I had queued up a post reflecting about how (most) Christian music drives me bonkers, and pondering how we might do better. But then this week happened.
The violence in/around Gaza has been a lot. And so have all the opinions and shouting matches all over the internet regarding how we should or shouldn’t talk about this violence.
It doesn’t feel like quite the right time to quibble over worship song lyrics. (Although I do think the theology expressed in our songs makes a real difference in our world. But we’ll get to that next week.)
What I want to offer this week, instead, is three brief prayers.
(I’ve posted these prayers to @postevangelicalprayers on Instagram this week. But I know not everyone uses IG. And those who do use IG may or may not have seen these, since the Mysterious and All-Powerful Algorithm is out there doing no-one-knows-what.)
So, I offer you:
Prayer #1: for seeing shared humanity
We have split our lands
with arbitrary borders,
but you only see
Help us see like you,
Prayer #2: for truth to be revealed
God who moves
on behalf of the vulnerable,
you see right through
Reveal the truth
in these complex situations
that justice may take root
and peace may one day grow.
Prayer #3: for wisdom to hold our tongues
God who spoke into silence—
but not until the time was just right—
help us learn the wisdom of holding our tongues.
Give us courage to step outside
the streams of endless chatter
that babble all around—
to move at our own pace
and let the words we do speak
be words of love
and only love.
Love and only love. That’s the goal.
I hope some part of these prayers resonates with you in some way. Or that you’re finding your own words to pray your own prayers, deep from your own soul. Or that you’re becoming comfortable not having the words, but knowing prayer doesn’t have to have the right words, or any words for that matter.
And of course, because “thoughts and prayers” are a thing, I hope our world figures out how to move toward peace in tangible ways. I hope things change. I hope we find the kind of peace that is not just the absence of overt, visible violence, but the active presence of justice. The kind of peace where no person and no people group is oppressed.
Praying and working toward peace with you this week,
Ps. On an unrelated note—although I supposed it’s very much related to justice and peacemaking, in its own way—I’m putting together a book launch team for Nice Churchy Patriarchy. By which I mean probably a Google group where I can ask for help/ideas in getting the word out. If you’d like to be a part of the team, I’d love that—send me an email or use the contact form and let me know!