Aug 12, 2013

Pastoral Prayer: Beatitudes

Here’s a pastoral prayer inspired by the Beatitudes.  It was written by Ben G., and posted on ExtraORDOnary.

Pastoral Prayer
(inspired by Matthew 5:3-12)

Jesus went up the mountain, sat before the crowd,
and began to speak.
We are the crowd.

May we listen, learn, and do. 

Richness and fullness in wealth, in knowledge, in spirit do not draw us to heaven. May we be filled with an emptiness and poverty that draws us ever closer to you. May we bring an end to emptiness and poverty that leaves any one isolated and without hope. Bless all with the kingdom of heaven. We are the crowd.

May we listen, learn, and do. 

Clinging to existence we forget to live. Striving for long years we forsake years that are long. May we release those to whoms’ memories, we cling. May we acknowledge our sadness and loss. You are with those who have died, be with all those who mourn, make us the instruments of your comfort. We are the crowd.

May we listen, learn, and do. 

Longing for power, surety, and the status quo we create systems of privilege, false normals, and stagnation. May we cease to seek privilege and instead long for the dignity of all. May we cease to seek surety and instead long for growth. May we give up stagnation and embrace humility. Make us see the common humanity of all who live on this earth. We are the crowd.

May we listen, learn, and do. 

Striving for satiation we surround ourselves with false comforts; in trying to be right we ignore the pain of others. Make us aware of the troubles and concerns around us, take away our security so that we might share that discomfort, bring us to hunger and thirst for righteousness so that everyone may be filled in truth. We are the crowd.

May we listen, learn, and do. 

Anger fills us with a need for vengeance and harsh justice; we seek to lessen our pain by inflicting pain upon others. May we acknowledge our anger but not be held by it. May we seek justice for the wrongs done against us but not be defined by them. Give us the gift to be merciful with ourselves and merciful with others so that all may receive mercy. We are the crowd.

May we listen, learn, and do. 

Refusing to look inward we carry emotional baggage, we leave parts of ourselves in shadow and darkness, we maintain ingrained habits and reactions. May we acknowledge our immaturity and a need to grow to more full and complete individuals. May we bring light into our inner darkness. Give us pure hearts oh God, so that we might see your face. We are the crowd.

May we listen, learn, and do. 

Destruction, not creation, becomes the all too easy answer for conflict. May we elect and maintain governments that seek not a cessation of violence but the creation that is the true opposite of war. May we recognize that creating cultures of peace is as much the cumulative action of our day to day lives as it is the acts of those in power. God grant that we might always strive for peace, that we might be called the children of God. We are the crowd.

May we listen, learn, and do. 

Limited as we are it is impossible to know and understand you fully. May we strive to discern when we are being persecuted for witnessing your truth and when we are being critiqued to know you more fully. May we never claim persecution in order to avoid necessary change. Grant that any adversity we face may bring us only closer to the truth of your kingdom. We are the crowd.

May we listen, learn, and do. 

Christians throughout the world seek to walk the path that Jesus set for us. May we never walk the easy path of complacency. May we ever seek to speak your truth. May we never stop on the account of social stigma. May we ever seek to die to the world and live in Christ Crucified. Grant that we will continue to walk the way of the prophets and saints of old. We are the crowd. 

May we listen, learn, and do.