Written by: Rachael Keefe

A Prayer for Mercy

Holy and merciful God, I stand here as waves of sentiment wash over the world wondering what I am to do… Grief, sadness, anger as a beloved actor dies by …

A Prayer for Mercy

Holy and merciful God,

I stand here as waves of sentiment wash over the world

wondering what I am to do…

Grief, sadness, anger as a beloved actor dies by suicide

Indifference at odds with outrage when a teen is shot

and protesters are abused seemingly because of race

Fear fueling anger, blaming and naming Muslims as terrorists

when there are others swirling hatred and politics in Israel, Palestine, Syria

Then comes the undertow of worry

This Ebola virus, can it be contained before it reaches our shores?


Lessons of forgiveness and radical hospitality taught to us by Joseph

echo unheeded in our ears

And when Jesus showed us the inclusivity of grace

we focus on the seemingly harsh words that came before

rather than the beautiful healing and compassion

After all, someone has to be blamed for all this pain


So, please, dear God of grace and compassion, have mercy

Have mercy on those who have died by suicide,

on those who live in its aftermath,

and on those who are so lost in the painful dark that death seems the only way

Set us free from the painful anger that suicide brings

turn our hearts to hope and healing

and our attention to those who sit in darkness

May we become the Light of Life for those in such desperate need


Have mercy on those who are blinded to the beautiful diversity of the human race

Jesus reached beyond the boundaries and prejudices of his day

showing us the need to welcome and love for all our neighbors

Stir your Spirit within us

Allow us to stand with those who are disregarded and discarded

Let your people cry out with the pain of injustice

until all realize that your love

knows nothing of our borders and boundaries


Have mercy on the Muslim, Christian, or Jew who has lost sight of you

Forgiveness, grace, and hospitality ought to be practiced by all

Fighting over land, politics, religion seems senseless

when we remember we are called to walk in the way of peace

Reveal your Truth

May no one justify war or murder in your name

Open our eyes and our hearts to the sister and brother

we now see as other


Have mercy on those who are sick and dying,

on those who mourn the loss of loved ones,

on those who seek to contain the virus,

and on those who live in constant fear

Let no one speak words of condemnation,

believing you sent this virus to punish a sinful people

Remind us all that you are a God of love and healing

whose forgiveness blankets the world with abundant grace

Make us ever mindful that each life is a gift

to be honored and treasured


God of all creation, hear my prayer

Hear this prayer even as my words fail to capture the depth of need

even as others speak louder

Hear this prayer for healing, for justice, for peace

in my life, in the lives of my neighbors, and in all creation

2014-08-09 19.38.49

RCL – Year A – Tenth Sunday after Pentecost – August 17, 2014
Genesis 45:1-15 with Psalm 133 or
Isaiah 56:1, 6-8 with Psalm 67
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
Matthew 15:(10-20), 21-28


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About Rachael Keefe

Rachael is an author, a pastor, a teacher, and a poet. Her latest book (The Lifesaving Church - Chalice Press) is on faith and suicide prevention. She is currently the pastor of Living Table UCC in Minneapolis, and has launched a spiritual direction practice.

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