Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Prayer for Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Lord’s Day

O God,

Bless all of the churches with which I’ve
been associated as they worship you today:

Midway Baptist in Barnesville, GA,
Pritchett Memorial Baptist in Meansville, GA,
Fairmount Baptist in Sparta, GA,
First Baptist in Macon, GA,
Beech Grove Baptist in Owenton, Kentucky,
First Baptist in Adel, GA,
Fosterville Baptist in Fosterville, TN,
The Hill Baptist in Augusta, GA,
First Baptist in Fitzgerald, GA, and
The Rock Baptist in The Rock, GA.

Bless all of your churches as they worship you today.

May we all worship you in spirit and in truth.

Amen.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Prayer for Saturday, January 30, 2016

Rest

O God,

Give us rest.

Give us

rest from our work,
rest from our worries,
and
rest from our world.

Give us

physical rest,
mental rest,
and
emotional rest.

Then help us go in the
strength gained in our rest

do our work,
to confront our worries,
and
to help our world.

Amen.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Prayer for Friday, January 29, 2016

Quiet

O God,

There is so much noise.
There are so many voices.
There is so much turmoil.

Please build and maintain
a quiet place in my spirit
to which I can retreat.

Let it be a place where I can
always commune with you.

Let it be a place where I can
always rest in your love.

I don’t ask to retreat
from the world.

I ask rather to retreat
within the world.

Then, let me go in the strength I
gain in that quiet place to be a peaceful
and helpful presence in the chaos.

Amen.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Prayer for Thursday, January 28, 2016

Learn

O God,

Help me learn from

every experience I have,
every person I meet,
every conversation I share in,
every book I read, and
every prayer I pray.

Then help me to put
what I learn to good use.

Help me to use what I learn

to promote understanding,
to advocate for peace, and
to practice love.

Amen.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Prayer for Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Less

O God,

Help me to get by with

less stuff,
less fear,
less worry,
less prejudice,
less judgmentalism,
less anger, and
less self-righteousness.

But help me never to try to get by with

less love,
less mercy,
less trust,
less hope, and
less grace.

Amen.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Prayer for Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Want

O God,

I want to know you better. But sometimes, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of where knowing you better will lead me. I’m afraid of what knowing you better will require of me.

I want to follow Jesus more closely. But sometimes, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the cross to which following Jesus more closely will lead. I’m afraid of the changes that following Jesus more closely will require.

I want to experience your Spirit more deeply. But sometimes, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what experiencing your Spirit more deeply will lead me to attempt. I’m afraid of what experiencing your Spirit more deeply will require of me.

I want to know myself better. But sometimes, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the limitations of which knowing myself better will make me aware. I’m afraid of what knowing myself better will show me I’m capable of doing if I will just try.

I want to know the world better. But sometimes, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what knowing the world better will make me responsible for. I’m afraid of how knowing the world better will require me to change my attitudes and my perspectives.

O God, take away my fear. Give me courage to do what I want to do, to grow like I want to grow, to know what I want to know, and to change like I need to change.

Amen.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Prayer for Monday, January 25, 2016

That

O God,

You made us to be inquisitive.

Thank you that we are able to inquire into such
important matters as creation and salvation.

Thank you for the scientists who help us
understand how you created the world.

Thank you for the theologians who
help us understand how you save us.

Thank you that we can all ponder and
try to understand such vital realities.

But don’t let us get so caught up in the question of
“how” that we forget to celebrate the fact of “that.”

Help us to live with gratitude that you created us.
Help us to live with thanksgiving that you save us.
Help us to live in a spirit of awe that you are you.

We can’t help but inquire into “how,” but
there’s a lot about “how” that we’ll never know.

So help us always to celebrate the fact that you
do what you do and that you are who you are.

Amen.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Prayer for Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Lord’s Day

O God,

Let us worship you today as
people who have been touched
by the reality of resurrection.

Let us worship you today

as people who know the resurrected Christ,
as people who will one day be raised, and
as people who walk today in newness of life.

Let us worship you today as
people who have been touched
by the reality of resurrection.

Then let us go out into the
world to touch others with
the reality of resurrection.

Amen.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Prayer for Friday, January 22, 2016

Dare

O God,

Help me dare to do what you
tell me to do and what the life
of Jesus teaches me to do.

Help me dare not presume
upon your grace and love by
living arrogantly and carelessly.

Amen.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Prayer for Thursday, January 21, 2016

President

O God,

We’ll have a new president a year from now.

Please bless our current president.

Give President Obama the wisdom,
courage, and grace he needs to finish his
presidency in positive and productive ways.

Thank you for his service.
Protect him and his family.

We’re trying to decide who
our next president will be.

Give the candidates

hearts that want to serve,
minds that think deeply,
policies that unite people , and
mouths that practice civility.

Give us voters the wisdom and
insight we need to choose well.

Amen.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Prayer for Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Will Do

O God,

Thank you for what I will do.

Help me not to be presumptuous. Help me not to delude myself into thinking that I have all the time in the world to do all the things I’d like to do. Help me always to take full advantage of the moment in which I’m living.

Still, I have plans. I have things I want to do, people I want to see, places I want to go, and dreams I want to fulfill. I know it is only by your grace that I will get to do any of it, so I want to thank you ahead of time for anything that I will do.

I don’t know if my plans are your plans. I want them to be. Let them be.

Or better, let your plans be my plans …

Amen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Prayer for Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Do

O God,

There are things
I do all the time.

Some are reflexive,
some are habitual, and
some are routine.

Thank you for designing me so
I do necessary things, like breathing,
without having to think about it.

Thank you for designing me so
I could learn to make a habit out of
necessary things like brushing my teeth.

Thank you also for designing me so
I have to think about doing some of
the most necessary things, like praying.

Give me wisdom to
know what’s necessary.

Give me initiative to make a
regular practice of those actions
that will draw me closer to you.

Amen.

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Prayer for Monday, January 18, 2016

Did

O God,

There are things I did.

They were once in a lifetime experiences.

Some of the things I did were
things I ought not to have done.

I did them. I realized I
should not have done them.

I never did them again.

Thank you for forgiving me.

Thank you for giving me wisdom
to learn from my mistakes.

Some of the things I did were
things I’d love to do again but
will never have the opportunity.

They were fun, rewarding, and inspiring.

Thank you for the blessing
of having done them.

Thank you for the memories I have of them.

Thank you for the hope of similar things to come.

I did them all.
They are all part of me.
They all go into making me who I am.

I am grateful.

Amen.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Prayer for Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Lord’s Day

O God,

Restore unto us the
joy of your salvation.

Then let us worship
you in light of the
joy that is ours

because of the resurrection
of Christ our Lord and

because of your Holy Spirit
within and among us.

Amen.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Prayer for Saturday, January 16, 2016

Done

O God,

I’m thinking back on
the things I’ve done.

When I put it that way—
“the things I’ve done"—It
leaves open the possibility
that I’ll do them again.

Some of them are things I
shouldn’t have done. I’m
sorry for them. As I’m faced
with temptation, help me
not to do them again.

Some of them are things I’m
glad I did. I wouldn’t mind doing
them again. As you give me
opportunities, help me to
take advantage of them.

Thank you for what I’ve learned
from the things I’ve done.

Don’t let me forget my lessons . . .

Amen.

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Prayer for Friday, January 15, 2016

Open/Closed

O God,

On the one hand, make us open

to other perspectives,
to new experiences,
to challenging truths, and
to unexpected possibilities.

On the other hand, make us closed
to anything that even comes close

to ignorance,
to bigotry,
to arrogance, and
to foolishness.

Amen.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Prayer for Thursday, January 14, 2016

Peace

O God,

Give your peace

to those who are grieving,
to those who are anxious,
to those who are depressed, and
to those who are conflicted.

Amen.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Prayer for Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Risks

O God,

Help us to take risks today.

Let us risk

extending help,
offering forgiveness,
sharing love, and
practicing grace.

Remind us that faithful
living is risky living.

And help us to live faithfully …

Amen.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Prayer for Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Lift

O God,

When obstacles block my view,
lift me up so I can see past them.

When people are having trouble
seeing beyond their obstacles,
give me grace to lift them up
so they can see past them.

Help us all to see the
hope that is ours in you . . .

Amen.

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Prayer for Monday, January 11, 2016

Ahead

O God,

On the one hand, don’t let us look ahead so
much that we fail to be fully present in the
here and now of this day and of this moment.

On the other hand, help us to look ahead with
hope toward the future that you have in store
for us, both while we live and after we die.

Amen.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Prayer for Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Lord’s Day

O God,

As we gather in worship
today, let us praise you

with our mouths,
with our hearts,
with our spirits, and
with our minds.

As we disperse into the world after
today’s worship, let us praise you

with our actions.

Let us praise you

with loving service and
with willing sacrifice.

Amen.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Prayer for Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Way

O God,

Help us to be confident enough
that you are showing us the
way that we can live boldly.

Keep us from being presumptuous
that you are showing us the
way so that we live arrogantly.

Amen

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Prayer for Friday, January 8, 2016

Meaning

O God,

What does it mean to be a Christian?

What does it mean to follow Jesus?

What does it mean to be in the world but not of it?

What does it mean to take up my cross?

What does it mean to have you dwell in me?

What does it mean to give up my life?

What does it mean to do your will?

What does it mean to love you with everything I am?

What does it mean to love my neighbor as myself?

What does it mean to trust in you?

What does it mean to die with Jesus?

What does it mean to be raised to new life in Christ?

What does it mean to walk the narrow path?

What does it mean to do justice?

What does it mean to love kindness?

What does it mean to walk humbly with you?

What does it mean to have the mind of Christ?

Help me, O God, to grow a little in my understanding every day.

Then help me, O God, to live in light of what I learn.

Amen.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Prayer for Thursday, January 7, 2016

Listen

O God,

Most of us talk a lot.
Some of us text a lot.
Some of us post a lot.

Sometimes we need to hush.

Help us to listen more
and to listen better.

Help us to listen

to each other,
to your Spirit,
to your world, and
to our spirits.

Protect us against trying
to protect ourselves with
a constant barrage of words.

Help us to listen closely
and to take seriously

what we hear
and
who we hear.

Amen.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Prayer for Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Epiphany

O God,

We praise you because you revealed
yourself fully in Jesus Christ.

We praise you because you revealed
yourself to all people in Jesus Christ.

We praise you because you revealed
yourself to us in Jesus Christ.

We ask you to help us to live so
that others will see Jesus in us.

In particular, help us to live lives that are

full of grace,
full of love,
full of forgiveness,
full of hope,
full of peace,
full of service,
full of freedom, and
full of sacrifice.

Let our lives be an epiphany to those who
think that Jesus’ life is about other, lesser things.

Amen.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Prayer for Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Twelfth Day of Christmas

O God,

We praise you because your fullness
was pleased to dwell in Jesus Christ.

We praise you because you dwell as
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in your Church.

Help us as your Church to live out your
presence in us in the same ways that
Jesus lived out your presence in him.

Help us to grow

toward complete dedication to doing your will,
toward forgiveness that knows no bounds,
toward love that’s willing to make any sacrifice,
toward hope that has no room for despair,
toward faith that gives no place to fear, and
toward peace that holds steady in the midst of chaos.

Amen.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Prayer for Monday, January 4, 2016

Eleventh Day of Christmas

O God,

We praise you because your fullness
was pleased to dwell in Jesus Christ.

We praise you because you dwell as
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in your Church.

Help us as your Church to live out your
presence in us in the same ways that
Jesus lived out your presence in him.

Help us to keep our goal always in mind.

For Jesus, the goal was Jerusalem.

His goal was to arrive at the place where
he would give himself completely away.

There was a goal beyond the goal. On the
other side of his crucifixion lay his resurrection.

All along the way to his ultimate goal,
Jesus gave himself away by loving and
helping the people that he encountered.

Let our goal be to give ourselves completely away.

Inspire us by the knowledge that on the
other side of crucifixion lies resurrection.

All along the way, lead us to give
ourselves away to love and help people.

Help us to keep our goal always in mind.

Amen.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Prayer for Sunday, January 3, 2016

Tenth Day of Christmas

O God,

We praise you because your fullness
was pleased to dwell in Jesus Christ.

We praise you because you dwell as
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in your Church.

Help us as your Church to live out your
presence in us in the same ways that
Jesus lived out your presence in him.

Help us to worship you in Spirit and in truth.

By your Spirit, make us as aware
as we can be of who you truly are.

Enable us to worship you as you really
are, not as we would like you to be.

Thank you for sending Jesus to show
us who you truly are. Remind us to
keep our eyes on him. Then empower
us to serve you every moment of
every day in the same ways he did.

Grant that our worship of you in the
sanctuary and our service of you in the
world will express who you truly are
and who we truly are becoming in you.

Amen.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Prayer for Saturday, January 2, 2016

Ninth Day of Christmas

O God,

We praise you because your fullness
was pleased to dwell in Jesus Christ.

We praise you because you dwell as
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in your Church.

Help us as your Church to live out your
presence in us in the same ways that
Jesus lived out your presence in him.

Help us to embrace and to
express hope in all we do.

Let us live fully in the present.

But let our present living be empowered
and encouraged by our future hope.

Remind us that we are always being pulled
forward by the future that is ours in you.

Let that future inspire us to do all we
can to make things better in the present.

Help us to remain aware that, while resurrection
is in our future, crucifixion must come first.

So help us to live in hope even when we are dying.

Fill us with hope even as we lay down our lives
in obedience to you and in service to others.

Amen.

Friday, January 1, 2016

A Prayer for Friday, January 1, 2016

Eighth Day of Christmas

O God,

We praise you because your fullness
was pleased to dwell in Jesus Christ.

We praise you because you dwell as
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in your Church.

Help us as your Church to live out your
presence in us in the same ways that
Jesus lived out your presence in him.

Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day of his life.

Thank you for Mary and Joseph’s dedication to their
faith and to their child that led them to undertake
that act that identified him as one of his people.

It was their decision, not his.

Thank you that, many years later, Jesus
submitted to the baptism of John, thereby
identifying himself with all of sinful humanity.

Thank you that, a few years after that, Jesus
submitted himself to death on the cross,
thereby dying for the sins of all humanity.

Lead us to identify with our people, with all
of our sisters and brothers who worship you
and who have followed Jesus in baptism.

Help us to live in light of the grace, love, hope,
faith, peace, and Spirit that bind us together.

Lead us to identify with all people, with all
of humanity that is broken and struggling.

Help us to do what we can to alleviate as
much suffering as we can. Make us willing
to give ourselves up for others’ sake.

Amen.