Chris LIles

Pastoral Prayer - Chris LIles

Pastoral Prayer - Chris LIles

And so it begins again, O God. Or rather, so it continues. The now seemingly endless campaign cycle once more fills our news feeds full of anger, frustration, and vitriol. Constructive conversations are replaced with blatant disrespect. Politicians are quick to point the finger of blame at one another, and short on providing answers to basic problems, as their speeches are filled with campaign wishes and promissory dreams. Good news is celebrated by one side and trashed by another, and God help us, tragedy and grief are treated simply as a bargaining chip, only worthy of mourning as long as they can advance an agenda, and then are plunged back into darkness. 

What is a Christian to do, O God? How are we to act? How are we to stand up and speak out against such hate? In these times, Remind us again of the words of your prophet Micah: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

Grant us the compassion to act justly in our world. Give us the drive to seek out injustice wherever we find it, whether in our hometown, or abroad. Help us to stand courageously for the marginalized, and be willing to grant them the opportunities they so desperately need but so frequently have taken away from them. 

Give us opportunities for kindness this week. Let us find people for whom we can share care and concern. Put people in our path who need a cool drink of water, or an encouraging word from a friend or stranger. And let us see those opportunities for what they are: a chance to share the love of Christ with a neighbor rather than an obligation we will feel guilty about if we pass by on the other side of the road. 

Finally God, let us walk humbly with you. To walk humbly requires that we follow after you. It means we have an appropriate view of our own self-importance. In these approaching months, it means we treat the opinions of others with respect, whether we agree with them or not. It means we seek common ground, instead of seeking ways to get ahead. Let us be voices of reason. Let us be beacons of compassion. May we act and speak in the same mind as your Son, Jesus, who taught us to pray: 

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”