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.
As we begin the new year, #ResistHarm continues to be grounded in love, while being focused on our mission to be “A United Methodist movement of faithful resistance to anti-LGBTQIA+ policies and practice.” This month, we recount our Baptismal vows in prayer, remembering Wesley’s words in A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, “Whether we think of or speak to God, whether we act or suffer for (God), all is prayer, when we have no other object than (God’s) love, and the desire of pleasing (God).”
Everlasting God, You heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds. As townspeople sought out Jesus to ask for healing for their loved ones, we too seek you out, God. We ask for deep healing, the kind that starts inside of us individually before it can bring its soothing balm to our broader communities. Renew our strength, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Holy God, show us your glory! When we find ourselves in the midst of struggle, in situations thick with fog, help us to quiet ourselves and to look for you. Recall to our memories the times in scripture where your glory was revealed in the midst of a cloud. Send us a clarity about your love that is as dazzling as Jesus’ clothes were made dazzling white on the top of the mountain at his transfiguration. May the light of your love burn bright and guide us as we seek to build with you an inclusive church here on earth. It’s in the power of your name that we pray, Amen.
Prayer focus: Prayer of confession and repentance for self.
Gracious God, I call out to you from the wilderness. Give me eyes to see where I have wandered far from the path of love, justice, and peace. I confess to you the ways in which I exalt myself above my neighbor, stockpile treasures on earth, and let hate fester in my heart. Guide me and help me turn myself back to you, so that I might glimpse your glory. Set me on the path of healing and righteousness, for your name’s sake. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Prayer focus: Prayer of confession and repentance for household, family, loved ones.
Gracious God, we call out to you from the wilderness. We come to you praying on behalf of our household, our family, our loved ones, and those most dear to us. Give us eyes to see where we have wandered far from the path of love, justice, and peace. We confess that there are moments of discord between us that we do not always handle with love and respect. We confess that we have cast judgment on others and have been slow to seek peace and reconciliation. Guide us and help us turn ourselves back to you, so that we might glimpse your glory. Set us on the path of healing and righteousness, for your name’s sake. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Resist Harm is not an organization or a coalition. It has no employees, offices, or overhead. However, it does incur expenses for web infrastructure, promotion, printing, and organizing. We are a movement of volunteers and 100% funded by people and churches like you. Anything you give helps to make this movement more effective. To give, donate at Reconciling Ministries Network’s website and designate “Resist Harm.” 100% of your gift will pay for Resist Harm’s direct costs. RMN has graciously agreed to administer the funds donated for the Resistance movement for no charge.
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