Prayer for July 20, 2021

Prayer for July 20, 2021: Please pray with me. God of Shalom, we need you. Shalom is about wholeness and completeness in all of creation. Shalom is what you have always been about. Righteousness and justice are really about Shalom. Yet we are addicted to division. We have a sick fascination with separating people into “us” and “them.” We think our identity is small and limited and so we have to limit others too. We think that our identity only comes by our association with others just like us. Really, we craft our identities based on how we are not “them,” who ever “them” happen to be. We find all sorts of reasons to be against “them.” We make all sorts of arguments as to why “they” are the bad guys and how you are in alignment with “us.” Clearly, “They” are out to destroy, to kill, to take over. Maybe our real fear is that “they” will do the same things we have done to others. Put a stop to this insanity. End it. It’s exhausting. It is not life giving. It is not in alignment with what you are about. You offer us shalom, and instead we give you the finger. Forgive us. Turn us from our ways back to you. Amen.

Call to Action: For today, intentionally identify with whoever you have determined is an other, a “them.” How do they see the world? How does the world make sense to them? Move past your own biases and assumptions about “them” and how evil, stupid, and less than you that you believe them to be. Assume the best about “them” for this exercise. What do you fear about “them?” Why? What do they fear about you? Are you fearful that “they” will do the same thing to you, that you are doing to them? How does this exercise change your perception of “them?”

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