a prayer for obedience
you call us to be obedient in ways we never expected.
Like the Corinthians, we think we have you figured out,
we think we know all the things we have to do to be saved,
and then you remind us that you’re way beyond us.
Sometimes, you turn structures right on their heads
and invert the whole order of the world.
Other times, you tell us to remain where we are,
to follow you from our small corner of the world.
Jesus, we thank you for your own radical obedience,
and for sending your Holy Spirit
to keep up our strength as we try to obey.
We also thank you for the people whose obedience inspires us—
grandparents, friends, mentors, children,
writers, artists, storytellers,
saints who have joined the great cloud of witnesses.
And we pray for our fellow Christians whose obedience is tested,
for those on the East Coast who are just starting to get their bearings in Sandy’s wake,
for those in Sao Paulo, Brazil, caught in the violence between police and a criminal gang,
for those in Ghana, trapped under a collapsed shopping center,
for those in Sri Lanka, entangled in the prison fights between inmates and guards,
for those in Burma who have lost loved ones in the train crash,
for those in Gaza, tired of the violence between Palestinians and Israelis,
for those in Syria, frightened by the car bombings and are longing for stability.
Finally, we pray for those in our congregation
who have faithfully followed you and whose circumstances make obedience difficult.
For these, we ask that you share your easy yoke.
In the name of the one who makes all obedience possible,