prices are through the roof–

Is this how it felt Jesus, when you were born

in the middle of occupied Jerusalem

Is this how the disciples felt

when they asked you the same questions

over and over (and over) again.

Did you have compassion for them,

because you knew their questions were a form of prayer?

God why is this happening?

How do we stop it?

Why do we fall into these patterns of evil again and again.

Hosanna! Save us! Help us!

God, as we enter this lonely time time of Lent,

Help me to walk with you, I pray.

because, God knows,

You know,

I at least don’t want to walk it alone.

And so here I am,

with an empty handed prayer,

knowing that I’m asking for something to do

and what you ask will not be easy…

but I choose to pray anyway,

Because I don’t want to be empty handed anymore!

Lord hear my prayer,

Amen.

Amen.

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

With thanks to @Thomaslhorrocks for the inspirational tweet

This is not the character development I wanted.

Dear God,

How many people in the Bible said no to you? Jacob, the actual heel, Noah who didn’t want to get mocked, Moses who had a speech impediment

As I sit in the car as a part of my daily 3hr drop off and pick up run to avoid the bus and do what I can to limit exposure…emphasis on what I can….I am thinking that this is not the character development I wanted.

I did not, after an agonizingly and traumatically lonely Middle School experience and a long and tough climb into adulthood starting with 9/11 and then peaking with job hunting at the height of a recession, want to go in for more. I feel like I’ve done enough character development. Thanks for asking God.

I remember my Grandmother who helped every single person she met and also could not throw anything away if her life depended on it. I don’t think I realized those went together for her as a child of the depression, until now.

What am I learning right now God?!? And why oh why haven’t I learnt it already?

Probably the real question is what is it we have to learn and why haven’t we learned it yet?

God, I know we are living in the space of a grace note. I know you have already won and are going to win. And every second we have to learn is gravy

But gravy is messy! Grace is messy! And I really didn’t count on spending hours in the car and at home and on zoom relearning you’re grace.

Teach us what we need to learn about your grace, we pray.

Amen

Pandemic Prayers, Narrative Lectionary Advent Resources, Mundane Prayer Resources

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I’m Tired of Being Part of a Major Historical Event

God, I never realized that historic events aren’t really one thing. Instead they are the combination of humanity’s foibles boiling over to the point of historicity.

I didn’t even know historicity was a real word until today.

And what will bubble up next? Australian Fires, Hurricanes, Derechos, Post Offices. Lord I’m only human, how can I process all this? Or maybe I can’t.

Did racism cause the Black Lives Matter marches and sometime riots? What ingredients meshed exactly right to finally give people the exact things they needed to get out and protest: racism, yes, but also poverty and pandemics, boredom and bereavement, time and trouble.

These sort of things come from the perfect balance, so that the risk you are taking is the best risk possible.

God, I’ve been thinking a lot about risk. Of Hagar the enslaved who risked raising her son in the desert, about Joseph the imprisoned who risked interpreting dreams of his cellmates, of Rahab of Canaan who defied expectations to help Joshua.

What is the perfect risk for us as Christians right now? As we look at this particularly moment in history, how do we decided how to risk, and who to risk, and why?

And how do we risk for ourselves and our community, and yet still practice grace towards all the rest of humanity–who are having to make the same decisions in different circumstances.

Truly we are all weathering the same storm: but in different boats, with different tools and different gifts.

Really God, is now the time to discern gifts? I mean, really and truly God, I want you to know that now is a truly risky time to discern our gifts.

Selah!

Remind us, it’s worth the time.

Black Lives Matter

Remind us, We are worth the time.

Safety first

Remind us, You are worth the time.

God of the poor, the sick and the marginal.

And teach us how to risk in this historic moment, in the best, kindest most gracious way we can.

I pray this with all those who are risking right now. Help me stand with them I pray.

Amen.

Permission to Use or Adapt with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

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Shannon A Thompson

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