Prayer for August 21, 2021: Please pray with me. God who shapes us and sends us out, we are a work in progress. So often we just want to jump to the end, simplify, and cut out the frills. We think this will save us time. Often it costs us more time than it saves because we spend so much more time sorting through the mess. Open us to pause. To listen. to hear. To consider. Open our hearts to really hear what others are saying, rather than preparing a defense against what they say. Open our ears to listen so that we might learn something. Open us to know that a criticism isn’t always an attack that needs a defense, but a learning opportunity. Sometimes we don’t even need to change – some criticisms are nothing more than confirmation that we are on the right track. Teach us to listen to criticism with fresh ears and learn from it. Amen.
Call to Action: Today do something wild – go onto social media or a news source. Not just any news source or person on social media. Instead find the source or person that you know you disagree with. And read. Read what they write. Don’t read to poke holes in their arguments. Read to notice. Notice what they care about. Notice what they think is in opposition and ask why? Notice their vision, or lack thereof. Notice who they identify with and why they think those in opposition are so very different. Notice the image of God in them. Notice the feelings that stir up in you as you read – what are they and why? Notice where God is in the midst of this and what is God saying.