Prayer

“The thing to remember is not to read so much or talk so much about God, but to talk to God. To practice the presence of God.”

Dorothy Day, Catholic Pacifist, Journalist, & Women’s Rights Activist

Prayer calls us to be real with God and with ourselves. Authenticity is a form of resistance against superficial faith and unexamined questions. In her book Joy Unspeakable, Barbara Holmes reminds us that “activism and contemplation are not functional opposites.” If we pursue justice without attending to the inner journey, we are more likely to do harm. Resisting harm means resisting the harm that we ourselves can do, as well as the harm done by others. Because we belong to a Church that is discriminatory against LGBTQ persons and other marginalized groups, we belong to a system of harm that we have the power and agency to resist.

We must root our lives in our concrete experience of God’s love in us or we may mirror the very systems of domination and oppression we resist.

Non-violent resistance leader and anti-colonialist Mahatma Gandhi emphasized that “prayer is the heart of resistance.” We join Gandhi and many other resistance leaders in emphasizing prayer as both a spiritual discipline and a form of resistance.

Authentic prayer is opening to God’s gracious presence with all that we are, what Scripture summarizes as our whole heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). Therefore, prayer is more a way of being than an isolated act of doing… Prayer is aimed at our deepest problem: our tendency to forget our liberating connectedness with God… Prayer also arises from our deepest hope: for the abundance of life that comes when we abide in our deepest home, our widest consciousness. Prayer is our bridge to Home.

Tilden Edwards, Theologian

Extended Season of Love

Prayers for August 2020

Prayer is an active and consequential form of transformative spiritual work in resisting injustice and seeking God’s shalom. As the ResistHarm movement leans into an extended Season of Love, the following prayers are offered for use as a weekly guide to prompt and enrich our prayer life as a means of grace.

August 2nd-8th

Prayer Focus: that our LGBTQIA+ siblings would know that they are deeply loved by God.

Glorious God, who created the rainbow as the sign of your covenant with all of creation, we thank you for all the signs of your love in this world. We pray today for all who work without pause to make your world a safe and loving place for LGBTQIA+ people. Because of them many who have been rejected have come to know your loving presence. We also pray for the countless people who are stopped from being able to realize these freedoms, both in our own country and in the world. There are many who live in a world full of intimidation, oppression, and violence, unprotected by the society of which they are a part.

Help us to be a part of the fight for equality for all, to create a world where all are included and the table expands to welcome all.

Even though this work is hard and challenging, help us to remember as we celebrate our rainbow covenant with you that it may be a sign of hope, justice, and inclusion, for everyone we encounter.

May we be a blessing to all. Amen.

August 9th-15th

Prayer Focus: that God’s perfect love might drive out our fears and anxieties in this season of uncertainty.

Wonderous God, Loving Christ, Empowering Spirit -- as you taught us, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because the Spirit has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. The Spirit has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” We ask you to guide our steps as we take this journey in a world turned upside down with illness, death, brutality, white supremacy, pain, and fear. This may be the hardest journey we have to take and the road is long and arduous. Remain with us, helping us to feel your presence, guiding, steering, teaching, and empowering us to do the work of justice and equality in this world, spreading your love, peace, and hope to all those we encounter along the way. Amen.

August 16th-22nd

Prayer Focus: that the decisions of the denomination would be grounded in and guided by love.

Loving God, source of all creation, you gifted all with goodness and with worth. As you fill us with Spirit and lead us to treat each other with honor and respectfulness, we covenant with you to seek justice for all who live. As we navigate this new reality in our world, we pray that your justice, peace, and empathy will prevail, and that we may be conduits of that.

We mourn the lives, rights, and freedom of all people have never been valued by everyone. Guide us all in a spirit of wisdom and understanding, that we may know and live out that which is right. Give us the courage to be the force of reconciliation and peace between those who do not see eye to eye and for those who have been harmed by them. Amen.

August 23rd-29th

Prayer Focus: that all people would grow in love for God and neighbor.

Holy God, the one from whom all good things come, fill me so much with your love that I cannot help but to show your unbounded love toward others. May all those who encounter your love feel both comforted and challenged to widen our view and deepen our care for others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer Guides

These prayers were written by the Resist Harm Prayer Team. You are welcome to share these prayers, but please cite the #ResistHarm movement with a link back to this page on our website.

Prayer of Resistance

Pray For all God’s people, that we may have the courage to resist. For the Church, that we may resist the temptation to settle for easy answers to hard questions. For our LGBTQIA+ siblings that they may draw strength from the willingness or all God’s people to stand together to resist the forces of exclusion […]
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Prayer of Lament

Pray With those affected by legislated horror because of their gender identity or sexual orientation; With those who lament inability to serve a church as a pastor because of whom they love; With people of color who face micro-and-macro aggressions day in and day out; With those who lament their decision to cross into this […]
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Prayer of Light

Pray With those affected by natural disasters With those who are in their own dark night of the soul With those who see no hope or light With those around the world weary and searching for hope throughout years of war and disease With those who don’t see God’s promise of resurrection With those trapped […]
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Prayer of Witness

Pray With those who have another year for preparing to serve as delegates to General Conference, that they may have patience in this time of waiting; With those who live in places where it is unsafe to claim the name of Christ; With those struggling to live Jesus’ way in places where money, power, greed, […]
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Prayer Tips & Resources

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