How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Psalm 13:1-2 (NRSV)
How long, O Lord?
Our hearts and souls echo the cry of the Psalmist.
Around the world and in our communities, people hurt one another in countless ways.
Clergy, teachers, business leaders, and seemingly countless others abuse their power, resulting in the deep suffering of communities, our fellow humans, and even you, O God.
We pray for all victims of abuse at the hands of clergy and religious leaders.
We pray for the Rohingya of Myanmar who have face what the UN Secretary General called “horrendous persecution.”
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;
my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
Psalm 13:3-4 (NRSV)
So much of the news we hear, O God, shakes us to our core. It seems like no matter where we turn we find brokenness, pain, and heartache. We pray for men, women, and children experiencing homelessness, who don’t have many of their basic needs met. We pray for those affected, and the families of those killed, by earthquakes in Venezuela and Iran. We pray for the flora and fauna of our world, as hundreds of sea turtles have been found dead off the coast of Mexico after being caught in an illegal fishing net. We pray for the thousands fleeing flooding after a dam burst in Myanmar.
But I trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13:5-6 (NRSV)
God, we lift our hearts and our voices to you.
We give you praise, because in the midst of our fear and brokenness, there are glimpses of your presence and your love:
- Cartoon artists who are challenging stereotypes by depicting female superheroes who are also Muslim.
- Children who are growing, learning, and finding their voices as they try to create a more just and loving world.
We pray for the government and parents in China, as they debate removing the limits on family size.
Simple acts of kindness, often unnoticed by the crowds, bring light and hope into the world. Let us never forget, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5 NRSV)
Help us, O God, to focus on the light of your love.
Help us to believe Jesus’ promise of abundant life.
And, help us to lift our voices to you in praise, for you have dealt bountifully with us.