O God, early in the morning I cry to you. Help me to pray and gather my thoughts to you, I cannot do it alone. In me it is dark, but with you there is light; I am lonely, but you do not desert me; My courage fails me, but with you there is help; I am restless, but with you there is peace; in me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience; I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me. Father in Heaven praise and thanks be to you for the night. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God, I’m angry right now. Heartbroken and angry at what’s going on all around me. I want to fight. I need to fight.
There are so many questions that don’t seem to have answers that give anyone hope anymore. We have continued to become a people who would rather rage against real love just to prove our understanding of it and our desire to own it. And we prove time and time again that we feel more comfortable wallowing in the stench of lies than standing in fresh-air truth.
Oh God, just how broken are we? Just now much have we denied You with our lives – even those of us who profess to believe in Your power and grace? Believe. By life. Maybe we don’t really believe anymore.
And yet, You. You remain Hope. You remain Grace. You remain the thing we pray becomes the thing that is real. We cry out, “If there is a God…” and cross fingers in hope upon hope that You are there and You’ll show up. And You’ll save the day.
And maybe You have already – and we didn’t even see it. Maybe the love offered to us that we rage against is the love we need like never before. Maybe the breeze that blows over us as we wallow is You holding out your hand to help us stand. Oh, God – we need to stand again.
Maybe I’m rambling, God. Maybe I just can’t let go of the idea that You’re real and You are best and You have and are and will continue to save the day – in marriages and families and in schools and in communities and in governments and in cultures and in hearts and in minds. Even when Hell is opening its mouth larger and larger and consuming even the ones who always seemed to be the most faithful around me, You, God.
So here I am – and I’m fighting. I’m praying. Going to war. Naming the names of those I am fighting for. Because I believe there is victory. I believe You are victory.
I’m weary of the pain I see around me. I’m tired of headlines declaring that evil has won another battle. I’m heartbroken that marriages are being disregarded and families are being ravaged and lives are being declared insignificant. I’ve prayed all night for people and places – calling out name after name – and I’m still praying (my name is on the list too, because I am just as vulnerable to the deception and the destruction). Would you join me – and what would you add to the prayer list?
Last year, I shared the stories about pictures I’ve taken. This year during the month of October, I’m opening up my journal and sharing prayers. They’re not eloquent or poetic – they’re simple honest talks with God. Some prayers are joyful and some are screams. Some are said in the morning and some at night. It’s my hope the words might help someone else find the words.