Pastoral Prayer, December 6, 2015
Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville
Rev. Chris Caldwell
The irony, O God, is indeed tragic, as we light a candle of peace, and pray for peace in a nation and a world that are anything but peaceful.
Wars rage, bullets fly. While those with power lack either the wisdom or the will to stop it. Instead, wars of rhetoric slog on, while people battle over what peace means or how peace comes.
Politicians at home and dictators abroad jockey for political position, while children dive for cover.
Leaders probe for political advantage, while surgeons probe for bullets.
Twitter blows up, while kitchens explode.
Facebook rants, while widows weep.
And so we pray.
We pray for mourning victims.
And we pray for incompetent leaders, for there are many in both parties and in many countries.
At a time when no one sees a clear path to a better place, we ask your spirit to lead those of good will in the direction of wisdom, and we ask that your spirit would lead those of ill will in the direction of failure.
We pray O God, for the victory of your peace.
For the victory of soul force over brute force.
For the victory of compassion over selfishness.
For the victory of love over apathy.
For the victory of mercy over hate.
We pray also for others, closer to home, who long for peace.
For children who long for peace among parents.
For workers who long for peace among colleagues.
For the tormented who long for peaceful sleep.
For the anxious who long for peaceful thoughts.
For the sick who long for peaceful deliverance.
Amid it all, remind us, O God, who you are.
The God of the baby in the manger.
The sender of heavenly choruses.
The lover of shabby shepherds.
The guiding star of Wise Men.
And forgive us for who we too often are:
Chasers after our own oversupply of gold, frankincense, or myrrh.
Consumers less interested in “peace on earth” than “good things for me.”
Selfish travelers demanding the best room in the inn.
Parents more concerned with children finding paths to success than with children being led in paths of righteousness.
Christ our savior, come into our world, for we need you in it.