Friday, November 11, 2016

A Pastoral Prayer for Faithful Action

based on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Empowering and moving God, we are often tempted to believe that having faith in you is enough. We lull ourselves into a sense of security thinking that if we adhere to a few basic truths about who you are and occasionally worship with others, it is enough to call ourselves followers of Jesus. The concerns of the world and of one another are not really ours, we tell ourselves, so that we may remain within the safe confines of the Temple of Self that we’ve constructed.

But you are swift by your Spirit to warn us against idleness in all its forms. You call us to contribute to our faith community rather than only take from it. You call us to serve alongside others rather than expect to be entertained by them. You call us to match our beliefs with our actions, and our actions with our beliefs, and both with those of Jesus whom we declare is our model for life and faith.

We know that this is more difficult than we’d like, yet by the power and presence of your Spirit you not only remind us of your expectations but also of your animating, encouraging love that helps us do hard things. We take heart knowing you do not leave us to ourselves, but call us to acts bigger than we can do alone.

O God, deliver us from idleness. Lead us not into complacency. Forgive us our lack of action, and move us to a response to your dynamic presence in this world that you care for so much. Amen.