God, of surprises, Christ of the unexpected acts of love and compassion, Holy Spirit blowing where You will – we come to worship and be in Your presence. So often all the words we use in our services and prayers inadvertently block us from being open to Your coming. In the still small voice as You came to Moses, we often drown out with noise or intellectual reasoning. As though with our finite mind we can grasp You, who is infinite.
Attune us, Lord, to Your presence in our lives.
Sometimes when I look at the world or even what choices I make in my own life, I think a baseball bat might be more appropriate to get through to us. You are the creator of all, yet we see barrel bombs being dropped and destroying the Syrian city of Aleppo, with civilians, hospitals, children and even pregnant women being targeted by snipers. All because of different stands in politics and religion.
We see this violence repeated in words and actions in so many countries.
Lord, forgive our smallness of minds and hearts that betray the divine spark You breathed into us when You gave us life. We are like a house divided against itself. Lord, have mercy…
We celebrate the many, who like Jesus moving beyond the accepted customs of the day forgiving the woman judged a sinner, reach out to protect and rescue the child brides in so many Asian, Middle Eastern and African cultures. We continue to remember all the girls enslaved by Isis, the boys forced into becoming soldiers and often to commit atrocities. We pray for those seeking to rescue and help them to be enabled to do so speedily and safely. We pray too for their home communities to accept and love them on their return.
Lord Christ, bring peace and justice to those in fear and oppression. Open the eyes of the oppressors to repent and seek healing and restitution.
In so many countries where inexplicable events are occurring in the run-up to elections, sometimes we despair in the choice of candidates available. Remind us that hope continues to exist if each one of us chooses to seek to follow Your will and not our own, then hearts will be transformed, Your light and love will be freed to transfigure what is so blighted and corrupt. And start within us. We say the words, Lord, but if we say them and mean them, nothing will be the same. You don’t take it lightly. Lives will be turned upside down, which may be no bad thing, and a new way of living will come to pass, as you promised.
As we pray, Lord, let us pause to hold up to Your loving light and healing power, all that is broken in us, our communities, our countries, international relations and our world… May we rediscover the sacredness of all whom and what You have created. Then we will treat with love and care all You have given us and continue to give us. Amen.