Lord Jesus, our true Sovereign, we give thanks for Egypt. Even though the rulers of Egypt were not expecting a Jewish Messiah, they did not turn your Holy Family away and welcomed them when they fled King Herod’s wrath. Welcoming Savior of the nations, we give thanks that your Holy Family received the Magi from the East, welcoming their gifts. We give thanks that the Magi risked crossing many borders to get to the babe of Bethlehem, and there to be the first to worship him, even though they had neither the language nor the scriptures as their guide. Thank you for emboldening the Magi to disobey cruel Herod’s executive order.
Gracious Christ, we give thanks that in your earthly ministry you never turned anybody away, not even us, in our sin. We praise you for emboldening others to cross our borders in order to give us the good news that we were included in your salvation, even though our ways and our language were foreign to the gospel.
Forgive us when we sinned against Matthew 28:19, stayed comfortably at home, refused your order to immigrate into all the world, making disciples in your name.
Especially this day we pray for your work in the hearts and minds of the agents of Homeland Security, Border Control officers, and U. S. Customs personnel, particularly those who are trying to follow you. Give them the courage to be not only obedient to the government that pays them but also faithful to the Savior who gave his life for them and the whole world. Enable them to be kind. Put in their minds Acts 5:29, and give them courage to do speak up and to do right in this dark hour.
Forgive government officials who order others to do wrong, who perform cruel acts against others under the guise of service to their country. And forgive us for giving power to those who promise us false security and safety, giving them the authority that belongs only to you.
We confess that we have limited the expanse of your Kingdom to our merely human borders. We have been content to narrow the scope of your church to people who look like us. We admit that we have regarded people who speak other languages, who practice other faiths, and dwell in other nations as threats rather than as your cherished children, our sisters and brothers in Christ.
Lord who is gracious to the suffering, the homeless, and the persecuted, to those who must leave the places they love and venture forth like the Holy Family, be gracious unto us, even in our sin against your expansive salvation.
Soften hardened hearts. Go ahead and judge us and chastise us as you will. Force us to live up to our convictions and to welcome others as you have welcomed us.
Please, dear Lord, save our leaders (whom we elected) from following the way of Herod. Amen.
8 thoughts on “A Prayer for Monday”
O, Will, you have prayed the pray, I wished to utter, but could get past my anguish to speak.
That’s a prayer that will preach. Or a sermon that will pray. Thanks Will.
I agree much with Rev. Willimon and his conservative theology. Hebis a powerdul preacher and prayer warrior! However, this prayer seems imbalanced. To me and many it is wise and ethical to protect all people even us Americans from extremely Islamic terrorists. I see no sin or assume sin on others to protect all people even us Americians with a border and proper vetting. Frankly, I pray for God to protect Americans from those who bring drugs by the billione in our country! Enforcing a proper vetting approach before people are accepted in this country is wise and is not demeaning or discriminating. It is not about faith or religion or an anti-Muslim ban. Also, I don’t think the reference with herod is appropriate.
Conservative theology? I spent three years at that Div school and did not hear anything conservative from him. In fact, I do not recall hearing anything that would be considered conservative from any faculty.
You do a great disservice to our country and the LORD when you mix your unwise imprudent political beliefs into your Theology. The Christian faith is being challenged and threatened in every Western European country right now because Ecumenists like yourself don’t understand that not all religions are equivalent, and not all religions can coexist with other religions, especially Christianity. You wipe your feet on the graves of Suriyani Christians that have been terrorized and marginalized by the Mohammedans for centuries. Perhaps you should be praying for them, and seeking to help them. I have stood in the ancient churches of these noble persevering Christians that have been almost completely ignored by Christians in the West while facing generation after generation of persecution. The Mohammedans practice a religion of total submission. They believe in totalitarian authority of their religion, and do not respect the separation of Church and State. That someone as respected and educated as you could be so misinformed is a testament to how out of touch the majority of American intelligentsia and clergy is with the harsh realities of the real world. I hope that you will research these issues, actually read and study the Koran, etc. You probably learned some sociology; use the methods and get information. GOYAKOD!!!
Thank you, Benjamin!
Beautiful words that unfortunately are sad distortions of scripture molded to fit a political ideology (ie certainly Jesus never offered legal opinions on immigration policies of the state – render unto Caesar?) Will has had so many important works and has done so much good that it is sad to see him trade away influence over things that matter so much more in order to score political points that are practically irrelevant as soon as they are made. For these eloquent words to have a modicum of integrity they would’ve been expressed numerous times in previous administrations when many other immigrant populations were restricted or prohibited from entering the country for various reasons. If Will did not write w/the same passion to address those issues, then his selective outrage today shares the moral low ground every other political hack out there. Will would definitely make an eloquent partisan political pundit but would actually have integrity in his writing if that perspective were made clear upfront.
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Thank you for your insightful words and convicting and humble words in this prayer. This is very moving to me and very fitting for the name of your blog. To that point, there is another peculiar prophet in Washington who will not benefit from this prayer but you may consider sharing it with he who would follow the way of Herod, just the same. All things ARE possible. That being said–and not to point the finger of course, because when we do we have at least three more pointing right back at us–we are called to be salt and light in the world…because that is what we ARE…now. This means we will mix it up with the world…be poured out in it. Thank you for doing that and the way you do that…now. Maybe you were born for such a time as this. Maybe I was…maybe I will send this to Washington…maybe this is our time to finally be the Church, which is one place where I’d like to think we’d be able to express and acknowledge our different understandings of what it means to be salt and light, respectfully and stand up to power the way Jesus did. I particularly and perhaps peculiarly, appreciate the way you do. Keep on.