What is the role of prayer in the current reality of global violence?
I’ve been mulling this question for a few weeks, and it was the topic of the July 24 sermon - “The In-between Spaces”. Paris, Nigeria, Beirut, Syria, Palestine/Israel, Baton Rouge, Orlando, Winnipeg, Dallas, Munich, Kabul and more…
We grieve and rage in solidarity, while our leaders and Facebook comments repeat the oft used phrase- “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families”. It can all be so overwhelming that we struggle for words. But I wonder if a commitment to prayer might be more than a compassionate platitude.
I believe it can.
In the sermon you’ll hear suggestions for the role of prayer in today’s context. We are called to engage prayer in diverse forms and allow it to lead us to act and be a difference for the world.
We pray not to change God, but to transform ourselves. We pray not to appease God, but to awaken our own hearts. My hunch is that a role of prayer is to keep us aligned with life’s momentum toward the Kingdom realities of justice and kindness, love and gratitude. Prayer is meant to work on us, so that we have the desire and resilience to act for what we seek. To pray for forgiveness, and be people who forgive. To pray for fear to stop, and for us to stop living into fear.
This line didn’t make it into the sermon, so I’ll add it here. If prayer is one of the languages of our faith then maybe prayer is like a comma - making room for something more and that something might be you.
praying to be the change I seek,