A Prayer of Turning

Isaiah 52:7

Father of mercies, God of peace, You have sent me, as my Lord was sent, into a world sick with hate. He proclaimed peace. He put hostility to death through the cross. I too would dare to be a peacemaker. Forgive me of my indifference.

The subtle savagery of racism is consuming my brothers and sisters. I have been silent at their suffering, the inequities, the humiliations, the murder of their children’s dreams.

You have ever stood by me, but I have not stood by them. I have not fought against their exclusion and exploitation. I have not struggled to my own hurt. Nor have I embraced the underclass of strangers: the mentally infirm, the disabled, the AIDS afflicted, the incarcerated, those I tend to distrust, to disdain or ignore.

Father of mercies, faltering and weak my labor has been. Have mercy.

Jesus, Son of God, Savior, You came into our neighborhood to bring good news to the poor, to bind up hearts that are broken, to proclaim liberty and favor with God. I too would be a mender of broken things. By your wounds we are healed, and by them we heal.

Jesus, You know the torment of the sinned-against. The refugees of our cursed wards, the famished, the maimed, the dispossessed, the 25,000 who die daily for want of clean drinking water, the one hundred million street children. You keep company with the defenseless among the poorest, the lowliest and the lost.

And I? Faltering and weak my labor has been. Jesus, forgive.

Holy Spirit, Pursuer of the prodigal, insistent Friend, I too would be a winner of souls. Blow into a flame the gift of God within me.

Missionary Spirit, faltering and weak my labors have been. Forgive.

Fit me for soldiership in an Army fully alive in Christ, pure in heart, united in purpose, aflame with a passion for God and souls, ready to take a stand for truth and justice, empowered by the Spirit.

Lyell M. Rader, Jr., The War Cry

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