Monthly Archives: October 2019

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The Eyes of Your Heart

Inspired by Ephesians 1:18 (NRSV) “with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you.”

Our house sits on the southwest corner of an intersection. If you stand in front of our living room window, you have the view of a neighborhood in transition, one that is barely holding on to its dignity. It’s a neighborhood where children are dying and residents are losing hope.

The other day, I observed a group of teachers marching around the school up the block. Brandishing picket signs and chanting in unison, they advertised to all who cared to listen that they were on strike.

By now, the teachers were close enough so I could read the fine print on their placards. Lower class sizes. Social workers. Counselors. Librarians and Nurses. Time for teachers to prepare. Respect and adequate pay.

At one point, the procession paused in front of the abandoned house across the street. Against that backdrop, I remembered teenagers who used to hang out in small groups on the front stoop. I saw the cars that used to stop in the middle of the street as money and packages were exchanged through open windows. I pictured the young man who stumbled out of the car after he had been shot by his companion while playing with a gun. I recalled the posture of their grandfather as he stood there looking worn down and defeated.

Be that as it may. Through the eyes of my heart, I visualized a level playing field, where young men and women did not have to hang out on stoops because they had no place else to go. I fantasized about a world where everyone had an equal chance for success. I fixed my sights on a system where structural racism, poverty, and despair had been eliminated.

As the picketers continued to march, I cheered them on! And, I prayed for them as they shouldered the burdens of society-at-large, chanting and fighting the good fight on behalf of the next generation.

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Prayer of Confidence

Focus Scripture: Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

God of Light and Salvation, we give you thanks and praise today. You are the strength of our lives; you protect us from our enemies. O God, you are our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer. You are with us when others forsake us. When we are surrounded by those who hate us, you protect us. You are awesome, God, and you are worthy of honor and praise. We wait patiently because we believe we will know your goodness and your grace in the land of the living. We thank you for your mercy and your faithfulness. We place our hope and trust in you. We count it all done in the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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Prayer for the Brokenhearted

Focus Scripture: Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.

God of Tender Mercies, we ask for your protection today. In particular, we pray for people who have been disappointed by those they trusted. We pray for those whose backs are against the wall and for people who perceive they have no way out. Thank you for being close to us when we call on you in truth. We thank you for all the ways you respond to us when we pray. We ask you to bless those whose hearts and minds are in need of healing, people who need a safe harbor, people who have no sense of purpose. Especially, O God, we pray for those with broken hearts. Have mercy on your people, O God. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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