Can You Hear Us?: A confessional prayer for peace and inclusion
God, we’ve prayed for peace on earth, we’ve prayed for justice for all. Why O God, haven’t we seen it yet?
Haven’t you heard us!?
We’ve prayed that you would make us bold and unafraid. But, what we’ve meant is simply that we’ll hide our fear under a thick shell of protectionism, isolationism, self-serving patriotism, and a thick skin of body armor.
We’ve not done away with our fear, we’ve only hidden it.
God of peace, hear our prayer.
We’ve prayed that you would make us slow to anger. If we believe we have become so, it is propped up only when we interpret our actions within the world as somehow superior to others. “Our bombs are the good bombs, our bullets are the good bullets, our ways are the right ways,” we claim. We only go to war when it is justified, it’s the other people who are unjustified, we’re sure of it.
We’ve not become less angry, we’ve only projected our anger on others.
God of love, hear our prayer.
We’ve prayed that you would make us more welcoming of the outsider. We feel we are welcoming when people like us show up at our door. When they’ve come in and joined us where we are, doing what we do, saying what we say. It might not be so easy were we to encounter those who challenge us to change, to grow, to make room at the table. For some reason though, we don’t encounter them often. We wonder where they are.
We’ve not become more welcoming, we’ve just tightened our circles and welcomed ourselves.
Inclusive God, hear our…no, on second thought you’ve heard enough of these prayers of ours. This time, this day, help us to hear our own prayer.