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What Would People Think?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I Wish I Prayed Like This

A group of high school students from my church, The Chapel Hill Bible Church, went to one of the poorest regions of America, a Navajo reservation. They went there to serve...to actively show God's love. They did this by praying, worshipping, playing basketball with a young guy named Mark, putting shingles on broken roofs, helping a woman named Alta (a Navajo nurse whose alcoholic husband is never around) by working to fix her plumbing problems...and otherwise practically loving the residents of the reservation.

I was blown away by the prayer that these students prayed at our church service after returning from the reservation. They had a printed version of it so we could pray along and I'm going to reproduce it in its entirety below. The last portion is taken from the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. The whole thing is just so profound...so much about what Christians should be seeking and praying.

Enough of my talk. Here's the prayer.

Father God, Lord Jesus, Friend, Holy Spirit,

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving spirit may so move our hearts, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; look with compassion on us; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; unite us in bonds of love; accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne.

By the Grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.

almighty and most merciful God, we remember before you all poor and neglected persons whom it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, the prisoners and the poor, the discriminated and the over-looked, and all who have none to care for them. Help us to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy. Grant this Father, for the love of your Son, who for our sake became poor.

By the Grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Look with pity, O Heavenly Father, upon the people in this land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all. Bring Justice and Salvation to the Navajo people.

By the Grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.

O most Merciful Father, bring healing into Alta's life. Fix her plumbing problems; give her strength to serve the sick under her care; renew her husband, free him from his alcoholism; bless their marriage. O Almighty God, we ask that you would save Mark with your redemptive love, make your Spirit known to him, reveal your presence in his life; amaze him with your love. We know that all these things are possible with you dear Lord. Bring Salvation to the Navajo and all the peoples of this country and this world.

By the Grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

By the Grace of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


  • Speaking of things you can do as a lawyer... my dad worked on Navajo for a year as a lawyer for the Nation, trying to get BIA to stop screwing them over (among other things).

    By Blogger Jeff, at 11/14/2005 10:14 AM  

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