Written by: Rachael Keefe

A Lenten Prayer for Mercy

In the midst of all that is, I cry out to you, O God. My words hold anger and outrage over the acts of hatred down the street and around the …

A Lenten Prayer for Mercy

In the midst of all that is, I cry out to you, O God. My words hold anger and outrage over the acts of hatred down the street and around the world. I want you to change the hearts of those who perpetrate violence and evil on innocent lives and those who condone separatist and racist views. I challenge you to write your law on their hearts.

Until I hear my own voice. Then I pray for your mercy. Forgive those times when I have remained silent when another is victimized. Or the times when only anger motivates me to utter words the feed only the dark places in me and around me. In these moments, my sins are clear even to my unseeing eyes. Have mercy on me, according to your steadfast love.

Even as I ask for mercy, I know that I come seeking you when it is convenient for me. While I want to condemn those who claim to know you and act with so much hatred, I realize that I am not much different. Like those Greeks who came long ago to see you after you raised Lazarus, I come calling your name. I wish to see you, not as you are, but in a way that makes me comfortable. Show me your ways that I will remember your word.

Deep in the wilderness of this season, it is easier for me to rail against the sins of others than to acknowledge my own. I can denounce politicians and policy makers for ignoring the needs of prisoners and immigrants, the homeless and the lost, the asylum seekers and the broken ones. Yet, how often I have failed to see you in their faces! I can be so quick to judge and so slow to show your mercy. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit with in me.

Guide me through the darkness that lurks just waiting for me to turn from your light. I would honor your covenant of love and grace. Grant me the courage to let go of all those things that prevent me from bearing much fruit. You offer your mercy over and over again. This time, may I live in your grace long enough to pass it on to another.

Write your law upon my heart, O God.be-511557_1920

Christ have mercy on me.

Amen.

RCL – Year B – Fifth Sunday in Lent – March 22, 2015
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:1-12 or Psalm 119:9-16
Hebrews 5:5-10
John 12:20-33                                                  Image from Pixabay.com. Used with permission.

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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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