A Prayer for the Church in August of 2014: The Month Everything Was Viral

The Michael Brown Shooting in Ferguson, MO … The Suicide of Robin Williams … The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Awareness Campaign… The Brutality of ISIS as They Exterminate People-groups… The Continuing Volley of Rockets in Gaza Between Palestine and Israel…

Lord, forgive your church.

Lord, forgive us when we justify injustice.  Forgive us for being blind to the systemic prejudice that oppression, subjugation, and marginalization are predicated upon.  Forgive us for our silence when violence is used as a means of stopping violence.  Forgive us for fueling hate instead of finding humility.

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Lord, forgive us when we deny the condition of sin by calling it illness.  Forgive us when we put our trust in chemicals to heal what Christ in his suffering conquered.  Forgive us for settling on platitudes rather than wrestling openly with complex realities.

robin-williams

Lord, forgive us for when awareness is our end goal.  Forgive us for when simple tasks with little cost are seen as the best we can do.  Forgive us for insulating ourselves from the suffering you have called us to share with those who mourn.  Forgive us when we throw money in order to keep our distance from suffering.

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Lord, forgive us for when we see the suffering of Christians and it seems odd.  Forgive us for forgetting the cost of being your followers.  Forgive us for a faith that has fed on the false gospel of both freedom and comfort in this world.  Forgive us for replacing solidarity with rage.

isis crisis

Lord, forgive us for taking sides in war.  Forgive us when we justify the rockets of one and condemn the rockets of another.  Forgive us for looking through the lens of politics that blurs the outline of peace.

IronDome_2

Lord, forgive us.  Forgive us for justifying hurt.  Forgive us for silence when we should speak gospel.  Forgive us for the false gospels we cry out through the megaphones of our revenge.  Forgive us the ironic claims of personal clarity when in fact we are blind.  Forgive us for refusing to walk a mile in the shoes of those we have deemed our enemy.  Forgive us our condemnation of those whom we have judged guilty.

Lord, you have called us to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors.  We choose instead to kill our enemies and condemn those who threaten us.  You have called us to be salt and light.  We have chosen to be bullets and fire.  You have called us lambs.  We have chosen to be lions.  You have called us to take up the cross.  We have chosen to take up the sword.

Lord, forgive us for we are prone to wander.  But you, Lord, are the one who seeks.  We are prone to get lost.  And you are the finder of lost things.

Lord, forgive your church.  We are the body of Christ but we are lame.  Help us to stand.  We are the body of Christ but we are blind.  Help us to see.  We are the body of Christ but we are deaf.  Help us to hear.  We are the body of Christ but we are mute.  Help us to speak.  In a world run ragged with the wages of sin, help us to become the bringers of the gift of life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.

SBC

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