Monday, June 13, 2016

Prayers for Orlando, and for our Hearts

I am remembering the old days when I used to get up at 6:00 every Sunday morning and come downstairs, turn the radio on and write my Sunday prayers.  I would get a cup of coffee and sit on the floor by the coffee table with a sheet of paper folded in half in front of me.  National Public Radio always had a Sunday morning, "Voices in the News", on Sunday morning, and as I listened to that segment, I would consider what to pray for that morning.

It was a good discipline.  It helped me remember what had happened the past week, to be connected with the larger community and world.  Since it was a small congregation, and I was the solo pastor, all of the intercessory prayer responsibility on Sunday fell on me.

I have not listened to the news before church on Sunday morning for awhile.

So I did not know about what happened in Orlando, about the massacre at the nightclub, The Pulse, until after church.  I did not offer a prayer during worship.  I got a text from a friend after church.  That's how I found out.

And I know that we have to do more than prayer.  Prayer is not enough.  But it would have been a start, to have prayed on Sunday morning, if I had known.

So I wish that I had still had that old discipline, that I could sit on the floor and hear the news of the world on Sunday morning.  Because the news of the world needs to come to church, where we can repent, and lament, and ask God to change our hearts, so hard.

O God, heal us.
Is this who we are?  Show us the truth.
Comfort those who mourn.
They are so many, today.
Turn the hearts of those who hate.
Help us to see beauty, again, where we have seen it,
and where we have not noticed it,
because we were blind.
IN the name of your Son, Jesus,
who died, and who lives, for every single one of us.

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