Monday, February 28, 2011

Prayer for Awareness

Father, open our eyes to your Kingdom reality that is all around us. Give us new eyes to see what you see. When we look at our neighbors, may we see human beings created in your image who are filled with tremendous potential for good. When we engage with the Church, may we see fellow travelers called to partner with you in your work of redeeming and restoring the world. When we see creation, prompt us to acknowledge and appreciate its inherent beauty. And when we encounter despair, give us eyes to see hope. Awaken us to your presence in every moment of the day.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Prayer for churches Part 4

Father, we pray for a spirit of repentance to well up in your church and in our nations. We confess we have taken shortcuts, made wrong turns, and even dragged our feet in our journey of following and obeying Jesus. We turn our eyes, our hearts, and our feet to face you just as we are, with all our baggage and shortcomings, and we ask for your forgiveness. Forgive us, we pray.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Prayer for churches Part 3

Father, we pray for the truth and hope of Jesus to be proclaimed clearly and boldly in churches around the world. We trust that as the good news of Jesus is proclaimed the people who hear it and see it will experience freedom, healing, repentance, and an overwhelming encounter of love. May those who find the good news complicated embrace the easiness and simplicity of the yoke of Jesus.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Prayer for churches Part 2

Father, we pray for our brothers and sisters who are impoverished and afflicted. Clothe them with patience and endurance for the difficult journey ahead, and in the midst of their suffering may they experience the deepest of all joys, of knowing you are present. Encourage them through the stirring of your Spirit within them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Prayer for churches Part 1

Father, we confess that our hearts have been captivated by the temporary trappings of your church rather than the sustaining presence of Christ, the head of your church. Forgive us for forsaking our first love. We ask that you redirect the desires of our hearts toward your Son, Jesus, by the power of your Spirit at work in us.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pray

If you do just one thing today, just one, make it an act of prayer.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Prayer of Thanksgiving

From Paul's letter roughly 1950 years ago to the community of believers in Thessalonica:

"We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."

Who are you thankful for today? Let them know.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Prayer of Anticipation

Father, as the northern hemisphere warms the southern hemisphere cools, we anticipate a new season of the year. Teach us to hold on to the successes and failures of last season very loosely so as to grab hold of the future you are drawing us into. May we create space in our lives and schedules to stop and listen to you. May our eyes stay focused on you and your activity in this world. Awaken us to your presence within and around us, and inspire us with your loving Spirit to tangibly share the good news of salvation that resides in your Son, the Christ. With whom are you inviting us to love and bless and share this news with?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A modern day proverb

This from Fr. Richard Rohr:

“Those who really know don’t talk too easily. Those who talk too easily don’t really know.”

Choose your words - and their timing - carefully today.

Peace!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Prayer for the Middle East

Father, as protests erupt throughout the Middle East, we pray for peaceful demonstrations and interactions. We ask that those involved (protesters and governments) will be protected from destructive actions and attitudes, and we pray for the emergence of political systems that put Kingdom values on display - those focused on compassion, generosity, and justice. May those involved in present and future conversations be overcome with humility. Turn their attention away from their own preservation and shift their hearts toward plans that will be for the betterment of their nation as a whole as well as surrounding world.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What's our problem?

Here's a great line from Mike Breen in an interview he did with Mark Howell, which you can find here:

"I firmly believe that we don’t have a missional problem in the United States. We have a discipleship problem. If you make disciples, you’ll always get the church. But if you make the church, you rarely get disciples."

How accurate is this analysis in your context? If it's accurate, what will you do to change it?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Who do you trust?

Faith, at its core, is a matter of trust at the heart level rather than understanding at the head level, which makes the question "Are you a person of faith?" quite ridiculous for an evangelist to ask someone since all people everywhere are people who trust someone or something. Have you ever encountered someone who has no trust in anything or anyone, even in themselves? I haven't. Everyone has faith in something or someone.

Perhaps its time for Christian evangelists to stop selling people on a particular set of beliefs or doctrine and instead start living a life that demonstrates what a life of trusting the Christ looks like. Take a moment to reflect on this: who or what do you trust with your life, and how is your trust evident to others?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How should we pray?

Here is Eugene Peterson's interpretation of the prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray:

Our Father in heaven
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what's best -
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Prayer of Confession

Father, awaken us to systems and trends of our culture that work against your purposes in the world and to which we contribute unknowingly. Challenge our hearts and minds by the work of your Spirit to identify those things and to do whatever is necessary to step out of them. We confess that our actions, attitudes, and words have not always demonstrated your beauty, goodness, justice, truth and love in the world and we are desperate to uncover a better way of living. Teach us by your Spirit how we should live this week and in the weeks after.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Prayer for Children

Father, we pray for the youngest members of our world and ask that the hungry be fed, the illiterate be taught to read, the naked be clothed, the enslaved and exploited be liberated, the broken be healed, the orphaned be adopted, the over-resourced be generous, the housed be hospitable, the prideful be humbled, and the uncared for be actively loved. Guide our hearts and minds to identify the most vulnerable in our communities and world and to obediently respond to what we hear you wanting us to do for them.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Prayer for Local Churches

Father, as local churches prepare to gather this weekend we ask that you encounter them in the midst of their gathering through the sending of your Spirit. You know what their deepest needs are and I pray that you break them free from whatever it is that entangles them or enslaves them - anything that is preventing them from loving and following Jesus more fully. We ask too that their gatherings be so loving and inclusive that outsiders experience the presence of the risen Christ in those times.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Prayer for Church Staff

Father, we pray for those who serve on the staffs of local churches. Remind them of the gifts you have given them and equip them with whatever they need to create spaces of transformation for those they serve. Align their desires with your desires for their congregations.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Prayer for Preachers

Father, in a time when our words have lost much of their weight, I pray that the words coming from our preachers will be words of truth, mercy, love, and peace, setting free those who hear them and transforming their hearts and lives. Embolden those who are preparing to preach with a spirit of humility and courage to proclaim your good news for the world.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Prayer for Freedom

Father, we hold ourselves back from joining you in your activity in this world for many reasons, none of which are healthy. Free us from our fears and apprehensions and self-doubt by proclaiming to us again who you have made us to be. May we live as your liberated agents of reconciliation and redemption today.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Prayer for the Weary

Father, I pray for those serving you and your world who are worn out and weary. For those who need rest, I ask that you create time and space in their lives for rest. For those who need help, I pray that you will inspire more workers who will surround them and support them. For those who are ready to give up, I pray for renewed vision and energy for the work you have invited them into. Breathe your breath of life into them.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Value of Experiences

In reflecting on recent conversations and experiences I've been a part of, it seems to me that the good life - the life Jesus offers humanity - is found not in the mere accumulation of experiences (i.e. busyness) but in the depths of our experiences (i.e. the levels to which joy, compassion, generosity, friendship, and forgiveness are experienced), which, if we pay attention, hold even greater power to transform us more fully into the likeness of Christ.

So perhaps the question we must wrestle with today is not "How much can I get done?" but "How deeply does God want to transform me through what I get done?"

Questions for God - Listening

Father, what do you want to say to us today? We pause now and listen for your voice.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Questions for God - Healing

Father, what parts of our beings are still in need of healing? Awaken us to our own brokenness and restore us to the people you created us to be.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Questions for God - Good Questions

Father, what questions should we be asking you? Grant us wisdom to know the important questions to ask and the courage to ask them of the appropriate people.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Questions for God - Going

Father, where are you at work and where are you inviting us to join you in your work? Prompt our hearts to trust your invitation and quicken our feet so as to catch up with you and your work in the world. May we be unafraid to go where you invite us to go.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Question for God - Feeling

Father, what deeply affects you? Open our hearts to feel what you feel. Help us to become people who can identify with the deepest of suffering, trusting that you are already present.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Questions for God - Hearing

Father, what do you hear that we are not yet hearing? Open our ears to the cries of others and equip us with whatever you deem necessary to ease their suffering.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Questions for God - Vision

Father, what do you see that we do not yet see? Open our eyes to see our neighborhoods, our co-workers, our families, and our own brokenness just as you see them. Help us to see what you see.