Oh God of unconditional love and grace, we your children are hurting and afraid. We are still living through a never-ending pandemic. We thought 2021 would be better than 2020, but these first two weeks have just been more of the same with the threat of civil war thrown in for good measure.
We are so divided, God, and we know you are calling us to be Christ followers, to be peacemakers among our families and neighbors. But we don’t have a clue what that might look like. None of us have ever lived through anything like this. How can we possibly know how to be your witnesses, your disciples?
Reassure us again, Holy One, that we can trust your call. The Scriptures tell us story after story of the unlikely people you have called to do great things. Moses and Esther, David, a bunch of uneducated fishermen, and Saul the Christian persecutor. May we draw strength and confidence for the living of these days from the saints who have gone before us, Mother Theresa and Dr. King and thousands of unknown servants who bravely respond to your call, not knowing what that means, with no guarantee of success of safety.
This day we especially pray for a peaceful transfer of power on Wednesday and for a binding up of our nation’s wounds.
We give thanks that we are not alone in this scary time. Even though we cannot yet be physically in one place where we can be in fellowship and share hugs with one another, we are still connected through the wonders of technology. We are never alone and together we can be faithful and brave through any crisis. And so we dare to pray in the name of one who said “Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” the one who became flesh and walked among us to show us how to live and how to love. And so now we pray as one the prayer he taught us to pray.
-Pastoral Prayer, Northwest UMC, January 17, 2021