Lord have mercy:
we are prayerful but impatient,
pensive and at times presumptuous.

You are the holy one. You are our refuge and our reassurance. You are our heart’s unrest and its urgency. When the world is painful and violent, you are the peace that passes all understanding.

Lord have mercy:
we are tossed and torn,
scattered and scared.

We ask you to hear the prayers of our own lives and of our communities: for those who are sick and for those who are mourning, for those who are thirsty and for those who are not safe.

Lord have mercy:
we are inconsistent and inhospitable,
with ourselves and with our neighbors and with you.

Where you have set a generous banquet table, let us multiply your invitation rather than scold your beloved guests. Where you have destroyed death, let us multiply life rather than fester fears.

Lord have mercy:
our lips are quick with praise
though our lives are slow to participate.

We give you credit for being the God who faithfully turns the seasons, who persists in coaxing us beyond our own limited understanding, who does not leave us to our own idols and errors.

Lord have mercy:
we come to you for comfort
and you overflow our lives with goodness.

Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Rachel G. Hackenberg is a United Church of Christ minister, soccer mom, blogger, and author. Her upcoming book with co-author Martha Spong is Denial Is My Spiritual Practice.

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