Jan  2011 24
From House of Fear to House of Hope

Joe Bessler's prayer from Minister's Week reflects on the public and private shatterings of our lives and invites God's grace to move us into hope and love.




Caught between profound lament and life-giving hope, we pray, O God, for ourselves, for those we love, for our community and our world.

We pray for lives shattered by a global recession that compounds the grief of our world and delays the recovery of jobs, of income, of home values . . . and the recovery of hope itself. . . .

We pray for lives shattered by illness, by acute and sudden disaster that unravels our lives suddenly and by chronic disease that wears us – wears us into profound fatigue and loss that is endless . . .

We pray for lives shattered by war—by instabilities that we have never seen—even in terror—the systematic destruction of electrical grids, of water and sanitation systems, and therefore of health systems—war that destroys the peace of mind in any form for families who now live in the horror of fear and vulnerabilities of the most fundamental and basic kind. . . . and where the deaths and wounds of soldiers are merely tallied and never fully measured or imagined.

We pray for lives shattered by love – for those suffering the loss, by death, of partners so long-loved that life itself—that going on—seems impossible; for those suffering in relationships where love and sharing and intimacy have left the building; for those where abusive control has entered in love’s name, and respect and equality have vanished; and for those whose love is silenced because it is forbidden—for those who have taken their lives or stopped loving and living because they were/are gay or lesbian and shamed by that difference.

And, we pray, this day, O God, because these scenes of brokenness have themselves become the site of a different kind of shattering—in need of our prayer and our resistance. And so we pray for a public culture where the shatterings of our public and private lives—our lost jobs, our lost loves, our lost health, our lost soldiers, are often used—preyed upon—to turn our anxieties and tragedies first to fear of others and then to a kind of legitimized hate—and rending the fabric of our common belonging.

We pray that we come to know in our hearts, in our speech, and in our actions that our belonging is more than our choosing—that we so open our lives and our hearts to the kingdom of God that we find ourselves moving, by grace, from the house of fear to the house of hope and the house of love. . . . Amen.



Joe Bessler, Robert Travis Peake Associate Professor of Theology

Phillips Theological Seminary

Minister's Week

January 19, 2011

Browse more posts by: Joseph Bessler, Phillips Faculty
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