As a pastor we know full well that life happens and we are called to walk right into the middle of the mess, extending our hand to those we journey with. Sometimes, a lot of times, the moments happen when we least expect. Almost all of the time, our response is to pray. Faith happens in amazing ways. Sometimes it is very personal, sometimes it is very communal, but always in relationship, relationship to God, the self and others.
Today, I am compelled to pray publicly for friends, family, and those I have meet on this journey of life. To pray for their well being in the midst of trauma, oppression, and abused. I invite you to pray with me.
We come before you today dear Lord knowing that everywhere we go, in our very midst, there are those stand who before us, who are abused. Those who are oppressed. Those who have shackles about their hands and their feet. They feel locked into place by forces that are well beyond their control, no matter how much they do or how much they try. It seems like there’s an invisible link that keeps them bound.
And so we come dear Lord to ask that for link be broken! That this force in be demolished! That the invisible ties that bind them to hate be shattered into oblivion.
We come dear Lord to say for all those who are abused, provide the Spirit of your love. Provide an advocate that will stand tall with all of those who are in pain, in pain because someone said they loved them, but then did the opposite. In pain because of fists the flew, and knuckles that bruised. Pain from the torture of mental games that made them feel less than, made them feel small, made them feel invisible.
We come to you Dear Lord, with those who want desperately to know the kind of love that is gracious and kind, compassionate and generous. But the quest of generosity seems far. The quest of justice seems distant. Many of the abused, as they stand tall and fight, only become victimizes again. The are told by lawyers, “If only you hadn’t done such a great job taking care of yourself and your kids, this would look better in the eyes of the court.” They stand as the brother of the prodigal son, who works hard to live well and do right. But if the abuser shows an inkling of good… this makes them worthy of contact for those that they have hurt?
So the oppressed cry out, they cry out to the authority, where is my celebration for fighting well? Where is my acknowledgment that I was able to pick myself up and be strong in the face of adversity? But the system sees not this effort and with tainted lens responds, “it must not have been that bad if you can come out still surviving.”
Dear Lord, the abused try hard to follow the rules, try hard to play by the game the system has made, but the injustice of justice becomes a burden around their neck. The rules rule in disjointed expression and adds insult to injury, and twist the knife that was plunged.
So dear Lord we come. We come because your the authority above all else. Your laws are the final stage. We come to you like the child who clings the the fathers leg, knowing you will help defend and protect, and comfort and aid. We come praying for all those who suffer at the lie they were fed, and we beg for your mercy, for your kindness, for your forgiveness, for your grace, for your love.
Protect them dear Lord. Let them be embraced and affirmed by you. Move the system to give them grace, and offer them a compassionate hand they helps them not simply escape but live well.
We pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.