January 16, 2020

A Pastoral Prayer for the Baptism of Jesus

Dear God, we praise you that you are with us, and that the reality we all too often sense around us is not the ultimate reality in which you would have us live. We are immersed in distrust and despair. Those around us do not keep their word. History seems to repeat itself. And so we feel that all we have to look forward to is more of what we have already lived through.

Baptize us, therefore, in faith and hope. Help us to see you at work in places where we had thought there was only bleakness. Show us that you are faithful, and that hope placed in you is never lost.

We are immersed in conflict and surrounded by violence. Voices crying out for war seem ever to overpower those calling for reconciliation.

So baptize us in your peace. Take from us the fear of the consequences of nonviolence.

We are immersed in the values of a passing world. We desire more things. We are obsessed with what others think of us.

Baptize us in things eternal. Help us to find our true identity as your children, and to desire the treasure that cannot decay or pass away.

We are convinced, Eternal One, that we exist. We are told that we are at the receiving end of scientific laws, and that the best we can hope is to be subject to a cold and impersonal universe. Yet your will for us is life. All creation is yours, and our lives are played out in your hands. Keep us in your love, and inspire us to do your will in our church, in our homes, and in the world around us.

For we are your hands, we speak with your voice, and we love with your sacred heart and in the holy Name of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
—©2020 Sam L. Greening, Jr.

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