Today’s prayer practice invites us to imagine God’s beloved community and intercede for those among us who need God’s amazing grace and comforting spirit. In the beloved community, people see reality from distinct and numerous angles. But, it is the sum of all our pieces of viewing of reality that points us to God’s bigger reality. Let us dream of God’s reality of compassion, grace, hope and healing for all of us. As you engage in prayer this week, lift up those in your family, church, and community who see reality differently than you. Jesus’ words are insightful when we discern ways to respond to brokenness in the beloved community:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous (Matt 5:43-45, NRSV).
Gracious and loving God, we ask you to enter our hearts and heal our brokenness. Your love is overflowing in our moments of grief and desolation. When the world seems to go astray, and our human abilities fail, we rely on your compassion to offer amazing grace, the grace that surpasses our human understanding. Through scriptures, we remember our friend Jesus who comforts the afflicted and heals the broken hearted. Lord, we pray that you heal from embitterment feelings.
Gracious and loving God clean our bloodstains of distrust and free us from all iniquities. May we regain the vision of your kingdom of peace, hope, and love that you instilled in our beings since the time we were conceived in our mother’s womb. When our human knowledge and skills to unite fail, grand us your wisdom to imagine and dream new ways to usher your kingdom here on earth.
Gracious and loving God disturb us enough that we may show empathy to our neighbors and stir in our hearts your courage to dare dream big dreams beyond the seas of compassion for all your children, especially those who are grieving, both those grieving the process of the Special Session of General Conference and those grieving its outcome.
Gracious and loving God, we ask that you give us grace, enough grace to see you in our all siblings and our human experiences. As we continue gathering together, Lord, renew your gentle spirit within us and enable us to follow your humble path on earth. These things, Lord, we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our healer and redeemer. Amen.
Pictured above: The Council of Bishops (including Bishop Saenz, center) and delegates to the special session of General Conference in 2019 gather for a moment of prayer in solidarity.