Sunday, March 05, 2017

Pastoral Prayer from the Wilderness

based on Matthew 4:1-11

O God, we need to be honest and just tell you how hard things are. We’re being pulled every which way by demands placed on us by our schedules, by high expectations to be good parents, spouses, and workers, by what we think others want from us and by what we want from ourselves. And we have questions about you. How are you everywhere including in what we’re facing? How are you loving us despite our sins and shortcomings? Where are you in the world’s suffering? How much church involvement is good enough? What am I really supposed to be doing to follow Jesus in my own life?

We bring all these demands and expectations and questions and lay them down here because we don’t know what else to do with them. Some days it’s all we can do to get from our morning alarm to our evening routine while shouldering all of this in between. We have our own ways of distracting ourselves, of taking the edge off, of becoming numb for a while, but they don’t really make the difficult stuff go away and sometimes they even add to it further. We are in our own wilderness, seeking a way out, watching for angels to attend to our weariness.

O God, grant us true peace rather than temporary diversion. Speak to us genuine words of assurance rather than tired platitudes. Show us the ways of balance; of a life where your Spirit centers and guides us through the noise. Amen.