THE PASTORAL PRAYER
Our Father, you know all there is to know about each of us and how you would like for us to fit into your providence for this world. Open our eyes to your callings for each of us- forgive us for our stubborn insistence for our own desires. O God, forgive us for muddling through life in smugness and conceit.
Oftentimes we are coldly complacent about your will and purpose, acting as though we are timepieces of your design, tightly wound at some point in the distant past, never needing to be cleaned or adjusted or reconditioned. Most of our lives, Lord, simply tick- tock – tick- tock along —bound by schedules and agendas which hasten our descent toward a predetermined rendezvous with all things eternal.
O God, forgive us for missing the point of life and the mission of Christ. Awaken us just now to the beauty of our loved ones smile – to the joy of walking together in the pilgrimage of faith – to the tears of laughter which seek shelter in our hearts; yet often limp away in grief.
O God, why can’t we see beauty in those around us? Why can’t we find appreciation in the ministry of those we have known for most of our lives? Why can’t we accept as your calling and gift to us— each and every child of God in our midst?
Deliver us from the caverns of criticism into which we fall and from which we seem unable to escape.
O God, bring true confession- heart felt confession- heart breaking confession—and bring about radical change in our behaviors. Help us to learn to forgive those who hold grudges and nurse bitterness. They seem caught in the tangle of their own depression and negativity. Free us to be grateful for those you give to us each day meant to bless us and sent for our growth in Christ. And free us to be blessings to all your children in our pathways today.
O most holy One, force us forward into the wilderness of our lives this week – seeking the lost sheep of your kingdom to bring them safely into the Shepherd’s fold. In the name of the Good Shepherd, we give you thanks. Amen.
Reverend Randolph Kesler