A Midtown Prayer

Father in heaven, you are the Creator of all things.  This is your world and you rule it from the heavens.  There is no other God but you alone.  And you are faithful.  You say things and you do them.  You speak, and then you perform it.  You are completely unlike us—we say things and then we don’t do them.  We aren’t like you, in that when we don’t like someone we find ways to avoid them; we speak words that we don’t really mean.  We say things without any intention of doing what we say.

We praise you, Father, that your heart is not like our heart.  We love beautiful people, we would be happy to commit ourselves to those who could make us look good just by hanging out with them.  But you commit yourself to people who are not beautiful, to the ugly, to the outcast, to sinners like us.  And we’re glad you do, because we know that we are sinners.  We are those who have plotted and planned to do wrong, to destroy ourselves and one another, to destroy your beautiful world.

And even though we know we’re being destructive, we find ourselves returning again and again to the stupid habits that enslave us and keep us down.

Thank you, God, that you sent Jesus to die for sinners, to redeem those who were your enemies, to give life to those who were dead, to lift up those who are beaten down.  Thank you that you call us friends.  Thank you for giving us life, for giving us hope and a future.

Help us, Father, to love one another like you love us, to love the world like you love the world.  Free us from our addictions, the ways that we have enslaved ourselves, the traps that we are caught in.  Give us life, Lord, we need you so desperately.

We praise you that you have not left us to ourselves and our pursuit of self-destruction, but have sent us Jesus, who taught us to pray,

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

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