call to pray

There has been a call to pray for the people of South Sudan today. A prayer for a lasting peace. As a people of doing things it is hard for us just to pray. People have asked me what the people over there need, what might we be able to send to help, can we do anything. I respond pray for them.

Have we lost our confidence that prayer alone might be an answer? When the first round of fighting happened way back in December and then finally came to Luis in January I started emailing the friends I knew there, hearing back mostly from Noel and the request for prayer was made directly, I responded that I was and specifically said what I prayed for. The response was the same day from Noel, just a few hours later saying how much he praised God for the prayers given. It was like I had thrown a lifeline, just a simple thing.

So today for me to pray for South Sudan means to remember the people. My day has been a prayer, rising with all these thoughts from last night, telling different stories in my mind, dressing in the garb I taught in over there, and making this sermon an intentional part of that. Prayer is something real that we can do and we can be very intentional about our prayer. It is a lifeline for those in distress because it replant hope, it reawakens vision, it strengthens the one being prayed for.

Part of the way I continue to pray is by taking part in the Desmond and Mpho Tutu Forgiveness Challenge because if we want to pray for peace in South Sudan we need to learn to foster peace in our own lives. As I fill in the boxes everyday I am trying to actively, intentionally pray for peace. It is such a fragile tender thing and deserves an intentionality in fostering it around us and then out into the world.

We say today that the first believers gathered to pray, in their homes, in the temple they prayed we continue this today. Prayer takes hands with feeble words and raises our concerns, our story to God. It helps to strengthen and develop the community of faith. It is in our whole service when we gather. Don E. Saliers book " Worship as Theology" says our liturgy takes all the pain, suffering, and joy and offers it to God through all of our call to prayers.

Today in our collect we pray for being able to hear our shepherds voice. So today we lift our voices to the Good Shepherd to hear the voices of all of us as we pray for a lasting peace, as we pray for healing to begin so that wounds both on the outside and inside may be set before God. Trusting in God's healing power, knowing that our prayer is heard, and expecting that we may become changed in the offering. Believers in the power of a simple prayer.