Today we long to be held. We long to be held, not by the hateful actions we see on our televisions. Not by a virus that continually kills thousands upon thousands. Not by our divisions and the things which cause us to break apart. We long to be held by your unbreakable, unshakeable, and infinite love. We long to be covered by you – that we can take a breath and step away from the chaos happening in our world. And yet we know that we too must do the work to make our community and world a place filled with your love and your justice.
Remind us, Lord, that this is your world, and that no matter what happens here to any of us, we always remain yours and belong fully and completely to you. We ask that you help us to embody you as we find a way to spread your justice in this world and in all of us who remain so broken.
God, although we long to forget the events of this week happening in our world, we still choose to lift up all of the feelings we feel in our bodies to you: our sadness, our anger, our helplessness, our confusion, our disgust, our desire to change ourselves and those around us, our longing to move on, our wish for hope. All of these feelings, and many others, we lift up to you and we ask that you take them as we also continue to work through them ourselves. We pray that we, and those around us, may have understanding as we all work through our feelings differently. We ask that you help us to find a way to sit with our emotions while also sitting with you.
We realize God that although we want to separate ourselves from the actions of others, we know we are part of it all too. We know this, O God, and so we ask that you forgive us and guide us to check ourselves for the hatred, the racism, the bigotry, and the lack of love that we show in the small and big ways that we don’t realize, or that we choose to ignore. Guide us Lord and deepen our hearts that we might realize that no matter how good we think we are, we need to make sure that we are embodying your love in every action and in every word we say.
God, as we mourn the events of this past week where hatred was seen at the United States capitol building, we also recognize all the suffering in our community, country, and world. We pray for Uganda, where the internet is blocked and security has been stepped up as counting gets under way after polls closed in a hotly contested election that has been marked by violence in which dozens have been killed. We pray for The Netherlands, where the Dutch coalition government is in danger of collapse over a scandal over child benefits lasting 8 years
We ask for your presence as the world experiences our single Covid-19 highest death toll – over 13,000 in one day (over 4,000 people in the U.S. alone). We pray for the places where the number of positive test results continues to climb all around the world, as lockdowns continue to grow longer. We pray for knowledge and support as a variant of the virus with much higher transmission rates has now been detected in 45 countries.
We pray for comfort in Indonesia, where all contact has been lost with a passenger jet that carried 50 people.
As war and violence continue across our world, we pray for peace and pray for the loved ones of the dozens killed in Syria by Israeli airstrikes apparently targeting positions and arms depots of Iran-backed forces located there.
We pray for comfort as we continue to experience losses of all kinds this season – the lives of so many, broken relationships, jobs and sources of income, as well as the anniversaries of so many losses which we remember and continue to mourn.
God, there is so much. So many things are happening in our world that we cannot wrap our minds around, and so we ask that you may help us. That you may hold us as we cannot hold ourselves. That we may find you in all of the little places, in all of the things we have to do in any given week – we ask that you walk with us and that we may find little pieces of comfort and joy throughout our week. Even when we are not strong and have so little to give – we know that you have so much to give. We ask that you may be the comforting presence to each of those in our community – that your unshakeable and infinite love will carry us through and hold us today and always.
In your name we pray.