Archive for March, 2009

Giving Thanks, Sharing With Others

March 29, 2009

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever. Ps. 136:1

Lord, in this season of March Madness and spring breaks we give you thanks.
We thank you for talented young athletes and the enjoyment that their competition brings.  We thank you for opportunities to gather with family and friends.  We thank you for the freedom to travel, for museums and movies, and for parks and other natural spaces.  We thank you for rest and renewal.

As we watch those who have been given opportunities to develop their talents and to overcome adversity, help us to care for all of our nation’s youth, and not just those with the power to entertain.  Help us to recognize and return the love and support of those you have put in our lives to guide and care for us, and to share that love with others.  Help us know that you are with us always, and strengthened by that knowledge, to share your message of hope and renewal.


Harden Not Our Hearts

March 21, 2009

If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. Isaiah 58:9-10

Lord, we have allowed market forces to create a deep divide between rich and poor, and many struggle for food and housing, and basic medical and dental care. Although you have commanded us to be openhanded toward our brothers and sisters, the poor and needy in the land (Dt. 15:11), funds for housing, mental health, services for the aging, education and food are threatened with cuts in states that would turn away federal aid that could help the least among us. We talk of values yet fail to heed your call to compassion, to kindness, to generosity, and to faith. We quarrel, and threaten one another, and fail to seek the knowledge that could help us fill our common need. We pray for relief yet fail to recognize your promise to restore those who keep your word. Today, Lord, help us hear your voice; harden not our hearts. (Heb. 3:8)  Help us move forward, towards justice, and with real concern and caring for one another, and especially for those who are most in need.  In Jesus’ name we pray.


Wisdom Calls Us

March 15, 2009

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. . . . If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. Proverbs 9:10,12

Lord, bless our president.  Give him wisdom, strength, and the courage to persevere as he seeks to move the country forward.   Give him discerning advisors to work with who keep wisdom in view and care for all people foremost in mind. (Pr. 17:24). Help all of our leaders walk in the way of righteousness, and along paths of justice. (Pr. 8:20)  Help us Lord, as a people, to walk in the ways of understanding and seek learning and insight. (Pr. 2:3, 9:6). You have told us O Lord to drive out the mockers, “and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.” (Pr. 22:10)  Save us from the mockers, and all those who hate knowledge and seek to confuse and mislead rather than to help and inform.  You have told us O Lord that “[t]here is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Pr. 14:12).  Save us from simplistic solutions and the complacency of the foolish. Let us not be misled by those who have no interest in our common future, who are unmoved by the suffering of the people they lead, and who seek partisan gain rather than progress in resolving the issues that hold us back.

Provide us with wise leaders, and help us be a wiser people. In Jesus’ name we pray.


Accepting Change, Trusting in God

March 8, 2009

The race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, nor does the food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11

Lord, help us find hope in the midst of change.  Save us from despair as jobs are lost, talents and effort go unrewarded, and past knowledge is challenged.  Give us the courage to learn new ways and to try new paths.  Help us not to judge, but to reach out to one another with compassion and with a generous spirit. Help us to ask hard questions and learn from the past so we might become a wiser and better people.  Guide our leaders that they might be good stewards of the law and of the common good.  Let us know the comfort of your presence, and let your peace, which transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, as we trust in you.