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Morning Prayer, 1-10-2021

We pray in the wake of troublesome events, Lord. While it is hard to know how to pray, who to pray for, and what to say, perhaps we are best served to pray for forgiveness. Indeed, we pray for your forgiveness, as we remember this week, when all of us stormed the Capitol Building of the United States of America.

Though some ask, “Lord, when was it that we stormed the Capitol?”

And the king has replied, “Whenever you failed to care for the least of these…”

  • “Whenever you inflamed with rhetoric, red or blue, with dehumanizing language and the calling of names, instead of listening, dialoguing, praying beside those with whom you disagreed…
  • “Whenever you were silent and apathetic about white nationalism, systemic racism, systemic poverty, worldwide hunger…
  • “Whenever you claimed that you were more special, more deserving of blessings, more exceptional than those who live or were born in other countries, especially those in the Global South…
  • “Whenever you closed your eyes to the privilege and the power you possess, instead of using that power to care for the least of these…
  • “Whenever you forwarded half-truths and outright lies about the election, stoking the fires of violence…

You have replied, O King of Kings, and we all have been found wanting.

No, Lord, we did not arm ourselves with flags and signs and guns and pipe bombs and Malatov cocktails. But with our hearts and our lives, we participated in the violence of this week. Forgive us, Lord. Make us servants of your peace.

Let us pray with the one—your servant David—who abused his power, who failed to see his privilege, and participated in the brokenness and sinfulness of the systems around him. Let us pray as he did:

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me…

“You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me…

“The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise…”

Lord, on this hard and heart-breaking week, this is what we bring to you. This is what we ask of you. This is how we come to you…humbly and on our knees. As a nation. As a church. As your children. Broken and weary we come to you. Restore us by your grace.

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