Pastoral Prayer for April 3, 2022
Please allow the words of this prayer to become your own.
When I hear what we have labeled “The Parable of the Prodigal Son,”
I realize that a part of me corresponds to all three main characters:
the rebellious younger son, the self-righteous older son, and the loving father.
Today I would like to pray about the part of me
that is like the rebellious younger son.
It’s embarrassing for me to admit it, but sometimes
I still feel like a rebellious teenager:
angry that I cannot have my own way,
then angrier when I get my own way and it disappoints.
Even though I know that you love me, God, like the very best of parents,
and that you offer me a life full of truth and goodness and beauty,
sometimes I get bored with your love and want to strike out on my own
and create my own world.
As you well know, the world that I create may feel good momentarily,
but soon becomes destructive both to myself and to others.
Feeling embarrassed at my inability to create my own perfect world,
I escalate my rebellion to the point where things start to fall apart.
Only then do I come limping back to you.
I am always surprised and relieved at your unhesitant and enthusiastic
re-acceptance of me.
Actually, the “re” in “re-acceptance” is unnecessary, because your acceptance
of me never wavered, only mine of you.
When I find myself heading toward one of my rebellious, self-destructive moods,
help me to take myself with a huge dose of humor to diffuse things.
If this isn’t possible, thank you for allowing me to act out my worse self
in the safety of your unfailing and unconditional love.
We pray for a breakthrough in the peace talks between Ukraine and Russia
that would allow both sides to save face and put down their arms.
We don’t know what this would look like, but you do.
It might require some qualities of letting go and letting you take charge
that neither side wants but that both sides desperately need.
Help both sides to put their needs before their wants.