Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pastoral Prayer for Those Doubting Their Call

based on Jeremiah 1:4-10

Moving and equipping Spirit, we feel your prods and nudges toward the path that fits us best. Your call is unmistakable, but we really hope you're speaking to someone else. Through eye contact avoided and voices trembling, we object to the role you wish us to play. We're too young, too old, not experienced, not qualified, our pasts too checkered, our future too murky, such that we raise our protests hoping you'll turn to another instead. Yet you persist, responding, "Don't say that. I'm talking to you. I've created you, I love you, I'll lead you." And while consolation may still elude us, we nevertheless understand that you really were speaking to us, and you meant it.

And so we turn outward to survey a world bruised, torn, and injured. We see violence and oppression ravage places far and near. We see disease slow lives once vital and vibrant. We see teachers and administrators return to buildings we hope will be places of safety and nurturing. We see people more sure of who you are and hope one day our own questions may find satisfactory answers. We see so many people and places more anxious and uncertain than we'd like, and again feel your gentle challenge to do even some small thing to relieve what burdens them.

We check one more time to make sure you were addressing us. As nervous and as fearful as we are, as unsteady as our steps feel, we give thanks that you will be with us. Grant us words to say and actions to perform as we re-enter spaces longing for a word from you. Amen.