Pastoral Prayer 9/15/19
O God today we come before you in humility and in awe that you are a God to anyone who calls upon your name. You are God of Abraham and prophets, you are God of both the Rich Man and Lazarus. You teach each, you hear each, you love each of us.
Help us as we struggle with difficult pieces of scripture. Assure us that we do not have to resolve everything or package it neatly into a sound theological response. Sometimes we can just wrestle with how you are loving and just at the same time, and in faith, we know you welcome the wrestling.
Lord hear our prayers for those like Lazarus; those for whom life and its demands are too difficult to bear; those whose bodies suffer from disease or infection or failing ability, those whose minds drive them into despair or depression or disorientation; those whom are unable to get or hold jobs, those whom struggle with addiction, those whom struggle in their relationships, those who are simply just lost.
As you have done for centuries, send your prophets and teachers; send your pastors and leaders, send friends and strangers to comfort those who are afflicted, to challenge those who are comfortable and to change unjust systems which sustain the imbalance. Open our ears to hear the warnings and to experience the compassion; help us especially when we are stubborn and full fo excuses; when the voices we need to hear seem too young or too old, when the voices have the wrong title or political leanings or zip code. Especially in these times O God keep us alert and humble and willing to be hear messages that will promote the kind of justice and love you sent Jesus to proclaim.
For all that we pray for Lord give us the strength to live out; may our actions be always informed by our faith in you and our desire to be your disciples. Amen.