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Jesus

Four Prayer to Jesus and One About Him

 

    Jesus, sometimes itís hard for us to believe that love is what itís all about.  The world seems to teach us other lessons: that the prize goes to the strongest or the most ruthless; that if we donít think of ourselves no one else will; that giving away what we have to others is a sure way to be taken advantage of.  For itís not obvious to us, Lord, that the gentle spirited inherit the earth.  What it got you was a cross.  So when you tell us we must be like children, we take a step back, and wonder what on earth you could mean.  What we need is a transformation, a conversion of our perception of the world, to see it your way.  And committed to the certainty of love at the center of the universe, maybe we can delight in the consequences: a brother and sister at every turn, the flow back of kindness tenfold for every kindness done, the peace deep in our hearts for trying to do the right thing, the sense that our lives do indeed make a difference, a blessed difference, to those around us, plenty of laughter at our own foolishness, lots of joy in the success of others, and a world far more friendly and welcoming.  Jesus, help us to see it your way all the way every day and in faith the kingdom will come and Godís will will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Amen.

 

    Jesus, who knows full well the glories and the deceits of the human heart, who is not surprised by our stupidities nor unbelieving of our heroics, center our souls in your teachings; that we in the time we have may take you seriously, softening the hard edges of our hearts, opening our vision to see the world through othersí eyes, reaching out with welcoming arms, finding the Fatherís presence in every corner of the creation, and dedicating ourselves to making the world your world, responsive to your leading and dedicated to your ways of love and mercy.  Begin, Jesus, with us, each one of us, converting our recalcitrant souls.  For we do know there has got to be a better way than humans have devised so far to manage our affairs.  And we are counting on you, even as you are counting on us, to be the vanguard of the kingdom, that there may be peace on earth, that greed may yield to generosity, that little children continents away afflicted with virulent disease may be cured, that hunger may be abolished, that oppression may cease; and that, through it all, because of it all, your name be praised. Amen.

 

    Jesus, who brings with you into this world the fresh winds of the Holy Spirit to breathe new life into every corner of the creation, our generation, no less than all of those that preceded it, needs, so badly needs, that Spirit in power with its treasure of gifts for the mind and heart, that we may be faithful in our time. And being faithful, we understand from you, means living lives of self-giving, yes, to all who come our way, but in particular to those who are coming, coming into their own, growing and striving and learning, the next generation.  In a world where persuasive voices tell us to follow our bliss and do our own thing, we seek help to lift up your voice and its summons to a life of service.  When we do not practice what you preach, remind us with remembered verses or the gentle criticism of others on the road with us to the Fatherís House, that weíve missed something or got it wrong and should try again.  With time, Jesus, we may get it right, this discipleship to you, the giving and forgiving, the patience and the kindness, the helping and the loving, the courage and the sacrifice which you bring into the world with you and offer us with each fresh wind of the Holy Spirit wafting our way.  And what a world it will yet be, and how blessed will be those who come after us, in your name.  Amen.

    Jesus, friend, the one we look to for strategies as well as grace in the living of our lives, send help.  Show us the wisdom, if also the kindness, of the peaceable spirit, in a world where the counsels all round us always argue for giving it harder than we took it.  Show us, Jesus, the wisdom, if also the kindness, of sharing what we have, whether it be little or plenty, in a world where the rule often seems to be ďKeep it all for yourself.Ē  Show us, good friend, the wisdom, if also the kindness, of doing the right thing, when itís in our favor and when it isnít, in a world where cutting corners and stealing advantages often passes for the smart thing.  And that world is ever with us, around us, and in us, and we need, sorely need, your counter measures to overcome the warring and the greed and the wanton self-assertion that passes for worldly wisdom.  Send help, Jesus, by word, by inspiration, by the example of others who love you and seek to serve you, and the kingdom may yet come, Godís will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Amen.

     God of yesterday, God of tomorrow, and God of today, in whom our times are kept, all of them, beginning to ending, grant us in the time we have to catch hold of lifeís surest satisfactions, that we, who are often pushed by ambition and nudged by the world to want what everyone else wants, may keep our focus on Jesus.  Make his priorities our lifeís agenda.  Invest our faith with his courage. Open our arms as wide as his.  Give us to see, as he saw, your presence everywhere.  Lift his cross before us, if to shame, then also to inspire.  Let the apostleís boast that he determined to know nothing but Christ and him crucified be the goal to which we aspire.  That our love for Jesus may yet transform the world as it has and will continue to transform us into his likeness.  Thank you, God, for him.  Amen.



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