Shall We Pray?
Lord, uproot every root of bitterness in our hearts.
We pray for us, saintly souls with sweet, fragile hearts, kind hearts, with so much love to give only a few can take, for when we pour ourselves out – innocently, selflessly, and sometimes naively – to everyone, to service, to hope, only return to a tragic void of strangeness, that hollowness, to the painful realisation of standing alone; exhausted, lonely and sometimes bitter. We confess today that something is wrong. We think we know so much about you, but our hearts are still bitter and cruel. O Holy Spirit come melt these away! The pain hasn’t gone. The hurts we feel are still deep seated. The forgiveness we can’t give is amplified by the past and pains we can’t let go. We would rather cheer the insults hurled at people than cover their nakedness because we hurt. We would rather drive the wings of gossip than still tongues of judgment. Our hearts lack grace, because streams of love only trickle at our feet of worship. We are not at peace because we haven’t found the healing we truly desire.
When friends betray us, let us not be itchy to pay back in cold vengeance. When family hurts us, let us not respond with grievous words that stir up anger. We pray for hurting people, whose sorrow of heart has engendered a broken spirit. We pray for those who no longer know what it means to have a merry heart. For some of us, we are not at peace with our faith. We struggle to accept, that by the sacrifice of Jesus, we are not only at peace with you, but we have access, by faith, to the peace of God which guards the heart. It is hard, Lord. Our faults remind us. Our frailties remind us. Our falls remind us. That we aren’t good enough.
Lord, may we no longer live in the shadows of our own emotions. We respond to our hurts with a heart of gratitude, O Lord. Yes, we do. Father, we say thank you for friends who left us, for families who betrayed us, for lovers who broke out hearts, for those whom you used to teach us never to put our trust or hope in men. Those who left because they said they owed us nothing, but instead showed us that you are everything. That you are enough. Thank you because we would rise to say, “bitterness has no place in our hearts.” Thank you for showing us that there is a season to everything, and to everything a time.
May we understand the times and live peaceably with ourselves and with all men,
In Jesus’ name….