June 9, 2020
A daily prayer during this COVID-19 crisis
During these difficult days, Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar and the members of the Extended Cabinet are sharing a daily prayer based on the Revised Common Lectionary for the week.
You are welcome to use these in worship or in your own devotions.
1 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. 2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? 5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. 6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, 8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. 9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! — Psalm 8
Gracious and Almighty God,
We have just celebrated Trinity Sunday (Peace with Justice Sunday), and we your beloved creation desperately needs your peaceful presence more than ever before. We seek the consolation of your Holy Spirit. We seek comfort for all the people who have died and cannot physically gather during this stressful season. Come Holy Spirit!
Move by your power and move by your might across the land to bring about healing, restoration, and repair. Rain down from heaven righteousness, integrity, and honesty. Transform the minds of all your people. Give them your eyes to see all human beings with compassion and kindness. Let them acknowledge the spark of divinity in all of your creation.
“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The beloved community manifests and protects agape love as its guiding principle and is expressed in the following ways:
1. Offers radical hospitality to everyone; an inclusive family rather than exclusive club; 2. Recognizes and honors the image of God in every human being; 3. Exhibits personal authenticity, true respect, and validation of others; 4. Recognition and affirmation, not eradication, of differences; 5. Listens emotionally (i.e., with the heart) – fosters empathy and compassion for others; 6. Tolerates ambiguity – realizes that sometimes a clear-cut answer is not readily available; 7. Builds increasing levels of trust and works to avoid fear of difference and others; 8. Acknowledges limitations, lack of knowledge, or understanding – and seeks to learn; 9. Acknowledges conflict or pain in order to work on difficult issues; 10. Speaks truth in love, always considering ways to be compassionate with one another; 11. Avoids physical aggression and verbal abuse; 12. Resolves conflicts peacefully, without violence, recognizing that peacefully doesn’t always mean comfortably for everybody; 13. Releases resentment and bitterness through self-purification (i.e., avoidance of internal violence through spiritual, physical, and psychological care); 14. Focuses energy on removing evil forces (unjust systems), not destroying persons; 15. Unyielding persistence and unwavering commitment to justice; 16. Achieves friendship and understanding through negotiation, compromise, or consensus – considering each circumstance to discern which will be most helpful; 17. Righteously opposes and takes direct action against poverty, hunger, and homelessness; 18. Advocates thoroughgoing, extensive neighborhood revitalization without displacement (this also applies to the Church – working toward responsible and equitable growth, discipleship, and worship); 19. Blends faith and action to generate a commitment to defeating injustice (not forgetting that injustice can also be found within the Church); 20. Encourages and embraces artistic expressions of faith from diverse perspectives; 21. Fosters dynamic and active spirituality – recognizes that we serve a dynamic God who is not left behind by a changing world or people, and that a passive approach will not work; 22. Gathers together regularly for table fellowship, and meets the needs of everyone in the community; 23. Relies on scripture reading, prayer, and corporate worship for inner strength; 24. Promotes human rights and works to create a non-racist society; 25. Shares power and acknowledges the inescapable network of mutuality among the human family.
Note: The above list and other helpful references can be found at the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) website
Transport us and make this land a true Beloved Community. I know You can do it because you are a Great God! As the hymn writer, Carl Boberg reminds us with these majestic and immortal words:
How Great Thou Art O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art. Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee, How great Thou art, How great Thou art! When through the woods, and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees. When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze. And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing; Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in; That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin. When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Hear my prayer, Amen.
By Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster, III, RISEM District Superintendent