God, build us into your house, a house of living stones built on the rock. Enable us to live as your exiles, resident aliens in a foreign land. All of us belonging to you. No one missing. No one forgotten. Knowing you have your eye on us. Knowing that you are good. In but not of our culture and our times. Ready to call out all that does not serve you and your kin-dom of love.
Even as we are sad and tired and ready to quit, birth new life within us. Show us your future. Make us agents of your healing and wholeness, even as we live lives of challenge and frustration. Use such times to make our faith more genuine, our love more pure.
Show us where we can take meaningful action, rolling up our sleeves and getting our head in the game. Embolden us to act in the love and mercy you give. Keep us from lassitude, from hopelessness, from cynicism. Shape our lives by your life. Energize us that we may blaze with the holiness that comes from being your children.
We call to you for help. We call on you to guide us and to hold us responsible. We call on you to take over as the first-and-foremost loyalty in our lives, the one that engenders, informs, inspirits—who makes possible—acting as people of God in a foreign land.
Empower us to follow the truth. Enable us to love one another with your love. Make our hearts and our houses clean, free of envy and hatred, of pretending and using words to hurt. Feed us on your Word, your love, your life, your Spirit. Build us into your house, your temple, your people, that those who see us may see you.
When there are no words, Pastor Barb Hedges-Goettl relies on the Word. This prayer is based on 1 Peter 1-2 from the Message.