Monday, November 21, 2016

Breathe It In... Then Exhale

I wrote the prayer below for use in worship on November 20, 2016 (Christ the King Sunday).  It was a corporate prayer given after the time in the service when people share "joys and concerns".  We always end that time by saying the The Lord's Prayer (a.k.a., The Prayer of the Kingdom).  The verse at the end is the chorus of a song called "Exhale" written and sung by Plumb. (You are welcome to adapt this prayer for use in your setting if you like it...)

Lord God we have raised our joys and concerns to you.
We’ve made our intercessions and confessions on behalf of ourselves and others.
We know that you hear all our prayers O Lord.
We know you rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.
Human nature makes it easier to rejoice with others than to weep with them.
Tears make us uncomfortable; we confess we avoid weeping as much as possible.

But there are people are weeping today, Lord.
Sometimes there are lessons we need to learn that only tears can teach. 
Jesus, we ask that we would learn to weep for the things that made you weep.  
Teach us to weep for our friends and family as you did for Lazarus.
Teach us to weep for the wounded world as you did over Jerusalem.

The feelings we have at this moment in time are real—and raw—and they matter.
May we allow ourselves to feel the full weight of what we feel.
May we give others space to feel what they feel.
May we all take a deep cleansing breath [have them do it] and inhale your grace. 
May it saturate the space in our hearts and in this sanctuary.
May it permeate this place; may we each take it out into the world around us.

Just let go… let His love wrap around you
And hold you close
Get lost in the surrender
Breathe it in until your heart breaks…
Then exhale…

Join me now in the Prayer of the Kingdom… Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation.  For thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. AMEN

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