Chris Caldwell

Advent Love Prayer

Advent Love Prayer

We thank you, O God, for the example of Roberto Clemente’s love, for a life living out the meaning of scripture, which says, “Greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.”  

Remind us, in this selfish world in which live, that love is not a commodity to be reaped, but a harvest to be shared.  

Grant us the gift of a giving love, a blessing love.  Make us truly more interested in loving than being loved.

As Christmas approaches, we pray for those continents away from those they love:
Military personnel
State Department personnel

We pray for refugees crowded into camps
And for inmates crowded into prisons

At a time of year focused on home, we pray for those who are homeless, who are not all bearded schizophrenics pushing shopping carts, but who are also
Addicts ruled by drugs
Or the mentally ill haunted by anxieties
Or criminals hiding from the law
Or families devastated by healthcare bills
Or vagrants refusing to work
Or gay teenagers shunned by families.

We thank you for expressions of love from those who know us this time of year: for cards, gifts, and visits.
We thank you for chances to express love to those who don’t know us, through toy drives and Christmas baskets.

But remind us that loving our families is a year-round opportunity
And remind us that poverty is a year-round reality.

We thank you, Lord, for the music we have experienced this season:
Our choir in worship last Sunday,
The orchestra on Tuesday
And our children’s choirs on Wednesday.
We thank you for the generous gifts of time and money that make these blessings possible.

We offer you now this time of worship
May we bring to it our full attention
May we offer you our full devotion
So that, after we leave this place, we might put our worship in motion, by loving and serving others.


Joy Prayer

Joy Prayer

Pastoral Prayer, December 13, 2015
Broadway Baptist Church
Rev. Chris Caldwell, Pastor

Across our city and across our nation, in about one in every ten churches, there will be today special anniversary celebrations--celebrations of a 150th anniversary that might have slipped by unnoticed by some of us.  These African American churches will be joyfully celebrating the passage of the 13th amendment, which ended forever the practice of buying and selling their great-great-grandparents, a practice known as slavery.

Here is what House Speaker Paul Ryan said at the anniversary celebration in Washington: The Thirteenth Amendment is just 43 words long. It is so short that, when you read it, you can almost miss the whole significance. You have to stop and remind yourself that 600,000 people died in the Civil War—600,000 died over 43 words. Or to be more precise, they died in a war that decided whether those 43 words would ever be written.

Let us pray

It comes as something of a surprise, O God, that captives, who for more than 200 years in our nation, were shackled and sold, would in large numbers adopt the faith of their captors.  It is hard to fathom how a race could adopt as scripture a book wherein a Christian slave is enjoined to return to his Christian owner.

Yet the joyful embrace of the Christian faith by our African American sisters and brothers teaches us something: that joy is as much a choice as it is a gift.

Sometimes joy finds us; but sometimes we choose joy.
Sometimes we are joyful because of, but other times we are joyful in spite of.

For centuries white folks have watched black folks embrace unbridled joy in worship, and have wondered why they were acting the fool, not knowing that the celebration was not an act of foolishness, or of denial--as if to say that life was not hard and at times cruel--but rather that the celebration was an act of defiance: a refusal to be shackled by the limits of what could be seen this side of the horizon, and an insistence on choosing the way of hope rather than bitterness.

Help us, Lord, to learn from their faith.  Help us to choose joyful thanks for what we have, rather than petty complaining about what we don’t have.

Help us to choose joyful faith in the hope of what can be, rather than jaded grumbling about our frustration with what merely is.

Lord, we do not come asking you to help us pretend.  We do not wish to pretend that storm clouds are sunshine.  But we do ask to be granted the faith of knowing you are our shelter in the storm and our strength beyond the chaos.

Lord, we do not come asking you to help us pretend.  We do not wish to pretend that our families are perfect or our days are flawless.  But we do ask to be granted thankful hearts for families or others who love us, and we do ask to find joy even in imperfect days.

Help us, Lord, to choose to see joy 

Joy in music heard in church.
Joy in laughter heard on the street.
Joy in the promise of those helping the youngest begin to walk.
Joy in the faithfulness of those helping the oldest continue to walk.
Joy in good books.
Joy in good friends.
Joy in a baby in a manger.
Joy in your love for us.


Advent Prayer - Peace

Advent Prayer - Peace

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.


wordless prayer pastoral prayer

wordless prayer pastoral prayer

Prayer preceded by anthem, “My Wordless Prayer,” by Craig Courtney

My words lie still and lifeless as dust upon the sand, I can no longer voice one request or one demand. My cup of tears is empty, I can no longer cry, my lips have fallen silent, my prayer is but a sigh. Spirit,  come and rest Your ear upon my heart, O come and hear my wordless prayer, my silent plea and take them far away from me. Take them from this ear of mine to the Father’s heart divine. Speak in tones unknown to man that God may hear and understand. My voice is weak from calling to You both night and day. How long will You be silent? Why do You turn away?

Spirit, come and rest Your ear upon my heart, O come and hear my wordless prayer, my silent plea and take them far away from me. Take them from this ear of mine to the Father’s heart divine. Speak in tones unknown to man that God may hear and understand.

Spirit, come and rest Your ear upon our hearts.

Come and hear what others cannot hear.

Come and see what we dare not share.

O come and hear our wordless prayer,

Secrets we do not tell

Memories we do not recount

We offer you in prayer the anxious thoughts that come to us in the night

The lonely thoughts that come to us in the morning

The worried thoughts that come to us at work.

And we give thanks that we do not have to put these silent pleas into words,

Because we are not sure we could.

These yearnings are hard to name,

Our failings are hard to describe.

We are people of unclean lips and unclear paths.

We are a people of untrue words and unkept promises.

And so hear what our words cannot say,

Receive what our hearts cannot speak,

As, in the language of your Spirit, we offer you

    Who we truly are

    What we’ve truly done

    Who we long to be

    What we fear we are losing

    The pain of what we have lost

    And the hope of being made whole.

These things we offer you as our prayer, and our silent plea.  



Blessings Opportunities Pastoral Prayer

Blessings Opportunities Pastoral Prayer

Pastoral Prayer
Broadway Baptist Church, 9/27/15
Rev. Chris Caldwell

  • Thank you, God, for the good things you do through this your church, where
    • beautiful music is sung each Sunday
    • children are taught the path of faith
    • youth find friendship and support during an awkward stage of life
    • older people find comfort amid grief
    • encouragement amid sickness
    • where….
    • people have remained friends over five decades
    • and where people began making new friends five minutes ago
    • 75 people served our community last Saturday
  • and where 45 people sent to an African American church this past Wednesday.
    • For the good things you are doing through your church we offer you our thanks
    • And for the not-quite-so-good things, we offer you our confession
    • for the times when we don’t fully live out on Monday what we proclaim on Sunday
    • for the times we are stingy with our forgiveness and tight with our money
    • for the times we lean too completely upon our own understanding, and too little on you
    • for the times we are lackadaisical when we come to church, assuming that not much is going to happen
    • Forgive us, loving God, for the times we have fallen short
  • And guide us as we try to sort things out
    • guide us as we try to find our way through conflict in our families
    • guide us as a church as we wrestle with difficult issues in our culture and our world
    • lead us as try to follow you on the paths we believe you have chosen for us in the coming years:
      • Growing younger populations at Broadway
      • Ministering outside the walls of the church
      • Being more diverse in our ministries
      • And finding a dynamic balance between the old and the new.
  • May you walk, O God, with those in our church who are stumbling
    • Those faced with a failure at work or at home
    • Those faced with sickness of the body or mind
    • Those who are not here today, who are finding it hard to muster energy for the life of faith
    • Those who are grieving the loss of a friend, or of a parent, or of a child or grandchild
  • Bless us now as we continue to worship
    • May you grow within us a deeper faith
    • May you nurture within us renewed hope
    • But after we worship, may you lead us to live out the greatest virtue of all: lead us to love.

Pastoral Prayer September 6, 2015

Pastoral Prayer September 6, 2015

Pastoral Prayer September 6, 2015
Broadway Baptist Church
Rev. Chris Caldwell

We pray, loving God, for fellow followers in this church whose needs are known to us
Sisters and brothers in Christ whose struggles we have learned about in the worship folder or through personal conversations.
We pray for those among us who are grieving the loss of a person who was central to their life. 
We pray for those among us who are trying so hard to
preserve their life
or preserve their marriage
or preserve their sanity
or preserve their integrity.
We celebrate with families welcoming new babies.
We celebrate with young people embracing new opportunities.
We celebrate with older couples relishing long marriages.
And we thank you for the privilege of being part of a caring community known as a church.
But we have also come to pray for those who may not have anyone praying for them.
We pray for guests among us, whose needs we do not know, but who we are sure carry burdens not unlike ours.
We pray for the corporate executive weighed down by constant expectations, but seldom experiencing the constancy of compassionate concern.
We pray for la mexicana assaulted as she crossed the border, who cannot tell her husband, and who dares not go near a hospital or a police station.
We pray for the police officer certain to face danger today, but not knowing what form it will take.
We pray for the homeless man haunted by memories of the faraway family he abandoned long ago.
We pray for the child in danger who is not sure who to trust.
We pray for the soldier home from battle who does not feel at home or at peace.
We pray for ministers serving in places where power games have pushed love out the churchouse doors.
O God who knows every need
Spoken or unspoken
Known or unknown
We give thanks for
your compassionate heart
your inclined ear
and your comforting arms.


Dreams Prayer

Dreams Prayer

August 30, 2015
Pastoral Prayer, Broadway Baptist Church
Rev. Chris Caldwell

Because, O God, few things show greater trust than to share with another our dreams, we come sharing our dreams with you. 

Dreams of better lives
Better families
Better health

Dreams of nicer salaries
Nicer cars
Nicer apartments or homes

Dreams of being loved for who we are
Dreams of being respected for the right reasons
Dreams of being remembered after we are gone

We thank you for caring souls who have listened to and nurtured the dreams of our lives.

Sunday School teachers
School teachers
Parents and step-parents
Big brothers and sisters
True friends
Who have listened and encouraged as we speak of the potential we see in ourselves, or the potential you, O God, see in us.

Show us how we can hear and nurture the dreams of others.
Help us to take the time to listen with compassionate hearts.
Help us to listen with hopeful minds
Help us to speak encouraging words.

And forgive us the times we have been poor stewards of others’ dreams.
By failing to listen
By dismissing
By trying to bend dreams in our direction
By pushing them aside in the pursuit of what we want
Or by failing to challenge dreams when we knew they were unworthy of you or of the best someone can be.

We lift up to you in prayer the dreams of others

Dreams of old people, of being honored for deep roots of wisdom in a culture obsessed with the shallow roots beauty
Dreams of young people wanting to do well in life
Dreams of sick people wanting to be well in life
Dreams of students wanting to get out of college
Dreams of poor teenagers wanting to get into college
Dreams of having a larger home where a family can enjoy good times together
Dreams of having a safer home where drugs are not sold across the street.

Last of all, we offer you the dreams of our church
Dreams of being a place where young and old can discover your love together
Dreams of a church charging beyond its walls in the name of good
Dreams of a church connected to the full array of people you call your children
Dreams of nurturing what is good within us and yet grabbing hold of dreams of what is better beyond us.




Pastoral Prayer, 5/15/2015

Broadway Baptist Church

Chris Caldwell, Pastor

  • O God whose arms are strong and loving

    • Help us to see that we cannot embrace a person we cannot reach.

    • We praise you for living out this truth by sending your son across the great divide between things above and things below.

  • We give thanks for a savior who scoffed at the divide between

    • The Rich and the poor

    • The upright and the downcast

  • We give thanks for a savior who humbled himself

    • Who recognized the chasm between the might of God and the misery of people

    • And therefore built a bridge between them

  • We give thanks for a savior who was never content for there to be distance between him and a hurting person

    • Who reached and took the always withdrawn hand of the leper

    • Who demanded that Zacchaeus come down out of his tree

    • Who insisted the children be allowed to come to him

      • So that he could take them in his arms and bless them

      • So that we could see in him your strong and loving arms.

  • O God who builds bridges wherever there are divides

    • Forgive us when we remain at ease on our side of the ravine

    • Open our ears to the quiet roar rising up from turbulent streams of distrust between

      • People who have different bank balances

      • People who have different skin

      • People who speak different languages

      • Yet all who are people created by the same God.

  • Lord, help us to see that we cannot embrace a person we cannot reach

    • And so challenge us to bridge the divide between us

    • Help us to build bridges of care between those without food and people with money to buy it

    • Help us to build bridges of trust between those who have been built up and those who have been beaten up

    • Help us to build bridges of patience between the swift and the slow

    • Help us to build bridges of prayer between those who are well and those who are sick.


  • But Lord, we recognize we cannot bridge every chasm or bind every wound

    • And so help us to be faithful in providing the money for others to go in our place

    • Help us to give generously so that members of our church can be the strong and loving arms of Christ in forgotten parts of Louisville, in dirt-poor parts of Kentucky, and wherever else you call us.

  • But grant us also the wisdom of recognizing the limits of what we can do

    • And help us never to underestimate the importance of sending missionaries who give their lives and not merely their vacations to serve others and to share the message of Christ

    • We give thanks that, even as we worship in this place, around this nation and around your world there are missionaries sent in part by the support of our gifts

    • Guide them as they speak a word of grace in a language we will never know

    • Bless them as they carry the love of Christ into communities we will never visit.

    • Encourage them as they bring food into a home we will never enter

    • Strengthen them as they place a blanket across the shoulders of a person we will never meet


Recollection of Eden Prayer

Recollection of Eden Prayer


Pastoral Prayer, May 10, 2015

Broadway Baptist Church

Chris Caldwell, Pastor


There remains in all of us “a faint recollection of Eden.”

                            --Rudolf Bultmann


  • A memory draws us to worship, O God

    • The memory of another time and place

    • The memory of the day you created us

    • The memory of your hand placing us in your garden

  • In our deep-down parts, where the imprint of your image is firmest

    • Our souls hear the birds singing above us

    • Our souls feel the soft grass beneath us

    • Our souls hear the gurgle of a gently flowing river nearby.

  • We carry within us the memories of simpler, purer times as well, this side of Eden.

    • Times as children at our mother’s knee, or at the knee of another who was our mother

    • Warm words cooed down upon us

      • We are “special”

      • We are “loved”

  • We thank you O God for Eden, and for small reflections of Eden along our way

  • But Eden is not gone because you destroyed it; we did.

    • On that fateful day we chose not what was good, but what was evil.

    • And between us and you, since that day

      • We have planted forests of manipulation

      • We have amassed mountains of greed

      • We have wandered far from the purity of your garden and pillaged the wilderness trying to replace what we lost.

    • In short, we have almost forgotten who we are.

  • And so we ask you to remind us

    • Remind us of our Eden selves.

    • Remind us we were created to reflect your image, not to reject your will.

  • May the breath of your Spirit blow upon the embers of our memories

    • and renew the warmth of knowing the simple truth that we are loved.

  • Help us, in this hour of worship, to tarry a while in Eden

    • Help us to pause long enough there to drink from the pure river of your grace

    • Help us to pull from the trees around us the nurturing fruit of what is right and pure

    • And forgive us for the many times and many ways we have instead snatched at forbidden fruit.

  • God of healing, hear our prayers for those who are sick

  • God of strength, hear our prayers for their caregivers

  • God of justice, hear our prayers for those who are hungry

  • God of courage, hear our prayers for those who are frightened

  • God of comfort, hear our prayers for those who are lonely

  • God of serenity, hear our prayers for those who are angry


"Serenity Prayer"

"Serenity Prayer"

Pastoral Prayer

Broadway Baptist Church, April 26, 2015

Rev. Chris Caldwell


  • O God, we who are here today face challenges not of our own making:

    • diseases

    • disappointments

    • tragedies

    • losses

    • the decline of later years

    • the limits of earlier years.

    • And all these, neither we, nor anyone else, created.

  • Our world faces challenges not of anyone’s making:

    • pandemics

    • earthquakes

    • floods

    • tornadoes.

  • And all these are no one's fault; they just are.

  • Yet other challenges, we or someone else have brought upon ourselves:

    • Bad decisions, by us, or by others, have brought trouble to our doorstep;

    • Losses have come because we or others have grabbed something that did not belong to us;

    • Painful memories of abusers haunt us;

    • Painful words or actions of our own haunt us.


  • And in the world around us and beyond us, people are hurt by the power of human sin.

    • Our fondness for sound bytes and lazy stereotyping has labeled too many people unfairly.  We hurt people by slapping easy words and biased assumptions on them, whether they be

      • those with money, or those without it

      • police officers, or those they arrest

      • handsome people, or not so handsome people

      • young or old

      • single or married

      • blacks or Asian-Americans

      • anglos or latinos

      • straight or gay.

      • All have been lumped into categories and labeled unfairly.

    • And no uncontrollable world force accounts for why thousands drown in overcrowded ferries in the Mediterranean, or why thousands of children are placed atop Latin American trains headed toward the United States.  No law of economics or of war accounts for such utter desperation.  No law exists that says our world must have within it billions who face the scourge of war or the crippling effects of living on a dollar a day.

      • Sin created such a world, and sin sustains it.


  • O God, in the face of our challenges, and the challenges of our world, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the courage to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

    • Forgive us our pride in trying to control the uncontrollable.

    • Forgive us our apathy in not trying to fix the fixable.

    • And lead us, one day at a time, closer to your kingdom and your will.



"Sustain Us"

"Sustain Us"

Pastoral prayer, April 19, 2015

Rev. Chris Caldwell

Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville

  • O God, you sustain us in so many ways

    • Air to breathe

    • Food to eat

    • Money to spend

    • Sustain us by granting us

      • Friends

      • Family

      • Healthy bodies

      • Clear minds

    • For these gifts, we offer you our thanks.

  • And today we ask you to sustain us also by granting us your grace

    • Grace to see clearly

    • Grace to confess honestly

    • To decide wisely

    • Cry sincerely

    • Forgive freely

    • Heal fully

    • Mourn hopefully

    • And grace even to laugh heartily

  • Hear our prayers today for those who may feel distant from your grace.  May you grant grace to:

    • Those whose bodies are so broken they find it difficult to imagine healing

    • Those whose grief is so deep, they find it hard to see hope on the horizon,

    • Those whose loneliness is so profound, they find it hard to see friends in their future

    • Those whose guilt is so troubling, they find it hard to accept mercy for their sin.

    • And hear our prayers for those who remain far from you

      • May they discover the truth that you are their rock and their foundation

      • And if they are in need of a guide, may we not be bashful in offering our help.

  • And we pray these words not as perfect people

    • We have sins enough to confess; this is sure

    • We have wandered far from your path; this is sure

    • But sure, too, is your grace and your forgiveness

      • And so now we claim that grace

      • and we claim your sustaining strength, as we prayer the prayer your son taught us to pray…..

Easter Prayer

Easter Prayer

God of new life, we have come again to the foot of the cross.
We are gathered as a motley crowd of best-day saints and worst-day scoundrels.
We are frail believers, but with hope in the promise of newness of life.
Lord, we are so far from, and yet....

Quiet Faithfulness Prayer

Quiet Faithfulness Prayer

We live, O God, in a culture of endless empty chatter, a culture that says, “We hold this truth to be self-evident, that any person with talent has the right to be a narcissist.”  

The vain proclamations of people in the spotlight envelope us.  Though we flee to the highest mountains, their self serving pronouncements are there. Though we escape to  the farthest places, their clever self promotion awaits us.

And it all erodes our spiritual health. For it all signals to us the importance of shouted sound bites, "full of sound and fury," which, truth be told "signify nothing." 

In short, Lord, we live in a world constantly demanding we give import to the unimportant, that we value things at cross-purposes with our noblest values.

Where do we go to escape the noise of so much talk that seems to say nothing? 
How, O God, do we escape the claptrap of name-calling and half-truths?

Perhaps, O God, you have granted us a step in the right direction by bringing us here to this sanctuary, 
by setting before us the ancient words of scripture
by having us sing the words of revered hymns
and hear the words of humble prayers.  

We give thanks that, here O Lord, you grant us quiet hope for our largely quiet lives.

It’s only natural we want to be a star on life’s stage, but in reality,

When we succeed, it is not front page news.
When we get bad news, it does not show up on CNN.
When we fail, we do not drop in the polls, we lose a friend or lose a relationship.

And so, Lord, we are glad you are not our director choreographing our lives on a grand stage,

Because that’s not where we live.

We are glad you are our shepherd, faithfully walking with us down life’s quiet paths, celebrating with us every victory, binding every wound, forgiving every sin.


Disentangle Us

Pastoral Prayer**
Broadway Baptist Church
Chris Caldwell

Disentangle us, Lord, for we are tied in knots, trapped in nets, 
We are lost in the web of trivial and sinful things.

Forgive us, for too often we are not who you called us to be.

Instead, we are

Gullible Gullivers, tied down by Lilliputian ropes anchored a thousand times over in the shallow soil of trivial, little, busy things.

We are

Lady McBeth, pulled forward by chords of compulsion, driven to have even more, and even more.

We are are Raskolnikov, our minds twisted every tighter by self-centered calculations and crazy self-deceptions.

We are Willie Stark, slyly turning others into pawns who can help us gobble up things that hold the seeds of our own destruction.

And so, disentangle us, Lord.  Free us.

Free us to be

KIng David, who grew to greatness only after he said honestly, “I have sinned against God.”

Free us to be Mary, who made great things possible when she humbly followed an unclear path.

Free us to be Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who refused to bow to a power unworthy of their devotion.

Free us to be Esther, who refused to give in to the power of sinful coercion.

We confess, Lord, that our sins have tied us down, but we also come to  you for help, because life sometimes weighs us down.

We are weighed down by debt or by unemployment.
We are weighed down by lost friendships or relationships.
We are weighed down by pressure at school or at work.
The hatred of others burdens us.
The costly mistakes of loved ones burden us.
Cancer burdens us.
Alzheimer’s burdens us.

And so we have come, in prayer, to lean upon you and to ask you to help us to carry our loads.  

Disentangle us from our sins, Lord.
Help us to carry our burdens. 
And lead us toward better days.
Remind us that on the other side of the sin and weight of the cross, there is resurrection.
And grant us faith for the living of these days, and hope for better days to come.



This prayer grew out of reading George Herbert’s “The Reprisal” in Jim Orrick’s A Year with George Herbert.


        I have considered it, and find
There is no dealing with thy mighty passion:
For though I die for thee, I am behind;
        My sins deserve the condemnation.

        O make me innocent, that I
May give a disentangled state and free;
And yet thy wounds still my attempts defy,
        For by thy death I die for thee.

        Ah! was it not enough that thou
By thy eternal glory didst outgo me?
Could'st thou not grief's sad conquests me allow,
        But in all victories overthrow me?

        Yet by confession will I come
Into the conquest. Though I can do nought
Against thee, in thee I will overcome
        The man, who once against thee fought.

by George Herbert 1593-1633
source: The Poetical Works Of George Herbert, ed. George Gilfillan. Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1853

"Grant Us"

"Grant Us"

God grant us

Humility consistent with your grandeur
Civility consistent with our faith

Contrition in light of our sin
Thankfulness in light of your blessings

Grant us ...

Upward Calling and Earthly Realities

Pastoral Prayer, Broadway Baptist Church
February, 2015
Rev. Chris Caldwell

  • Lord, in a few moments we will pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,”

  • and we do pray for your kingdom of heaven to break into our earthly lives

    • may healing overcome illness

    • may hope overcome despair

    • may compassion overcome apathy

    • may love overcome greed

    • may sobriety overcome addiction

    • may wisdom overcome racism.

  • Lord, we have come to your sanctuary to have our eyes drawn upward

    • to be reminded there is more to living than what the eye can see

    • that there is more to grace than the mind can fathom

    • that there is more to love than the coldest heart can stop.

  • So keep our eyes on the prize

    • and our focus on the greater things above,

  • And help us,

    • in Sunday School

    • in Bible study

    • in small groups

    • and in our devotional lives

    • to grow in our understanding of what is true and noble and just.

  • But help us also not to take our eyes off the realities here below

    • even as we pray for what our world can be

    • help us to see our world clearly for what it is, a place where

    • bigots still hate

    • abusers still assault

    • thieves still steal

    • murderers still kill,

  • And hear our prayers also for those whose life callings do not shield them from the places where hell has come to earth.  Hear us as we  pray for

    • soldiers defending civilians from evil people who want to kill them

    • social workers helping people rebuild lives broken by those who have abused them

    • school teachers inspiring dreams in the lives of children whose parents do not nurture them

    • police protecting children from dealers who lie to them

    • missionaries ministering to villages whose world has forgotten them,

  • And forgive us, even as we pray about noble ideas and for noble people

    • when have opted not for the noble, but the convenient

    • not for what which is best, but for that which is easiest

    • Forgive us when we have bent the truth in our direction

    • stacked the numbers in our favor

    • Forgive us when we have seen evil and done nothing

    • when we have seen injustice and said nothing.

  • Help us to practice what we preach

    • Help us to live in our lives what we teach to our children

  • O God, we are your servants

    • which means, on many days, you don’t have much to work with

    • but help us to do better, for our sakes, and for the sake of your world.