A Prayer of Grace

09.20.20

God, you are the giver of grace

You are grace.

Your grace is too deep for us to fathom.

Your grace is too wide for us to grasp.

Your grace is too offensive to our human nature.

Your grace is too sufficient to meet our needs.

Father, you compared your grace to a Master.

A master who employed all who needed work.

A master who paid not on an earthly scale.

A master who did not use a time clock.

The master’s method was to pay those who came to the field.

His employees were those that had the need to work.

We seldom can see our work, and pay, in that manner.

We are more prone to measure by our time, sweat, and achievement.

We count the worth of our work by comparing and judging.

We work in the field for gain, not for need.

Our view of fairness is all about us.

Our view of justice is centered on ourselves.

Our understanding of mercy is for those we choose.

Our valuable time is for spent on that we value.

We are much more like Jonah than the master.

We know that you are full of grace.

We know that you are the God of mercy.

We know that you are compassionate and kind.

We know that you are love.

We want to choose who receives grace.

We want to restrict who experiences mercy.

We want to limit who feels your compassion and kindness.

We want to withhold your love for our own.

Lord, you have relented from destruction.

You have repented from anger.

You have worked around our limitations.

You have persevered with us through our humanness.

God, your grace is constant, even when we do not feel it.

Your grace is consistent, even when we do not reflect it

Your grace is unwavering, even when we attempt to run from it.

Your grace is not limited to grace.

You give grace upon grace.

While we are still stuck at happiness,

You are progressing with Mercy.

While we are sitting in the belly of the fish,

You are preparing people and their Kings to hear of our God.

While we are bitter under the shade, 

You are loving those in the sweltering sun.

Father, we thank you for your grace that we do not understand.

May we allow your grace to visible to our eyes.

May we permit your grace to be obvious through our speech.

May we intentionally give out your grace in our daily journey.

God, may we let your grace flow from our lives.

God, may we let your grace flow in our lives.

Amen.

A Prayer of Forgiveness

Prayer Together for 09.13.20

God, you took chaos and created order. You took nothingness and created harmony. You took, darkness and made it light. You took love and created life. You took death and made it life. You created and gave it to us.

Lord, we have taken the order and turned it into anarchy. We have taken the harmony and turned it into conflict. We have taken the light and returned to darkness. We have taken the life and dismissed, devalued, and oppressed it. We have taken this creation for granted it and missed you in the middle of it.

We have taken your gift and thrown it to the swine.

Father, we have lied and slander others, just as we have experienced the same from others. We have experienced hurt and we have caused hurt. We have felt the sting of pain, just as we have created pain We have been led astray and we have led others down the same paths. We have known the agony of disappointment and have felt the guilt of disappointing others. We have been humiliated and we have humiliated. We have chosen evil and ignored good. We have turned from right and destroyed trust.

God, we are in need of forgiveness. God, we need to grant forgiveness. God, we know the pain of unforgiveness. God, we know the uncertainty of withheld forgiveness. God we need forgiveness. God we need to grant forgiveness.

God may we experience the freeing power of giving and receiving forgiveness. May we know the joy of letting go of those things that accompany forgiveness. May we recognize the power in the release of hurt, resentment, and vengeance. May we replace those things with love, may we do so in love.

Lord, help us to accept forgiveness.

Father, help us to give forgiveness.

Amen.

Knowing Names

Prayer Together 08.30.20

God, we are thankful that you know our name

Lord, we are grateful, that you know our name better than we know it ourself

Father, we are amazed that our name never leaves your mind.

God, you know the names Aubrey Dameron, Ida Beard, Emily Morgan, Selena Not Afraid, Aubrey Dameron, Savanna Greywind, Angela McConnell, and the countless of other native American women and girls who remain missing or have been murdered. Father, while our system has dismissed, or forgotten, far more of these names than it has remembered, we know that you do not forget, nor will you ever forget these names.

Lord, long before we ever heard, or paid attention to, these, you already knew the names of Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Terence Crutcher, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Freddie Gray, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Bettie Jones, Trayvon Martin, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, Dominique White. We fail your call to us as we forget our fellow humans beings created by you, these who have died because of color – senselessly and unjustly killed. After our outrage, or sympathy, dissipates and our entitled excuses do their job of removing our guilt and refocusing the blame on these victims, we forget these names.  You, O God, never forget these you lovingly created; these you know by name, and even more by heart. You share in the tears of those that loved them and, are now, facing an earthly eternity of grief in their absence.

Father, we ignore the daily barrage of numbers, each representing other loved humans created by you. We hear numbers like the 43,000 persons locked up in across the State of Oklahoma; or the numbers, 1,310 out of every 100,000, numbers statisically bypassing the names that you know of those in our state locked up and imprisoned, numbers surpass the numbers in all other states as well as the numbers in all other NATO nations.  We seldom know these names, or remember these numbers.

God, you know the names of each of the 16,289 students in the Norman Public Schools, as well as the names of each of the 1,962 employees that make or public school system.  You know the name of each of the 22,152 University of Oklahoma students that have recently returned to our city.

Lord, you know the names of each of the 34 deaths in our city in the past six months due to the Covid 19 illness, you know the name of everyone of the 149 currently active Covid cases in our city, you know the name of every one of the 1,522  city residents the have fully recovered from covid.  God, you know the names of those scientists currently working feverishly on a vaccine for the virus, you also know the names of those who have sought to speak false information and outright lies into the minds of our fellow American citizens.

God, we are thankful that you knew the names of every inhabitant in Ninevah crying out for any kind of deliverance, and you knew the name of Noah, Abraham and Sarah, of Isaac and Rebecca, of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel, of the sons of Jacob, including Joseph, and of Shiphrah, Puah, Jochebed, Miriam, and of Bithiah.

God we are thankful that you have told us your name. Father, we are thankful that you know our name.

Amen.