Prayers For Our Nation

During this week of our national election, let us spend time in prayer for candidates, voters, people left on the margins of the process, and all those who are in grief, ill, or dealing with anxiety.

We lift up our hearts, O Lord;
in intercession for all who carry civic and political responsibilities and those who are seeking election or reelection this week.
Grant that, putting aside all merely selfish ambition,
they may seek to be the instruments of your will;
and carry out your purpose for the welfare of your people;
and may they both seek and see your glory
in happier human lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
~Leslie D. Weatherhead

Dear God, fear gets in the way of reconciliation; fear gets in the way of restitution, of justice, of community. Fear gets in the way of hope. No wonder your Son our Savior tried to wean us off fear – fear of the other, fear of the stranger. No wonder those who seek to rule over us stoke our fears. Because in so doing, they keep us from seeing your face, the fact of God, in our brothers and our sisters.

We are tired of being afraid. And we long to see your face. Give us strength to put aside our fears and begin to heal what we have broken. The divisions are great; the pain is deep, so help us persevere until we see your face in every face. In every face a sibling, a beloved. Help us see what you see, even in us. Amen
~ Derek C. Weber

A Prayer Hymn “Wounded World that Cries for Healing” (Shirley Erena Murray)
Wounded world that cries for healing – here we hold each other’s pain,
wounded systems, bruised and bleeding bear the load, the scars of strain;
dollars ration out compassion, hard decisions rule the day,
Jesus of the healing Spirit, free us to another way!

Through our nation’s spent frustration, through the corridors of stress
may there move a kindlier wisdom all may feel, and all may bless;
tax and tithe are for a purpose shared to shield the poor and weak;
past the symptoms of our sickness let the voice of justice speak.

Honor those whose loving spirit nurses hope, restores and heals,
towel and basin used in service like the Christ who comes and kneels;
in the tending, in the mending may we see the right and fair,
in our common quest for wholeness heal each other by our care.

God who hears our anxious thoughts. God who listens to our bold prayers: There are so many uncertainties in our world right now that at times it is difficult to stop ourselves from borrowing worry from tomorrow. Yet while the changes and chances of this world are certain, so is your steadfast love. Help us in our times of doubt and fear about the future to plant our feet firmly in the ground of the present, so that we may feel your presence giving strength to our troubled spirits. Amen
(National Cathedral)


“The Gift of Courage” Joan Chittister adapted by Joyce D. Sohl
There is a gift that beckons us as we struggle with our fears. It is courage, the seedbed of hope.
But what is courage? Courage is the capacity to stand our ground, to speak the truth, even in the face of overwhelming odds.
Courage is what carries ordinary people, people like you and I, through an average day. It is not an action: it is an attitude. It is the spiritual strength that gives direction in the midst of confusion.
Courage drives us to reevaluate all the unchallenged assumptions of life.
Courage does not come in a burst of insight. It comes out of the way we think and the way we live every week of our lives.
Courage implies our willingness to be honest with ourselves as well as with others. It requires that we learn to accept our limitations and to live within our boundaries.
Courage is not the lost part of ourselves: it is the hidden part of ourselves that only fear can energize. Fear is not the opposite of courage. Fear is the catalyst of courage.
Courage is coming to realize that what does and does not happen in the work place, the community, the world does so because of what you and fail to say or do because we fear the cost to ourselves.
The gift of courage is yours for the taking, for in accepting it you will learn to look at things without fear and to fearlessly do that which is just and full of love and hope.

These reflections are for use during the week of November 1-7, 2020.

Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence


Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.

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