Friday, March 12, 2010

A Prayer for Forgiveness

Hi! It's been just under a month since my last post. (Lots going on, etc.) I am sorry for the delay in posting...maybe this will lead you to forgive me?

St. Luke's is hosting mid-week services through Lent (12:00 on Wednesdays), and I get to be a part of the next one -- March 17, 12:00pm, St. Luke's UMC, 100 W. 86th Street in Indianapolis, you should totally come, etc.

This Wednesday's service focuses specifically on forgiveness. My role? I get to pray (the draft of my prayer is below, but trust me, it's way better spoken) and do the benediction (which, if I do it the way I think I'm going to do it, you'll want to be there for that, too*). So, again: you should totally come.

Anyway, this is my prayer-in-progress. Most of it is mine. "Our Common Prayer" at the end is one of the many versions of The Lord's Prayer we've been using in this special series of services.

God with us, here and everywhere, now and always:

How we complicate forgiveness. How easily our human-ness gets in the way of your divine light flowing in us and through us out to the world. How often our broken-ness disconnects us from our communion with you and our fellowship with one another. How quickly we forget that even when we’re less than we know we can be, we’re more than we ever dreamed possible, through you.

Remind us to seek your love and teach us to forgive ourselves. Grant that we might heal ourselves, so that we might become healers of others.

Help us to celebrate your love and enable us to forgive and be forgiven by those closest to us. Let us embrace the vulnerability of the open hand and open heart, so that we might feel your Spirit flowing freely between us.

Lead us to live your love and encourage us to forgive and be forgiven by our neighbors. Reveal in us the courage to reach out, the humility to start over, the trust and trustworthiness to commit to real relationships with those in our community.

Guide us to share your love and empower us to forgive and be forgiven by our enemies. Challenge us to be role models for the world and help us see past war and other acts of aggression, so that we might catch more and more glimpses of your Glorious Dream for us – your Vision of peace, of light, and of love among all people, where forgiveness pours down on all people like a summer rainshower and where forgiveness is cherished by all people as a precious jewel.

And we ask you to be with us, God, as together we pray Our Common Prayer:

God, you are life for us,
Holy be your name.
Your new day come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven.
Give us this day our bread for the morrow;
And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Strengthen us in the time of test,
And deliver us from evil.
For the power and the splendor and the fulfillment are yours,
Now and forever. Amen.

* UPDATE: Never mind. My musical benediction got vetoed. I mean, the benediction I've written is pretty good, but it's not going to be as fabulous as it might have been.

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