United Methodists are known as people of prayer. Our founder John Wesley placed a heavy emphasis on prayer. (See A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, Q 38, 5.) Our membership vows include a commitment to prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. The United Methodist Book of Worship offers numerous examples of prayers for special occasions as well as a section on ways of praying. (See www.umcdiscipleship.org/book-of-worship/ways-of-praying.)
In that spirit, I invite you to join me for the next thirty days in daily prayer for the healing of our nation. Even when the words we pray seem inadequate for the situation, God hears our prayers.
To launch the focus, I offer this prayer.
Compassionate God, we come before you with heavy hearts. We are grieved by the violence that has occurred in recent days in Washington, D.C. Forgive us for any ways in which our actions, attitudes and words have contributed to the divisions, polarization and distrust that abound in our country.
God of the nations, we are grateful for the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. We thank you that, though our capitol building was stormed in an unprecedented way on January 6, order was restored and Congress was able to complete its work. We pray for the peaceful transition of power in coming days.
God of comfort, we pray for the families and friends of persons who died in the chaos. We also lift up to you those who were traumatized and intimidated by what they experienced at our capitol building.
God of peace, we pray that you bring reconciliation and goodwill to every area of life. May your peace prevail in our personal lives, state, nation and world.
Loving God, we give over to you, these and other prayers on our hearts, entrusting them to your care. All of these prayers we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
North Alabama Conference