Raleigh offered this prayer in worship on January 24, 2021. As we move through this pandemic, may we find the grace to bear witness to the struggles and injustices that harm our communities and also find a way to hope and work for better days.
This pandemic has done a job on us. It seems that every time we tried to pin down the coming of a better day, that day would come and go, leaving us still to wonder how long, O Lord, how long. And yet over and over, your word and the proclaimers of your word invite us to remain in and live in hopefulness. So again, dearest God, I pray that you find the cracks in our fear and cynicism and inject a fresh dose of the kind of hope that does not deny what is but is there in spite of what is.
Give us hope for the end of the pandemic. We long for the day when we will be able to be together, laugh together, and embrace one another without that primal fear that has been simmering in us over these last several months.
Give us hope for the coming of a world in which we do not have to continually look over our shoulder at one or another country who might be planning something horrible against us. But also may we lead the world in not being the sort of country that other countries have to worry about.
Give us hope that we can somehow drop the false barriers of racism, sexism, homophobia, nationalism, and all other phobias and isms that only serve to divide the most precious part of your creation, humankind.
Give us hope for finding the solutions to the damage we have done to our earth. Let us learn to better love the gift of your wonderful creation and how to care for it as we would any precious gift we have been given.
Give us hope that our church will be able to fulfill its mission. That whoever the people we are charged to help or ideas we are charged with promoting, we will accept those challenges with boldness and enthusiasm. That we will be willing to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as we understand it to be. Jesus, who took on the form of a servant and who continues to say to us even today, follow thou me.
In His name I pray.
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