Prayer for January 6, 2021: Please pray with me. Lord of all creation, Lord of all the nations, hear us. In Psalm 120, it is written “In my distress I cry to the Lord, that he may answer me.” We cry out to you Holy One. Answer us. We are a people who are ripping ourselves apart. Nothing good will come from this. There are many who look to violence all the while claiming to be ardent followers of you. But violence is not your way O Lord. There are many who look to obtaining or maintaining power as a form of salvation. But it is not governmental power or military might that will save anyone. There are many who are afraid. But over and over, you call to us through your messengers – “Do not be afraid!” There are many who are in despair as they watch and don’t know what to do. To them, encounter them and show a path forward. You are the Way forward. Your ways are not our ways. Give us the courage to let go of our desires – knowing that our ways are often destructive because we look to our selfish interests. But you call on your followers to see the Image of God in others – especially those that are our enemies. You call on your followers to live into Shalom – into wholeness and completeness. You call on your followers to care for the poor and the outcast. You call on your followers to love. Love is most important when it is most difficult to give. And it is most powerful at this time too. You give us everything we need to love – to radically love in a way that the world will find perplexing. Let us love in such a way that confuses the world and its ways. That causes the followers of this world to stop in their tracks. That lets others know that they are not alone in their faithful living of your way. Amen.