Gracious God, Allah, and Yahweh:
Sisters and brothers,
Peace be upon you,
Shalom to you,
Gracious God, we place ourselves at your mercy. In this moment and place, out of options and time, there is nothing else we can do. Once we’ve made it here, we begin to realize that the ideas of competition, excess, and winning at all costs; are notions we’ve created in our minds. The ideas we’ve labeled as from God, divine, Holy, and sacred do not come from you but derive from our egos, will, and pride. We release the hold we retain on our lives, the power we hope to maintain control, so that we may give ourselves (as you made us) to your work and the service of others.
We remember those we have named and those known only to you O God, the sick and lonely, the grieving and lost, those awaiting answers and healing.
We remember those who have lost their homes to forest fires in the western United States and flooding in Southern India.
We remember those who are separated from the children and families due to war and violence.
We remember the religious pilgrims who travel to Mecca and Medina in the millions, attending the Haj, to find greater pathways to holiness and peace. Keep them safe.
We remember the victims of clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania. We pray for justice, healing, and accountability.
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit may they know they are not alone.
Thank you for the spiritual witness of the music of Aretha Franklin. Welcome her into the loving arms of your presence.
We acknowledge the blessings in our lives. So easily taken for granted because of their abundance, clean water, houses, friends, families, health, food, safety; it is easy to forget gifts from God that are only an arm’s length away. Let us take nothing for granted. May words of grace mark the beginning and ending of each day, every prayer, examined moment, and life well lived.
Our prayer, O God, is to draw closer to you as you come closer to us. We pray that we may meet in the middle. May we move to the place we need to be.
In Jesus name,
Richard Lowell Bryant