A Pastor’s Prayer

Hear O Lord, the sound of my call and answer me…

You are the God who brings life out of death, the one who sustains widows and grieving mothers, and promises an end to drought. I am not a widow or an orphan and there is no season of drought where I live. But I come to you anyway. I come because I need what you offered to them – sustenance, life, and hope.

You know that I am not a fan of finitude, at least not my own. I am forever reaching beyond my limits and discovering your abundance. But sometimes this body and spirit of mine can go no further and do no more in a day. I am reluctant to acknowledge this truth because there are so many needs unmet, needs greater than my own. I want to have the faith of the widow in Zarephath, but I have seen too many empty jars and far too much deadness. Restore my trust in you.

Once again I have found myself in a place of unrest. Weariness fills me and I see no relief in sight. Show me the path toward peace. There is more chaos than I can hold. Reports of increased violence in Iraq, war growing in Syria, and no peace in Afghanistan. My heart breaks and I am a world away. Tuberculosis spreading in Russia and polio on the rise again. People dying needlessly from disease for want of medicine and education. My hope for humanity fractures when suffering could be ended and is not. Storms of unprecedented power leave only death and destruction in their wake while unseasonable temperatures freeze and then scorch the earth. Still there are those who will not even attempt to take responsibility and make changes before it is too late. Fear grips me in the dark of night. Hear my prayers for peace, for healing, for new life in the face of the seemingly impossible.

Yes, I am overwhelmed by the needs far and near. I want to fix it all, but I am not you. I want to get rid of poverty and homelessness, mental illness and addictions, violence and destruction, apathy and hatred, all the excuses and means for dehumanizing ourselves and our neighbors. So I ask again for your guidance. So many things weigh on my spirit and distract my attention. Show me where I can make a difference. Remind me that I am limited and you are not. Give me the courage to do my part to improve this world rather than be defeated by the magnitude of need.

Elijah performed miracles when he relied on you. I am not asking for that, but I would like that kind faith in you – the kind of faith that shows compassion, elevates others, and brings new life. Today, I am weary. I trust that you have something in mind for tomorrow. Grant me rest. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

RCL – Year C -Third Sunday After Pentecost2013-04-04 19.03.30

1 Kings 17:8-16,(17-24) with Psalm 146
1 Kings 17:17-24 with Psalm 30
Galatians 1:11-24
Luke 7:11-17