My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Ps 27:8 (New Living Translation)
In stillness let us hear your voice, God.
Easy to say, but hard to do.
The endless whirl and explosion of thoughts in our heads force their way to grab our attention, then the pings from electronic devices clamour, ‘Listen to me!’ Life, in all its forms, too often seems like a spiral of demands, claims, pressures, and concerns.
But we choose to be in your presence. Here we are, Creator God; you are our rock on which we stand. Still the busyness of our minds, the doubts, the fears, the concerns and worries, so we can talk with you and hear your voice, recognising your accent as Jesus did in his human life.
Into the stillness, Creator God: speak your words of wisdom and life.
The invasion of Ukraine, in all its horror and suffering, has stripped away so much of the previously dominant superficiality of obsessions with ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ and self-focus. We give thanks for the generosity of so many whether of money, talents, or opening their hearts and homes to refugees. Holy One, so many are trying creatively to find ways to help those in Ukraine and those fleeing the bombing and shelling of civilians, hospitals, and schools, while others return to Ukraine to defend it. So many other questions erupt. Why do we do this for Ukraine but not for those caught in similar conflicts elsewhere? Eritrea, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Myanmar and so many other countries currently fallen off the media focus? Yet you say you created all people out of love in your own image and saw that they were good. You cannot and do not deny your nature. Why do we and our governments fall short so often?
Loving God: forgive us for failing them and you.
Compassionate God, you hear the cries of all who suffer wherever and whenever. We pray also for those who perpetrate the violence and suffering, including the President of Russia and those aiding and abetting him. We hold all up to your care and healing, that they may be turned around in your Light to be freed and transformed so they will work for the healing of all Creation.
Christ, the ultimate wounded healer: Hear and answer the cries of our hearts.
We give thanks for signs of hope, care, and inventiveness, whether reported or unseen but giving life and succour to those in times of hopelessness, fear, and vulnerability. We pray for all the families in Poland, Romania, and various other countries in all parts of the world welcoming and helping refugees of many conflicts. We pray for those experiencing racism even while trying to flee to save their lives. Teach us to emulate those who are blind since they cannot tell the color of someone’s skin; does color mean anything to them? It doesn’t to you.
Jesus, who walked this way as a man: walk with each one of them today, and help us to follow your path wherever it leads.
In your loving kindness, help us realign our lives to fulfil Your will for who we are and what we do.
Help us make new relationships with people, structures, and all creation, in line with your justice and transforming love.
And as we listen for your prompts, moment by moment, teach us to recognise your accent.
Just like Jesus.
Editor’s Note: This week’s prayer writer also offers up for our reflection an open letter from the Most Reverend Dr. Malkhaz Songulashvili, the diocesan Bishop of Tbilisi, Georgia and the head of Peace Cathedral in Tbilisi. Visit this link to access this letter: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/piq9fj45kqpvjhfy6sz5v/Letter_from_Malkhaz.docx?dl=0&rlkey=9hjey1cejt0o4bj0eb913z3qm