A prayer for the church on earth

God of mercy, we pray for the church,
and for all who have a love-hate relationship with your church.
We pray for our struggle to be faithful, and our failure to struggle.
God, it is your love, not our opinions, that unites us;
may we bear fruits of justice, not judgment;
may we let go of being right for being loving,
and work for the mending of the world.
We pray for those for whom the church is an unsafe place,
and those who return again and again
to make gentle this bruised community.
We pray for those who are oppressed by the church,
who are too queer or angry or hurting or black or visionary for us.
We pray for hearts to hear your Word beneath the roar of our fears.
We pray for eyes to see the path of humility, grace and surrender
so often obscured by our pride, dogma and domination.
We pray for the honesty to confess our greed, our violence,
our white supremacy, our complicity with war and poverty.
We pray for your breathing Spirit alive and afire among us,
your beating heart among us, your mercy and grace among us.
Burdened by powers and privileges, we cry out for your Spirit:
awaken us. Heal us. Set us free. Help us follow Jesus.
Light our structures afire with your love. Burn our hearts.
Enflame our souls. Free our spirits to love outrageously,
to heal boldly, to confess and forgive with abandon,
to do justice with joy and hope and courage.
Make us people of mercy.
Give us faith to die, and die nobly,
and, gladly defiant of all that kills us,
to rise in your love, rise with grace, rise to serve,
to serve the lowly beautiful ones, your secret beloved ones,
our siblings, our strangers, our saviors, our Christ.
Bless your weird church, weirdest God, in the name of Jesus,
that we may be a blessing.
Amen.

   —June 13, 2018