Today I pray for our troubled Metro-East/St. Louis region. I pray for peace knowing the conditions that lead to peace are not in place. I pray for justice knowing the systems that uphold justice are flawed. I pray for understanding knowing people are far more willing to speak than to listen. I am not lobbying God on this day because there is too much pain, too much anger and too much confusion swirling about me to even form a prayer in my mind. I must pray from my spirit and from my heart. I must listen to what is noble, best and most holy in me. My spirit cries out on behalf of life, goodness, love, forgiveness and understanding. Not for others but for me. I can’t control others but I have some say into my own heart.
My prayer today is simple and astoundingly Methodist:
Almighty God, Forbid that I should do harm, use me to do good and when this day is over, may I be even more in love with you…and yours. Amen.
-Rev. Shane L. Bishop, A Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church, is the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois.