Pastoral Prayer

 

Pastoral Prayer

 

Creator God,

     You ask us . . . You call us to put away falsehood – to not tell lies to our neighbors and our friends, to our family and most certainly, to ourselves. To seek to be honest in our all relationships – with others we know, with those we love and at the deepest level – within our own hearts.

You call us to live in relationship to each other with honesty and integrity, with kindness and grace – to not seek revenge when we are hurt or angry, but instead to seek to understand our own intentions . . . to face our own inadequacies and our deepest fears . . . to offer forgiveness to others and to ourselves . . . to lift each other up with generous spirits and willing hearts.

It is our truest desire . . . to live with You and with others in truth-filled, authentic ways. And we confess, O God, it is often our greatest challenge. There is a certain degree of risk in being open to others, in speaking honestly with others – it seems easier to turn away or keep silent, to avoid the conflict, choosing rather to ignore our neighbor or friend or our brother or sister. Sometimes it even seems easier to sever the relationship than to be straightforward with our thoughts – to forgo the close-ness with another and intentionally choose to increase the distance between us.

 

Forgive us, God, when we lie to ourselves. When we tell ourselves honesty is too difficult . . . or won’t keep us safe . . . or doesn’t really matter . . . or can’t happen in today’s world . . . or isn’t really expected by anyone anymore.

Forgive us, God, when we lie to others. When we tell others what is pleasant rather than what is honest . . . when we value our own welfare rather than treasuring the gift of true relationships.

Forgive us, God, when we lie to You. When we turn away from Your call . . . when we fail to believe in Your grace and Your mercy . . . when we forget that Your love fills our hearts and our lives.   

      *          *          *          *          *          Silence        *          *          *      *          *

Grant us the courage to answer Your call to put away falsehood.

Grant us the wisdom to speak honestly with love to all those in our lives.

Grant us the faith to trust the truth.

      All this we pray in the name of Your son. Amen.