Thursday, June 3, 2010

Let Us Pray

By Deanna Matzen, guest blogger

I think it goes without saying that everyone is feeling powerless about the oil spill [I hate using that word as if someone was walking along and tripped, "oops I spilled some oil, let me just get a rag and clean that up"]...let's try that again.

I think it goes without saying that everyone is feeling powerless about the cataclysmic oil catastrophe - the unbelievably horrible, incredibly devastating destruction of God's green earth - in the Gulf of Mexico. That's better.

But as people of faith, we do have power. We have power when we join our voices together in advocacy and when we join our voices together with God in prayer.

This summer I was asked to teach the kids at my church about David and Goliath and the modern example of Sojourner Truth, who confronted the giants of slavery and oppression head on. We'll then apply their lessons of faith to the giant environmental problems of today. Just as David confronted the seemingly undefeatable giant, Goliath, because he had a little experience and a lot of faith in God, we can confront the environmental destruction in the Gulf of Mexico, fueled by our faith.

As part of my church's adult education, I taught a class on environmental stewardship, during which the Gulf oil catastrophe began. The class taught about Christian values for why we should care about the environment, connected those values to scripture and, since scripture doesn't really talk about how we should deal with things like oil catastrophes, connected those values to actions. Our last week on action culminated with a time for prayer for the Gulf. While we have not seen those prayers answered yet - specifically to end the leak (or geyser) - we wait in hopeful anticipation and continue to pray for miracles.

Currently, I'm taking a class on praying for the world and I was asked to bring in some prayers for the environment this coming Sunday. I thought I would share them with you since I know it's so easy to get stuck in our own attempt to find words for this devastation. The wonderful thing about this class is that we're being taught that our prayers need not be long and wordy. We can pray simple scriptures and they will have a profound impact in the world and in our soul. Below are some of those prayers and where there is usually a blank to fill in, I've inserted the nouns for you. I hope they help to bring you some peace in this midst of your sorrow. Let us pray...

Lord God,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
in the Gulf of Mexico.
Matthew 6:10

Gracious Lord,
Lead BP and TransOcean not into temptation,
but deliver them from the evil one.
Matthew 6:13

In the name of Jesus I proclaim that the Gulf of Mexico is good.
Hover over the Gulf of Mexico,
bring it new life and create it anew
that we may delight and rejoice in it.
Isaiah 65:17-18

Thank you, Lord, that the fields produce abundant harvest.
Bless the Gulf of Mexico with Sabbath and Jubilee
that your creation may be redeemed.
Leviticus 25:8

Thank you, Lord, for claiming the Gulf of Mexico as your own.
Psalm 24

Lord, help BP and TransOcean to serve and worship only you,
not the god of greed and recklessness.
Exodus 20:1-2

Merciful God,
The Gulf of Mexico groans in eager anticipation
of your redemption.
Bring your glorious freedom!

Show us your hope for the Gulf of Mexico
and help us to wait patiently.
Romans 8:18-25

Jesus, all things were created in and through you.
Through your blood, shed on the cross,
hold together the Gulf of Mexico and the affected communities,
and reconcile the Gulf of Mexico in heaven and earth,
bring peace in the Gulf of Mexico
that in everything you might have supremacy.
Colossians 1:15-20

Jesus, bring the river of life to the Gulf of Mexico
that it may be healed.
Take away the curses upon the Gulf
and restore the Gulf with blessing.
Bring the Gulf of Mexico and the affected communities
under your throne.
Revelation 22:1-3


1 comment:

JKPC Green Team said...

I have found myself at a loss for words in praying to God with this horrific event. I feel inadequent in sounding geniune in my prayers. I'm feeling frustrated. Your words and scripture choices opened my eyes to yet another perspective in this journey we call life.
And than to learn you are taking a class on praying for the world. I feel awhole lot better.
Thank you.