- Feature image (above): “Passing the peace at WFPC”
But if we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong. – 1 John 1:9
This morning, with the echoes of hate and confusion still ringing in our ears, I’d like to encourage all my sisters and brothers to pray. To pray, not so much for God to impose change from the outside (though at times I believe that would be nice), but that God will change us on the insides, and that we will then be more equipped to effect change.
It’s all, I constantly write, about the light. About us being light in the darkness. We must be more deeply faithful people, so that we can shine with more integrity and tell the good story with more meaning.
Prayer in Action:
To that end I’d like to share a poem/prayer written by one of our teenagers at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church. She was deeply moved by the death of the teen I featured in last week’s post, Grace Doesn’t Bypass Tragedy – as well as the news coming out of Charlottesville.
Her response, one we can all learn from, was to pray. Rebekah read the prayer, and then asked her to lead the “Prayers of the People” portion in worship Sunday morning. The moment was powerful. If you pay attention to the accented rhyming beats at the end of the lines, you can tell the form she used is rap. If you listen to your heart as you read, you will be blessed. If you listen to the Holy Spirit, you will be moved to live in light and in truth.
Here it is. I pray you will be so moved. “Prayers of the People” – by Jordan Snow:
Today I pray for the broken far and wide
For the hurt that turns out insides outside
For the times we raise our heads to the sky
And ask why? Why God?
It’s in these times
We cannot stray
Despite if we do
YOU always stay
There is no darkness in that YOUR light cannot shine
There are no mistakes
or imperfections of YOUR design
There is no emptiness that YOU cannot fill
There is no one unworthy of YOUR love still
There is no tomorrow that the sun won’t rise for
And there is no Son or Daughter that YOU didn’t die for
Now, God please remind us that we are yours
ALL OF US
From the very ends of this Earth
We are ALL your children
And God loves ALL his children
But in this day and age it’s forgotten
Copious hate and discrimination we are lost in
How can we paraphrase a book written 3500 years ago
Just because we fear what we don’t know
No matter how they identify
No matter whom they may be
No matter what they have or haven’t done
No matter their sin
No matter their mistakes
No matter their inescapable morality
WE ARE ALL LOVED BY YOU
You are the one who calls us to love like you
Through our Lord Jesus
Unconditionally, without borders, without ceasing
To love hard, to love strong, to love always
We offer this prayer in the name of Jesus.
(Jordan Snow, August 13, 2017)
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.