Advent Prayer for Families that don’t Talk

TW: This is not meant to excuse Toxic/Abusive Behavior (more at the end)

God this is a prayer

for all the family members

who aren’t talking to one another

because I have that right now…

on both sides…and I get that

and honestly, all the sides have some kinds of points

Some bigger, and some smaller…

but it’s really not my job to sort

And the reality is, because it’s a family thing

everyone is involved

(parents, adult children, the adult sibs of course and the niflings* tangentially)

And everyone is just so sad

and angry…that we all know the truth

that no one is going to win

because it’s not really a fight right now

Just a sea of disappointment, and tears

and it hurts to talk about it

and it hurts more not to…

So this is a prayer for the holidays,

for all those family members who have lost touch

or haven’t talked

or can’t talk this year

Because, you know God,

(and maybe only you know God)

what is really going on there.

And it’s times like these, I think that this is why

we don’t read the prodigal son, coin, sheep parables at Christmas–

because even though that are exactly what Christmas is all about

they hurt too much–

they, Holy Spirit here it comes,

hit too close to home.

So sit with us God, the broken families,

wishing our families were whole again,

and help us as the time of advent

waiting

becomes all too real,

again,

we pray.

Amen.

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

*Gender Neutral term for nieces and nephews, Nibling is much more common but I like the sound of nifling

Additional Note: Please Note this is not meant to be an excuse or apology for toxic or abusive family members. Also sometimes the only protection some people have is to walk away from family, even if some people miss them. If you need to do that I encourage you to do so! In family systems the only person you can work on is yourself and so a safe action to do is break away from your family system to do the work. Holy Spirit help you if that is the hard work you need to get done. I’m praying this prayer for me and the work I need to do–and not for pity.

A-Part: A Prayer

God, I am tired of being in parts.

My family is scattered in different States

My church is scattered across the city

And the pieces and parts of myself that were for friendships and socialization are hard to find.

And we are all in the parables of the lost–we’ve all lost money, and our flock and family.

We’ve lost a year. A year of birthdays and friendships and fun. A year of school and work and experiences. A year of community. All of it has sucked, and been sucked our of it and we are all left in pieces, in parts.

I am so tired of being apart, God.

And I keep thinking, how we keep trying to be community!

First with the loving works given to us by artists, then with rainbows, then we bells ringing and neighbors singing, and parking lot hangouts and drive by parties. Bubbles and postcards, phone calls and chocolate, zoom calls and google calls and Skype calls and FaceTime calls–all to ad nauseum.

Look how we are all trying to be together while we are a part.

I think of my congregant in Japan who sends us masks and face shields,

I think of my congregant in Western New York who sends us articles and prayers

I think of our friend in Pakistan, or Dubai (depending) who edits our YouTube.

God we are trying, so hard, and I can’t wait to try this community again.

In the midst of being prodigal children, in the midst of being lost, we are trying to find one another!

God, be with us.

Inscribe on our hearts the lessons of essential workers and the inadequacy of disability checks of the skewed value of work over health, and the indelible effects that racism has on every single system we have.

God, I can’t wait until we can be in person together.

Then we will rejoice: we have found our coin, our flock, our family!

And until we are there, help us God, please help us to continue to look for community.

Because Church happens whenever we seek, find and are a community.

Don’t let us give up. Sustain us like the widow, like the shepherd, like the stubborn (and possibly too recalcitrant) prodigal family.

Help us to Find one another we pray.

Amen.

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

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

Shannon A Thompson

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