The other night I read such encouraging words from the editors of the New York Times reminding us again that we shouldn’t get caught up in the ineffectiveness of the vaccine. It’s not even infections that scientists are worried about with such things, but their focus is on the tally of deaths and hospitalizations. Those are low — nearly nothing actually. This is good news.
They used that phrase. They reminded me to believe in good news. Granted, it’s not the good news that we preach exactly but it is the promise of life. Still, I’m weary.
I’m not sure if I trust this good news. I want to but I hear the nagging questions in Isaiah and I know that I’m not there yet. Maybe you are. I hope so. Still, these are prayers for the frustrated.
Prayer of Invocation Inspired by Isaiah 40:21-31 Come close, O God. Come to lift up our eyes so that we can see the wonder of your creation because clearly we haven't looked. We haven't dared to look, O God, because we are so worried about the future. We are so tired of this present moment but it's impossible for us to believe that there will be anything else but this. We know. We know. O God, we know. You ask us what we have known and what we have seen. You ask for our attention and our willingness to dream. O God, come because it feels like a dream just to remember what you made. We are too afraid to really look. Lift up our eyes and call us by name so that we can remember what power feels like in our exhaustion. We are tired of waiting but we need your understanding so come. Come into our worship and renew our strength. Come close, O God.
This second prayer was actually written for my little Texas church originally. They were — at that point and still are — doing the hard transition work of interim ministry between settled pastors. I offer it here without any adaptations because I just like it.
Prayer for those Weary in Transition We come tired, weary and worn. We have already done so much work, so much heavy lifting. We long to hear assurances or maybe even “a job well done,” but instead we are invited again to roll up our sleeves. We must haul out the boats and put in another hour, maybe two. There is more to be done. There is always more to be done. We wade together into the deep water, dragging the boat out of the sand, wondering what could change. What will one more hour do? We let down our nets, just as we are told. We wait for what will catch us. O Holy One, catch our tired bodies today.
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, dear pastors. I am praying for you. I am praying for you, as always.