O God, our Creator and our Sovereign,
there is no God like you — not in heaven
and certainly not on earth — no other god
who keeps promises and is faithful in love.
Our lives are before you, day by day,
and our hearts are full of wonder
as they strive to know you presence
and to remain in your ways.
Promise that you will never leave us,
not in this generation or the next.
Promise that we will always be able to find you
when we pay attention to our lives and our neighbors.
Even though we can never know you completely,
in your love we ask you to know us always —
to hear our prayers, to recognize our needs, to care
when our nights are long with despair and our days with grief.
O God, our Hope and our Instigation,
we are not our own. We are your people
and we are your indwelling (however limited).
Judge us accordingly when we obscure your presence.
When we injure one another, when we break promises,
declare our sin and compel our reparation of injury.
When we make idols of ourselves, of wealth, of success,
of the created world or even of faith, have mercy on those we harm.
Let your name be glorified by our reflection of you, not sullied.
Let foreigners and enemies know of your goodness by the ways
you dwell in and between us, and let us likewise recognize you
in them, so that we might not be foreigners or enemies anymore.
No people, no faith tradition, no house of worship
can contain you, O Most High, but let us make way for you
so that our egos and evils and insecurities do not discourage
your cause in heaven and on earth or your faithfulness to your promises.
By your mercy we will follow your paths;
by your grace we will keep your laws in love;
by your name we will dedicate ourselves to one another;
on earth by day and night, and in heaven when time is no more.
on 1 Kings 8
Rachel G. Hackenberg‘s book with co-author Martha Spong, Denial Is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith), includes memories of church nurseries and grandmothers, opinions about labyrinths and weddings, and an abundance of caffeine, as Martha and Rachel strive to make sense of faith through the trials & failures of life.
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