Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Prayer of Confession about Our Praying

You are only as far away as the sound of our whispers will travel, Lord, yet we so often struggle to speak with you intimately. We make small talk sometimes, thanking you for sun and rain, for gentle breezes and low humidity. Though we may be grateful, we know that chatting about the weather is something we do with casual acquaintances and even strangers.

Hear our purposeful prayers.

We maintain substantial vocabularies—collections of words we use for term papers and interoffice memos and for bantering with our buddies. But do we use them to deepen the conversations we have with you?

Hear our purposeful prayers.

Forgive us when we are shallow, seeking a quick blessing or a fast favor from you without being willing to invest fully in a trusting, committed relationship with you. Forgive us when we are one-sided, asking always for mercy and compassion, but not returning the same.

Hear our purposeful prayers.

Forgive us when we approach you begging for guidance and direction, but then neglect to follow your instructions. Forgive us when we cry out with our pressing questions, but then stop listening for your answers.

Hear our purposeful prayers.

May we have another chance to appreciate the fullness of your love? May we try, once again, to shed our self-interest and find joy in serving your interests?

Hear our purposeful prayers. Amen.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

An Ordinary Thursday Statement of Faith

I place my faith in the One Who creates me; Who has always known the pattern of my heartbeat, the swirl of my fingerprint and the color of my personality; Who seeds me with abilities and talents and a full measure of potential; Who grants me freedom of will to choose my path, but Who also desires to see me choose well.

I place my faith in the One Who loves me beyond the limits of life; Who teaches and demonstrates truth through story and action as captured in the Gospels; Who saves me again and again by forgiving me for the self-centeredness I perpetuate.

I place my faith in the One Who surrounds me and fills me with inspiration; Who is present and available in each moment; Who brings forth comforting assurance as well as powerful advocacy on my behalf.

This faith is personal and precious, yet it is strengthened when I realize that I do not hold it alone, but that I hold it in common with all who have been blessed to be in relationship with God. Amen.