Pastoral Prayer for June 26, 2022

Please allow the words of this prayer to become your own.

Loving God,

You are God.  I am not. 

I behave as if I am God.

I attempt to take control of things.

I assume I’m in charge,

that freedom to act means I hold the keys to my own life.

When things go wrong, I wonder why bad things happen. 

But you remind me that you are God.

And I am not.

You are the creator of the universe.

You put all life and matter into motion, including me.

My drive to create, to build, to manage reflects your nature in me,

but I am not you.

You are the center of all things – inside atoms, down to the quarks,

and then some.

You are there, holding it all together.

Sometimes I make my happiness a reason to trust you,

and my pain a reason to doubt you.

But you are beyond my happiness and my pain.

You are the reason for everything.

And I am not.

Every bird, every blade of grass, everything that swims in the ocean,

every cloud and star – it’s all a glimpse of you.

You are too wonderful for my mind to grasp.

I can barely imagine you.

But I want to live in awe of you today –

in worship and love before you.

Help me to know and to see you more truly,

and to hold you in reverence no matter what happens.

Loving God, our country is in deep trouble.

On just about every conceivable issue,

things continue to polarize and to spin out of control.

When will we as Americans learn that extreme positions

on any spectrum – be they “right” or “left,” “conservative” or “liberal” –

are almost always one-sided and destructive?

When will we learn that the truth almost always

lies somewhere in between,

affirming elements of left and right, conservative and liberal?

Loving God, our country is in deep trouble.

We know that your Holy Spirit is doing everything possible

short of brute force to encourage and enable both sides

to sort things out, to listen to each other, and even –

God forbid! – to learn from each other.

Jesus was trying to get the right and left of his own day

to work together on the crucial reality of co-existence with Rome.

Both sides rejected his teaching, and the result was self-destruction.

We as a country would like to be saved from that fate,

but you will not force us to get along.

Right now we are in desperate need of a leader –

perhaps neither Democrat nor Republican –

to bring us together.  Loving God, hear our prayer.

Independent and United Church of Christ