Pastoral Prayer, January 31, 2021

God from the beginning of time, you breathed life into us. From you we received our souls, our being, our bodies. From you we were given freedom, freedom to have desire, freedom of vision, freedom to create and cultivate and build. God you have been more than a presence in our ilves from our very beginning; you are innately connected to us. Whichever poem of creation we read, Genesis 1 or Genesis 3, human connection with you is undeniable. We thank you for that. In a time when we feel disconnected help us fall back into the reminder that we remain forever tied to you. 

Sometimes we recognize the tie to you, other times we ignore it or hide from it. Sometimes we are tied to you with bitterness, sometimes fear, sometimes gratitude, sometimes praise. And yet, like a loving parent you don’t break the ties, no matter what attitude we bring. From the beginning of time we are connected to you; and distance and time and age and church attendance or denomination affiliation cannot sever the tie. 

We pray now, we pray always, as a way to strengthen our connection with you. We pray as a way to converse with you. How does one nurture a relationship if they never talk or spend time or seek each other out? We seek you out in prayer God. We seek you and we speak to you and sometimes its hard because we can’t hear your answer back. Sometimes it seems as if we’re talking to ourselves. Sometimes we get distracted and instead of praying our minds wander. Bring us back. Bear with us. 

There is so much we bring in prayer God; we bring the everyday matters of our own lives. We bring the gratitude we hold for our children, our families, our health, our homes, our livelihoods, our purpose, our opportunity.  We also bring the anxieties we carry for those same things for which we are grateful. We are anxious for our children and grandchildren. Will they go back to school? When? Will it be safe? We bring the anxiety of our nation. Can we heal the divisiveness? We carry the anxiety of our national economic struggle. We pray to you for the plight of those families facing evictions, choosing which bills to pay this month, and shopping at food banks for the first time in their lives. 

God we know you hear our prayers, we know you feel our hurt. Grant us yet more perseverance. When you breathed life into us God did you think these humans will be fine with uncertainty for months at a time? They’ll handle it. They can do these hard things. If you did God, your confidence was perhaps unwarranted. It is hard. We are struggling. We are over uncertainty and anxiety and covid everything. We are over it, but it isn’t over. Remind us of those who went before us. Remind us of our ancestors who wandered not just months but hundreds of years seeking stability, hoping to find a normal. In their time of wandering you remained connected. When they lost faith, you did not give up on them. When they celebrated, you rejoiced too. And so like those who came before us, we seek you in our time of uncertainty. We pray to you when we are weary. Remain connected to us as we wander, rejoice as we rejoice. And thank you God, for loving us so fiercely. Amen.