Lenten Pastoral Prayer (4/2/17)
(based on Psalm 84)
Our spirits long for You,
long to see and rest in Your dwelling place.
Our hearts and bodies cry out
in joyous song as we consider the wonder of who You are.
Your graciousness and loving care
extend to even the smallest of creatures and creations:
the sparrows of the air
the flowers of the field…
And we marvel that Your love
also extends to each of us –
knowing us so intimately
that You know every hair on our head,
counting them beloved.
The Psalmist proclaims that
a single day in Your courts, in Your dwelling place,
is better than a thousand days elsewhere –
that he would rather be a doorkeeper in Your house
than live and thrive in worldly wickedness.
We read these words, and sing these words,
proclaiming our desire to serve You,
yet fancy ourselves masters of our own destiny,
responding to Your hand of guidance with
the three-year-old’s refrain:
“No! I do it.”
Help us, O God.
Help humility sprout up
in the cracks of our lives
like dandelions in the sidewalk.
Help us to trust in You
to the point of full reliance,
that we might lean on You
look to You
long for You
As that humility grows in us,
help us to hear Your call
and shape our service within the mold
of the prophets and the Gospels –
that we might care for the sick
and the oppressed
with such fierce compassion and tender justice
that those who witness our work
cannot help but wonder:
“Who is this marvelous God that they serve?”
This we pray in the name of Your son Jesus,
who shows us the Way
today, tomorrow, and forevermore.