Prayers for the Journey: “Ourselves at the Center”

worldmeThis morning, as I continue forward in my journey to reshape and refashion my prayer life, I want to share with you a prayer that I found in Walter Bruggemann’s Prayers for a Privileged People.  As Christians living in a 21st century American context, I suspect that Bruggemann’s words might mean something to you.  But even if they do not, I hope that they might inspire you to find your own words this morning, as you face the One who dares to suggest that He is the Center of all that has come before and all that is yet to come.

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“Ourselves at the Center”

by Walter Bruggemann

We are your people

mostly privileged

competent

entitled.

Your people who make futures for ourselves,

seize opportunities,

get the job done

and move on.

In our self-confidence, we expect little

beyond our productivity;

we wait little for

that which lies beyond us,

and then settle with ourselves

at the center.

And you, you in the midst of our privilege,

our competence,

our entitlement.

You utter large, deep oaths

beyond our imagined futures.

You say – fear not, I am with you.

You say – nothing shall separate us.

You say – something of new heaven and new earth.

You say – you are mine; I have called you by name.

You say – my faithfulness will show concretely

and will abide.

And we find our privilege eroded by your purpose,

our confidence shaken by your future,

our entitlement unsettled by your other children.

Because we know our hearts of anxiety so well,

we seem fated to disease.

But because we know your heart of fidelity so well,

we know you will defeat our demons

and make us new.

We know about your abiding fidelity in

Jesus of Nazareth.

Give us patience and steadfastness as we

process the ragged edges of our lives.

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