A Request For Collective Prayer

August 21, 2020
By Bishop Leonard Fairley


This Sunday or next, I invite the people of Kentucky and Red Bird Missionary Conferences to join me during your Sunday morning worship hours in an intentional moment of reflective prayer, beginning with reciting together “The tSt. Francis Prayer”:
 

               MAKE ME AN INSTRUMENT OF THY PEACE
             
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is error, truth;
    Where there is doubt, faith;
    Where there is despair, hope;
    Where there is darkness, light;
    Where there is sadness, joy.
 
O Divine Master,
     Grant that I may not so much seek
     To be consoled, as to console;
     To be understood, as to understand;
     To be loved, as to love;
 
     For it is in the giving that we receive,
     It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
     And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
                                                                                  - Francis of Assisi
 

As we reflect on this ancient prayer, what does it say to us in our current context where there is fear, hatred, and polarization? What does it say to our world, nation, and communities as we wrestle with a pandemic, and the ever-present cries for peace, love, and justice? As we lament, confess, and repent, may we always find ourselves as Christian disciples under “the arc of the moral universe” where justice, peace, and love are rooted in Christ Jesus. In the words of Theodore Parker, “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight, I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice.” 
 
Join me now in reciting together Richard J. Foster’s “A Prayer of Tears”:
            Let me enter your heart, O God.
               Let me see what breaks your heart.
                   Let my heart be broken too.
 
Lord of love and light, we share this moment in the name of the bringer of all peace, love, and justice who taught his disciples to pray:
 
                                          THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us,
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
And the power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Amen.