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

Prayer is an active and consequential form of transformative spiritual work in resisting injustice and seeking God’s shalom.

The following is offered for use as a daily or weekly guide to prompt and enrich prayer life as a means of grace.

Prayer Guides

When using this guide daily, read the opening prayer, reflect on the selected scripture passage for the day of the week, and close each session by repeating the same PRAYER and BENEDICTION. The experience of repetition and review is an invitation to explore the theme in evermore depth, inviting the Spirit to illumine and guide your reflection. When using the guide once weekly, follow the same pattern and randomly select one or more of the suggested scriptures.

: December 29–January 4

Loving God, resisting evil, injustice, and oppression in all of its forms is hard work and I often feel small and fearful. May your love abolish my fear and replace my wavering with unfaltering courage. May your strength annihilate my feebleness. Give me the boldness to step forward with full courage to call the Church […]
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: January 5-11

Almighty God, you know the heart and mind of every person, and (yet) you love them, including me. As I seek to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in all its forms, may I never resist your love, wherever it is to be found and however it shows up. Grant me the strength and clarity to […]
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: January 12-18

Inviting God, give us grace to hear and respond to your invitation to be co-creators with you in the cause of justice and peace-making, through the practice of nonviolent resistance and the ministry of reconciliation. Amen. Scripture Readings (Common English Bible) Sunday: 2 Chronicles 35:20-21 Monday: Isaiah 59-14-20 Tuesday:  Matthew 5:7-10 Wednesday:  Acts 5:27-29 Thursday: […]
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: January 19-25

Overcoming God, who brings light out of darkness, hope out of despair, and life out of death, give us the strength to overcome evil with good, to defeat hatred with love, and to eliminate discrimination with inclusion. Give us the strength to endure hardship, misunderstanding, and opposition, so that the fruit of the Spirit may […]
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: January 26–February 1

Loving and holy God, when you set a task before us, you do not leave us to labor alone. Thank you for the presence and power of your Holy Spirit who empowers us and enables us to persevere in the face of challenge. Give us steadfast hearts and minds towards the day ahead, surround us with your […]
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: February 2-8

Gracious God of overwhelming love, tune our hearts to sing your grace. In this season of holy and active waiting, we pray that your unconditional love would provide the very foundation for resisting unjust rules, systems, and structures, which diminish our witness to all your children. Help us boldly proclaim the love you have for […]
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: February 9-15

God, your love is everlasting. We can never exhaust it. The more we experience it, the deeper and wider it grows. The more we use it, the more abundantly it flows. Teach us to see every person as someone to love. Give us the will and the opportunity to love generously. Amen. Scripture Readings (Common […]
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: February 16-22

Gracious and loving God, we give thanks for the abundant love that you have poured out on us and on all creation. Quicken our hearts and strengthen our wills as we seek to pour out your love and grace on all people. Give us courage to resist those who would narrow your love and limit […]
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: February 23-29

Holy God, Creator of love, teach me to love! Where I lack love for you, God, shine a light and sit with me. Where I lack love for my neighbor, shine a light and beckon me forward. Where I lack love for my enemy, shine a light and call me to lay down my arms. […]
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: March 1-7

Listening God, with each new day comes fresh news of terror. We lament each new way we find to be inhumane to each other. We lament the numbness many of us feel as we are increasingly desensitized to horror. We sorrow as those harmed by the sin of exclusion and hatred but also as those […]
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: March 8-14

God, we find ourselves in a time of great sorrow. Give us the gift of tears that moves us beyond sadness into compassion. Inspire and empower us not only to cry about others but also to weep with them. Teach us to lament, so that we do more than regret our circumstances; we resolve to […]
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: March 15-21

Gracious and merciful God, you summon us when we are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and then you promise rest. But there are days when we are waiting for healing and redemption, when the Spirit groans alongside us, and we don’t know how to pray. We can’t find the words, and yet we hold on […]
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: March 22-28

Merciful God, do not turn away from me, for I am in pain. Hateful and deadly words and actions are being hurled against your LGBTQ children, while too many people stand silently by. I hold fast to your promise that you are never far from those who are suffering. Draw near -- and transform me! […]
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: March 29-April 4

God of sunrises, in the midst of what feels like an eternal night of the soul, we praise you for you are the One who causes the sun to rise. When the disciples felt the despair of Holy Saturday, with Jesus inside the darkness of the tomb, you were there. And soon, the light of […]
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: April 4-11

God, your light is the commencement and culmination of creation. From now until forever you are the light of life. You invite us to walk in your light and become lights to the world as we do so. Revive our hearts to sing, “This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. Let it […]
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: April 12-18

Transforming God, whose light always penetrates the darkness and whose love always overcomes hate, we ask that you sustain us as we struggle to make your light visible in an angry and frightened world. Nurture us daily as we work for your justice in unjust places and your peace in places where no peace is […]
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: April 19-25

Holy God, “when the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea,” yet you were there. Even amidst the darkness in the world now, I trust that again, you are there, preparing once more to intervene with your creative power. In some instances, I find it easier to call out […]
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Prayer Tips & Resources

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