Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Praying with Paul

It's a struggle for me to be contemporary, but I have managed to update the design of PRAYERwerks. Now, I'm taking a break, and I present my version of summer reruns

This post is a reprise of prayers that have some basis in the the writings of St. Paul. CLICK HERE for the portfolio, and scroll through nineteen prayers written over the past three years.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Before the Ark or at the Alter

The LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering…gold, silver and bronze…blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen…spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense…then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.” (from Exodus 25:1-8) 

Great and Holy God, 

Worship lite is not your standard! 

Sacrificial giving. Painstaking attention to detail. Meticulous craftsmanship. That's how you spelled it out for Moses in Exodus. 

The Ark, the Tabernacle, priestly garments - they represent and evoke your presence. (Exodus 25-28)

I will meet with you and give you all my commands… (from Exodus 25:22)

In a grand cathedral or a clapboard country church we gather for praise, confession and intercession. Yes, my thoughts wander. I can be caught yawning, but worship compels our full attention and participation. You are near. Your presence fills the space. The details matter - the details of our lives - and we listen for your instructions.  Amen.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Radical Forgiveness

The news here has been dominated by two stories, the Senator John Edwards political corruption trial and the horrific Taft murder case. Coincidentally - or Providentially - I watched the George Clooney film, The Descendants. It’s a complex story about family wounds, betrayal and forgiveness - the heavy lifting kind of forgiveness. All of this prompts yet another prayer about forgiveness. 

Gracious, Forgiving, Healing God, 

I see families tested so severely by infidelity, treachery, even violence. 

Of course, they seek and deserve justice, but there’s only one answer to the test. Forgiveness. 

We prefer the multiple-choice version. Anger. Retribution. Hatred. Resentment. Any satisfaction from those responses is fleeting and failure is certain. 

Lord Christ, where wanton selfishness has injured, close the wound with Divinely inspired selflessness. It’s easier prayed for than accomplished - heavy, heavy lifting - but we have your example and Spirit. 

You conducted a ministry of healing and forgiveness. Theologically and physically, your blood was spilled for the forgiveness of our sins. Your dying words were about forgiveness. 

It is so often our last resort, but it’s the singular, appropriate response. 

Amen! …to forgiveness.

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