Prayer for an argument

         If I have not love
         I am nothing.

                  —1 Corinthians 13.2

God of love, may we approach one another
with the intent to love, first and last,
and submit all our intentions to love.

May our intent be to heal, not to win,
to bless, not to curse, to join, not to divide.
Help us do your will, not ours.

May we listen humbly,
speak honestly
and discern obediently.

Save us from justice without mercy,
righteousness without humility,
victory without love.

May we examine our own righteousness
more vigorously than others'.
May we demonstrate your goodness, not our own.

May we honestly examine our norms and expectations,
our judgments of those who are different,
our exclusion of those who threaten our superiority.

May we be mindful of every person's wounded need
to be loved, to be included, to be honored,
every person's desperation to be good enough.

May we remember your justice is love,
your command is mercy,
your judgment is grace.

God of love, give us wisdom that is love,
fill us with courage that is love,
empower us for victory that is love alone.

By your spirit help us to do no harm,
to do all the good we can,
and to stay in love with you.

We pray in the love and the company of Jesus,
who served in love, who died for love,
and who rises in us with victorious love. Amen.

   —February 22, 2019