Archive for January, 2009

From Love of Money, Save Us

January 31, 2009

You cannot serve both God and Money.  Matthew 6:24

As a people and as a country, we have put too much faith in money: money as the arbiter of power, money as the definition of success, and money as the source of our security. And we have found that money cannot serve as the measure of any of these but are reminded, in the words of the apostle Paul, that “love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).  Wealth cannot keep us from harm.  Lord save us from selfish ambition and the fear of failure and want. Help us to pursue the riches of reason, the wealth of generosity, and the strength that comes from acknowledging both our interdependence with others and our dependence on you.  Help us, as we re-examine the paths we have taken, to recommit ourselves to you, and to find the path forward.  In Jesus’ name we pray.


Listening for Wisdom In Unity

January 24, 2009

This week’s prayer was contributed by the Rev. Kim Ryan in Columbia, Missouri.  If you would like to contribute a prayer, please send an e-mail to

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

Holy One,

We give thanks for the call of your Spirit that urges us to remember our unity.  In the one we know as Jesus, we have received a faithful witness of your expansive and inclusive love.  Your intention has been offered through all of creation and through the ages – that we are all your people, born of your love and created to be family together.  We thank you for the defining moments of our history that have sung this truth with clarity and mercy. We thank you for the defining moments of our lives that resonate this great hope of your heart. We are grateful for the lifting of burdens and barriers to glimpse the greater truth of our kinship.  During this week of an inauguration of a new president, we humbly stand in such a moment in history, in our individual lives, in our communities of faith, and even in our global community.

The celebration of the world this week echoes hopes for a new day, a new beginning, and new possibilities.  We pray for President Obama and all the leaders of our country and the world who recognize this moment of history as a pivotal moment crying out for reconciliation, and for problem solving with a higher resolve and commitment beyond self interests.  We pray for the citizens of this country and citizens of the world to seize not only the moments of this week but the hope for a future built on combined efforts, shared values, and hard work.

May we listen deeply to the wisdom of our saints, wise ones, and ancestors.  May we listen deeply to the wisdom of history’s successes and failures.  May we listen deeply to the wisdom of our own hearts in unison with the hearts of brothers and sisters created in your image.

In the name of justice and mercy, we pray.


Moving Forward In Hope

January 18, 2009

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:3-5.

Lord as our new president takes office, a president who promises change and emphasizes community, let us move forward in hope:

Hope that we can be wise, and find a path forward through our troubled times;

Hope that our people can find jobs that put their talents and skills to good use;

Hope that we can care for each other enough to find resources to share and rebuild our communities;

Hope that we can be good stewards of our lands and preserve the natural beauty of your creation for future generations;

Hope that we can heal our partisan and racial divides;

Hope for the safe return of those serving overseas in defense of our country.

Lord please protect our leaders from harm, guide them in the paths of wisdom, help them to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with you, as they take their oaths of office, and become the guardians of our common welfare.


“Grant Us Wisdom, Grant Us Courage . . .”

January 10, 2009

In 1930, Harry Emerson Fosdick, a minister who in 1931 would work with John D. Rockefeller Jr. to establish The Riverside Church, a nonsectarian Protestant church in New York City, wrote the words of the well known hymn “God of Grace and God of Glory.”  The second verse of this hymn ends with the theme of this week’s prayer: “Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days, for the living of these days.”

God of Grace and God of Glory, grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days.

Grant us the courage to confront our fears, ask questions, consider new ideas, change habits, and reach out to those who are different from us.  Help us to move in the direction of hope and community, generosity and love.

Grant us your wisdom. Help us to learn from past mistakes.  Help us avoid the confusion of fragmented data, sound-bites, and partisan attacks, and help us discern the paths that would move us forward as one country, one nation, with liberty and justice for all.

In the words of the psalmist (Ps. 25, v. 4-5), show us your ways O Lord, teach us your paths, guide us in your truth and teach us, for you are God our Savior, and our hope is in you all day long.


Hope for a new year

January 2, 2009

On this blog we will post prayers for our country, and we hope you will join us in saying these prayers and contributing new ones. As we look to the inauguration of a new president who campaigned on the theme of hope and change we offer as our initial prayer on this blog, the following prayer which was given as an invocation at the rally held for Barack Obama in Columbia, Missouri on October 30, 2008. The invocation was written and delivered by Dr. John Yonker of First Christian Church in Columbia Missouri:

“Gracious God of all peoples and nations, who is known by many names and who is worshiped and served in many and various ways, we gather in celebration of the heritage and freedom and democracy which we share as citizens of this great land.

As we prepare to elect those who will serve the nation in public office, we give thanks for all the men and women who take up the challenge and dedicate themselves to such service. Bless them with wisdom and discernment, enlighten their minds with understanding, and fill their hearts with compassion, that their leadership would inspire us to face the challenges of the present day with courage and hope.

Endow us all with determination to continue the struggle as we learn how we can fulfill the promise that this nation, under God, might truly become a land where freedom and justice for all is experienced by all, not only for an elite and select few.

Fill our hearts with love for peace that you alone can give, that we might succeed together in tearing down walls which divide us, and build bridges of trust and respect and understanding and harmony.

Deliver us from the lure of wealth and success gained at the expense of others, especially the poor and marginalized, that we may also dedicate out lives to serving the common good, and hasten the day when peace and justice will rain down like mighty waters, and spread like a life-giving stream from these shores across the whole face of the earth.