a prayer after acts 15

“For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.”
Psalm 62:1

Lord, we confess that in our studies and in our work, we’re tempted to perform the works of the law rather than accept your gracious offer of life. We mistake adherence to theological dogma for membership in your household. We want to do well, but we forget that getting an A doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve been faithful to you. Our passionate involvement in all sorts of ministries is powerless to save us. Except in you, our souls will not find rest. For our reliance on the works of the law, Lord, have mercy.

We also confess that we require these things of others. We think of this particularly because we have an election approaching, and we judge the hearts of the candidates—and our fellow voters—for their commitment to issues that do not determine redemption. We make judgments based on a person’s support of women’s ordination, or membership in Right to Life, or protest of war, or resistance to civil unions, or NPR bumper sticker, or fish car decal. For our determination to yoke other people with unnecessary requirements, Lord, have mercy.

We rejoice in your forgiveness. You are not like the thief who comes to steal and kill and destroy; you have come to bring us life—and life to the full. We give you thanks for the life you have given to each of us, the promise of the Spirit, the inheritance of the saints in light. With all the host of heaven, we delight that even today, someone has come to faith.  Someone has taken refuge and found rest in you. Your kingdom breaks in! For the stirring of your Spirit around the world, Lord, we give thanks.

We gather these prayers together in the name of Jesus,
who is the only rock and our only salvation.

Amen.

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