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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My Friend, God, A Prayer

God,

Sometimes I wonder if you want to just be friends,
When I hear the rather cringy Jesus is my lover Christian rock songs
filter over my neighbor’s fence, into my yard
and I see the latest news of extremists rallying for or against things
in your Holy name–I think of how you used to walk,
with Noah in the garden, and just hang out.

I think about Jesus, and how much he loved to go to friend’s house a grab a meal,
or wash their feet
or chill under a tree.
I think about how the relationships Jesus sought the most
were friendships,
and how Jesus cultivated those
Like the gardener he was.

I think about the Holy Spirit,
How she is an encourage, inspirer, and comforter
and that I love to picture her in a room of artists
or an anonymous group
or on the grass with students who are doing nothing
coaxing the miracles of communication and consensus
building community, wherever she goes.

I think about our friendship God,
How sometimes I’m mad, sometimes we talk
Sometimes we do not

And you get it either way.

And I love that you value friendship,
because truly you created us because you value
companionship.

It’s so beautiful God.

Thanks buddy.

Amen.

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Worry Prayers

God,

If worry were a string,

I’d be tied up.

If worry were my food.

I’d always eat, and never be filled.

If worry were my companion;

I’d be haunted til the end of my days.

But instead worry is my prayer–

allowing me to shape in sighs

and words and silence

all the things that tense my neck and shoulders

and fidget my fingers

and make me lose my keys and phone (again).

And because worry becomes my prayer–

you take it like a gift,

and don’t let it tie me up, or become my food, or my companion.

Instead you tame it, and teach me to live with it, and remind me that it is just one piece of life.

And that there are other things like kittens and clouds

and children blowing bubbles.

And sunshine, and raindrops to cool the summer days.

And you teach me to cry tears of relief,

and to call a friend,

and to turn the worry into prayer,

as many times as I need to.

So here’s a worrisome prayer–wrap it up for me Jesus,

and spin it with the Holy Spirit, so it loosens up around my soul I pray.

And be with me while I pray it please, God.

So I might breathe a little easier, I pray.

Amen.

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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

Shaky Ground, A Prayer

God,

Maybe I’ll never take in

the shock of a country betraying my trust over and over again

first with 9/11

then the war in Iraq,

then college debt and a recession–

then motherhood unsupported, votes that don’t count,

adulthood mocked as I forced my way into the world hustling all of my hobbies into jobs

Being told that I didn’t care enough to make it in the world, and that’s why

I couldn’t have an emergency found, save for retirement, have security of house, babysitting and daycare for my children, living paycheck to paycheck,

after years of climate change, shaky policies and politics, no family leave, switching to paper straws, buying thrift clothes, and being told every single decision is my responsibility and fault

–the millennials are clearly to blame for it all

And knowing my family is ironically more financially secure now than we ever been and yet

now we are betrayed again,

And the world is on fire with pandemics and justice broken with Jan 6 and the Constitution being brought to its knees with two weeks of stacked “interpretations”

Maybe its ok that I cannot take in that the Supreme Court Justices have betrayed me yet again

That the greater church has no energy anymore

That there is no institution to fall back upon–

There is only faith and friends, and another letter to you God,

to say hey God,

I’m still here.

I still love you,

and I still believe that justice is worth it.

Babies need to be wanted,

Miranda rights are important,

Prayer should be taught by professionals

Guns are stupid, dangerous and don’t have rights

Schooling is more important than what we give it, and segregated schools through religiosity is trash

and I think we humans can do better than what we are doing now–

and I do know that sometimes there is no resurrection without death.

And I’m ok with that.

Help me God. Because trust is broken,

but I’m still here, and so are you.

Help me face today, and tomorrow,

because the path is not clear,

and we need to learn how to work together

with the people who know how to do the work already.

Thanks God.

Amen.

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

Promises & Prayers

Someday

I hope

We will raise prayers

No longer wet

With the sacrificial blood

Of children killed by guns

And violence

And hunger

And neglect

And hate.

Some day

We will care

More for health

Than test scores

More for housing

Than lawns

More for queer families

Than breaking hearts

More for disabled people

Than helping porn and “self-advocacy”

More for people of color

Than trumped up blame, hushed up histories, and subjugation.

Some day God,

The kin(g)dom

Will sneak up

On us

Like a cool breeze

On a hot day.

Like dew

On the lawn

Like a rainbow

Coming into focus

And we will all be Beloved neighbors there!

I’m standing in you

And your promise Jesus.

Because at the end

Of the day

Isn’t that what prayer is?

So I’m standing here

Breathing another one

Another prayer

For your collection

Put it on your heart please.

Amen.

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

Gun Violence Prevention Prayers

This is the start of my collected resource. Because I need to be real about this.

Also more than “Thoughts & Prayers”

All prayers can be used/adapted/shared with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

No Breath Prayer In the Pit: https://katyandtheword.com/2022/05/26/13962/

Call Me Mara, A Bitter Prayer: https://katyandtheword.com/2022/05/25/mara-a-bitter-prayer/

14 no 19 no 21, https://katyandtheword.com/2022/05/24/14-a-prayer/

Truth: https://katyandtheword.com/2022/05/16/truth-a-prayer/

Imprecation: https://katyandtheword.com/2022/05/15/imprecation/

Do You Reject Evil? https://katyandtheword.com/2022/05/15/do-you-reject-evil/

Forgiving God: https://katyandtheword.com/2022/03/19/forgiving-god-a-prayer/

Empty-handed Prayer: https://katyandtheword.com/2022/02/25/empty-handed-prayer/

I’m so mad: https://katyandtheword.com/2021/04/16/im-mad-and-thats-not-going-to-change-prayer/

Timeless God: https://katyandtheword.com/2022/05/28/god-of-time/

14, A Prayer

14 18 20 21
God?!!???
When will the
USA
countdown
Enough
Wisps of childhood
Enough gasps of Black People
Enough cries of Brown People
Enough endangerment of Whot people
For thoughts to turn into flipped tables?
And prayers to turn into peace beyond understanding?
How Long Lord?
I’m tired of this prayer, prayed on behalf of those who no longer pray
Melt our hearts God, move us beyond what we are—to doing what we need to do to bring peace.
No more thoughts and prayers—policies ans protests. Times 14. 18 20 21
Screw it. Times 14,000 18,000 20,000 21,000
In the name of Jesus Christ. We pray.

Amen

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

May 22nd Partnerships in the Gospel

Praying the Gospel

Philippians 1:1-18a

Luke 9:46-48

Call to Worship

God you call every single person here

We are called into community with one another

Help us to pray for one another

Let us thank God for one another

Come let us worship God

Come, let us be called into community together

Call to Confession: God is here, to listen, always. Come let us confess ourselves to God.

Prayer of Confession: God we confess that sometimes we feel like we are in competition with fellow Christians, or that our work is not good enough, or that we do not know how to be evangelists for your faith. In truth, we do not often agree with people who call themselves Christians, and we do not know what to do with that. We confess, that we do not really believe that all good works will somehow be brought into fruition in Christ. Help us: to keep at it, to have courage, to take joy in the work and to keep teaching and praying. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God’s Love is from everlasting to everlasting. Let us live into the assurance of the truth: In Jesus Christ you are forgiven.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: May we go into the world thanking God every time we think of one another, and knowing that the good works that have begun here will be brought into completion by Jesus Christ. Amen.

Hymns: Every Time I Feel the Spirit, I Love the Lord Who Heard My Cry, Lord I Wanna Be A Christian In My Heart, O God Our Faithful God, If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Me, Just As I Am Without One Plea

With Children: How do you know prayers are answered? Talk through about what praying for another person is, and what to do when prayers are answered and when they aren’t. Talk about God’s perspective versus the human perspective.

Shannon A Thompson

Author. Speaker. Librarian.

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