I hear the National Prayer Breakfast is taking place this morning in Washington.
Here in Alabama, as I sit with my coffee, I am praying this prayer –
Gracious and Loving God,
I lift up to you this morning the weary and determined spirits of those everywhere who love justice and mercy, who seek to live with compassion and joy and commitment, and who daily do that work as best they can.
I count myself among this number and ask for wisdom and guidance and skill in my own work, that I might be an instrument of your love and light in this world.
I lift up the disenfranchised and dispossessed, those from whom land and life and the means of life have been taken, those who have been denied the basic dignity and respect due to all people.
I lift up the anxieties and fears that weigh upon the hearts of so many. I pray for comfort and courage to face whatever lies ahead.
I lift up hard hearts and closed minds and bitter spirits and selfish interests that they might be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I lift up the powers of this world – greed and power-seeking and ego-gratification and cruelty – that we might recognize them for what they are, wherever they are and from whomever they come. I pray for strength and insight for us all in confronting such sin wherever it comes from.
I lift up the Earth which gives rise to all that is good, which we must protect and nurture and cherish and love with our whole broken hearts. I pray for ecosystems and plants and rocks and animals and hills and mountains and rivers and seas and all the planet.
For all in need, I pray for healing, solace, wisdom, courage, justice, compassion, insight, and hope.
I pray for us all.
It is the example of Jesus that has taught me the love that I bring to this prayer and it is in that spirit that I pray.