Sunday, January 20, 2008

WAITING ANXIOUSLY – A PRAYER FOR MANY VOICES

#1: God, every time I turn on the news I get depressed. There are so many places where people live such violent lives. Using war as a way of settling disputes doesn’t seem to be going away. How much longer do we need to put up with this? The prophets of old promised there would be a time when war would be no more and people would live in peace. Isn’t it time for that to happen?
O God how long?
We wait with hope, we trust in the promise.

#2: Why are children hungry? That’s what I want to know God. Over and over again I read that You want us to ensure everybody has their basic needs met. But still there are people without homes, without clothes, without enough to eat. Why are we still waiting for justice?
O God how long?
We wait with hope, we trust in the promise.

#3: Another mill closing. One a week it seems. The news seems so bleak for this part of the world. The economy just keeps sounding worse. There have to be better days out there somewhere. Mining or forestry or something else has to happen. How many young people will we lose before then? How do we continue to live abundant lives while we wait? We need some good news, even just a little bit to keep us going.
O God how long?
We wait with hope, we trust in the promise.

#4: God, I worry about the church. Across the country, at many levels, in many denominations, there is a mood of crisis. There is anxiety about money; there is anxiety about shrinking numbers and aging members; there is anxiety about how long things can continue as they are. I know there is a place for the church in the world and in the lives of the people around me but we could really use a sign that it will be there for our children. I look for a road that will take us into the future, I await a sign that the church can continue to be a place that gives life to God’s people.
O God how long?
We wait with hope, we trust in the promise.

#5: God, long ago you sent a liberator into Egypt to free your people suffering under Empire. Then you promised a Messiah as they struggled under other Empires over the years. Then a man named Jesus came and brought words of liberation in a new way and a new understanding. Now we who in the midst of a new Empire continue to cry for liberation. We need a new liberator, another coming of an Anointed One to give us life in abundance. We wait for you to once again break into our world in new and surprising ways.
O God how long?
We wait with hope, we trust in the promise.
And the people all said Amen. Amen

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