In dark cells
and pits of despair …
held captive by clanging chains
and by agonizing grief
and by debts that cannot possibly
be repaid …
your children cry to you, O God,
pleading for mercy.
Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on your people.

The people in power have created a system
of haves
and have nots.
We have decided who fits where
in this system,
and we have been complicit
in aiding your children
to find their “place.”
As a result, many of your children are suffering.
They are suffering because health care costs more than they can afford.
They are suffering because child care costs more than they can afford.
They are suffering because rent costs more than they can afford.
They are suffering because working costs more than they can afford.
They are suffering because living costs more than they can afford.
Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on your people.

We tell them — and ourselves —
that all people can have all things,
but we also perpetuate the systems
that keep that from being true.
We compete for the best jobs.
We hoard resources.
We exclude the other.
We hide the truth.
We refuse to pay our share.
As a result, many of your children are suffering.
They are suffering because the best is always out of reach.
They are suffering because their water is poisoned
and their food supply is extinct.
They are suffering because they do not know what they need to know,
nor have they been credited with what they do know.
They are suffering because they are stuck in communities
which do not facilitate growth or empowerment.
Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on your people.

We call ourselves children of a loving God,
but we behave as Lord and Master,
as Judge and Jury,
as Enforcer and Warden.
Even as you have forgiven us every debt we have ever owed,
we hold others accountable for each of theirs
and we charge an exorbitant price,
far beyond what you have exacted from our accounts.
Hear the cries of your people, Lord.
Hear their cries for justice.
Hear their cries for mercy.
Jesus, son of God, have mercy on your people.

Your justice is different from human justice, O God.
Your mercy is greater than we can conceive.
From everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
Lead us in your paths of righteousness and love,
that we might learn what it means
to construct systems that liberate and celebrate,
to tear down systems that oppress and hold captive,
and
to forgive
as we have been forgiven
for the healing of the world.
In Jesus’ name we ask it,
Amen.


Julie Gvillo is Commissioned Pastor (PCUSA) and Founder and Creative Executive Director of A Place of Grace. Julie shares liturgy written on RCL passages each week on her blog, Point of Contact: Where Life and Worship Intersect.


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back to the specific post. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

2 thoughts on “Sunday Prayer: have mercy

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