Prayer of the Week

How do you do it? How do you see all your children dying and still keep seeing?

I’m sure you don’t look. I’m sure you turn away, close your eyes, cover your head. I’m sure you don’t look but still see. Tell me how you do it.

Tell me how I can change my vision, how I can see farther, how I can accept a world that’s so distant from the city that I love.

Tell me how you walk down the streets where I was raised, how you see the neighborhood where I learned what manhood meant.

Tell me how you notice what I remember and how you still keep noticing where all that love still sits.

Tell me how you keep your heart soft when the images across every screen fundamentally harden my grip on my sons’ necks for fear that what I see is all there is.

Tell me how you do it.

Tell me how you stay with it, present to it, unflinching in divine love, how you posture yourself on the pavement of the undefended.

Tell me how you’re so at home on the floors of 79th and 63rd and up north where NBC-5 doesn’t report on all the same pains that happen on the west side.

Tell me how you do it. Tell me how you see this. Tell me how you do it even if you don’t look.

Tell me how to see.

Prayer of the Week

I’m thinking of people of who feel especially disinherited. I want you to think of them the way you always do.

Grant them the light of your company in the midst of this present darkness.

Give them the lift of love when the weight of their world feels depressing.

Replace their burden with the yoke of grace, the weight of glory, the heaviness of splendor.

There is so much in the way right now, so much that makes loving hard.

Make it a touch easier today, this week.

Make love among us possible so that justice rolls and runs like raging waters.

Prayer of the Week

The litter of the week frames my prayers. Garbage phrases, unconsidered decisions, poorly chosen statements. They’re all in my mind as I pray.

I know you’ve seen these things, heard them the way I have. I wonder what you’re saying. I wonder if we’re listening.

Make us listeners. Better listeners. Listeners period. Help us to hear you. Help us to hear ourselves. And then each other.

Perhaps we can surrender some of our words when we hear. Perhaps there’s room in our listening for you to work.

Prayer of the Week

As this month closes, I want to be open to what’s next. I want to notice what I haven’t. I want to capture what I sense but don’t quite see.

I want to feel my senses open. I want to have my heart expand. I want to love and not hate. I want to bring good and not evil to this world.

I want to connect with others and be a connective person for others. I want to help people who can’t help me in return. I want to be larger and not smaller.

I want your help because these things are impossible for me. My motives are so complicated that they stop me. These desires are impossible to cultivate. They aren’t impossible for you.

Grant me what I need, especially the vision to see deeply within, to pull up what’s in me. These roots didn’t come from me. I didn’t plant these hopes within myself.

Do your work. Make me what this murky vision tells me I am.

Prayer of the Week

There are needs beyond your servant’s, and her need today reminds me of how long you’ve been healing before now. You are accustomed to saving and reclaiming and making whole. Do your work as you often do, even when we don’t notice or watch or praise or acknowledge it.

Be the most competent physician during today’s surgery. As each nurse and doctor tend to her, be present in each touch, word, and gesture, making healing happen. Bring recovery when all is done and may strength be in the body of your child and friend and servant.

Grant her family all the courage they need. May they know your mercy, be enveloped in your lavish grace. These things are not difficult for you. In the name of the One who made healing his work. Amen.

From Psalm 46 (Msg)

God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him.

We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,

courageous in seastorm and earthquake,

Before the rush and roar of oceans,

the tremors that shift mountains.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,

God of the Angel Armies protects us.

River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city,

this sacred haunt of the Most High.

God lives here, the streets are safe,

God at your service from crack of dawn.

Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,

but Earth does anything he says.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,

God of the Angel Armies protects us.

Attention, all! See the marvels of God!

He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,

Bans war from pole to pole,

breaks all the weapons across his knee.

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,

loving look at me, your High God,

above politics, above everything.”

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,

God of the Angel Armies protects us.

Prayer of the Week

Place these words inside all our unsettled parts so that they may be gentle, God-given counter words to what we hear so much.

Transform us in our listening until we believe differently about ourselves, until we believe more.

Open us to your reality and not just our own.

Turn us to this blessing and may it echo within.

The Lord bless you and keep you.

The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.

The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

(Numbers 6:24-26)

Prayer of the Week

For some of us countless ideas run around our heads. For others of us the struggle is to start seeing anything at all. We think too much or we don’t grasp enough of your thoughts about us.

Grant us the ability to see when our heads are clouded, the ability to hear when the story is being told somewhere just beyond our ear’s grasp, and the ability to put enough form to that thing so it feels.

May we know your love in bone-deep ways. May you shed light upon dark places in us that haven’t been loved. May you reach us completely.

Help us hold your truths gently. Help us appreciate and respect the people you’ve given our world, the idea generators, the storytellers, and the prophets whose words impact, disappear too quickly, or stay and sustain.

Taking a Page from Myself

Wouldn’t life be sweeter if we spoke to one another in tones of possibility and faith? We can do this. We can say words of greatness and calling and majesty when we speak to each other. Our words can fill the ears of the children in our neighborhoods, the colleagues in our workplaces, and the friends at our tables. We can declare wonderful hopes and prophesy tomorrows of splendor, and each word can be powerful. Those declarations would be welcome by the people we speak of because it would be a surprising, strange gift to be so well-regarded.

Wondrous Communicator, grant me the blessing to speak such blessings to, for, and about others today.


(Hope, Day 25)

My Blog: Prayer of the Week

You heal. You made your servant’s body, know his frame, and remember everything within it. You know him, love him, and remember him.  So look at and bless him with the sensitivity and care that he needs.

Relieve all manner of sickness. Remove pain. Use doctors and nurses and attending angels to do your work. Grant your servant a strong sense of your company, so that, as he lays and waits and receives both loss and newness, he may always have you.

Grant renewal of body and spirit and mind. This is not difficult for you.


My Blog: Prayer of the Week

We seek many things. Sometimes, in our seeking, we turn away from you.

Be unmissable this week. Be in our way this season. Be traceable and visible and unmistakable.

As we turn toward what’s ahead, help us see your presence there. Make our attempts to see hoped-for things soul attempts to locate you. Transform our desires until they become desires for you, for the Holy.

You created us to be curious people, resilient people, even stubborn people. You placed within us the hard-to-beat impulse to seek. Grant that we might keep seeking. Grant that we might do as Jesus says and find.

My Blog: Prayer of the Week

We live in fear and you tell us to be unafraid. You tell us, “Don’t fear.”

Grant that we might revisit your record and find you trustworthy. Anchor us in something deeper than our first, primitive reactions. Drop us into some penetrating truth that the world of death is a world on its way to a fitting close.

Open us to expectation for life even while we move toward Advent. Use us to bring life, to frustrate death the way Jesus did, to remind violence and all its  offspring that life still wins. In the strong name of the winner whose coming gives us hope.