By Henri J. M. Nouwen
Opening thoughts and basis for discussion
Thy will be done!
Are we open to God’s will in our prayer?
Do we treat God like Santa Claus? Is prayer a wish list?
How frightening is it, in the midst of our very busy way of life, to pray with true dependence on God: “Even when it seems that things are not going my way, I know that they are going [God’s] way and that in the end, your way is the best way for me”?
In peace let us pray to the Lord.
For the peace of God and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.
For peace in the whole world, for the stability of the holy churches of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.
For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.
For our Archbishop, the honorable presbyters, the deacons in the service of Christ, and all the clergy and laity, let us pray to the Lord.
For our country, the president, and all those in public service, let us pray to the Lord.
For this parish and city, for every city and town, and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
For favorable weather, an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and temperate seasons, let us pray to the Lord.
For travelers by land, sea, and air, for the sick, the suffering, the captives, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.
For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger, and distress, let us pray to the Lord.
Help us, save us, have mercy upon us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.
Lord Have Mercy!
Do you really see the link between our prayer and God and then between our prayer and other people? How have you seen this in your own life? Isn’t it difficult to accept that our God is also the God of people we don’t like, consider adversaries, or have lifestyles or attitudes repulsive to our own values? What does it mean to say that the God to whom I pray is also the God of everybody else? What implications does this have on my own thinking and attitude toward others?
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