Prayer - Our Times by Bishop Paul L. Leeland

January 31, 2017

Dear Colleagues: I offer this prayer as my gift to you as we move toward worship.  This prayer is not a political statement.  It is an offering reminding us that our happiness, our blessedness, is found in remaining faithful to God and to God alone.  You are free to use this prayer in its entirety, or any part that you believe helpful, as you continue to teach and instruct the followers of Jesus to remain faithful and obedient to God, day by day, and week by week. As teachers of the faith, may we all be faithful learners and dutiful to our Lord, Jesus Christ. PRAYER By Bishop Paul L. Leeland Almighty God, we praise you.  You are the Lord of all, and we acclaim you.  You have spoken to us and said, “Let your heart hold fast my words: Get wisdom; get insight.  Do not turn away from my words” (Proverbs 4:4-5). In this moment we would ask, as we seek to do what is right and to keep ourselves pure, help us to “guard our way according to your word.  With our whole heart let us seek you, and you alone; do not let us stray from your commandments.  We treasure your word in our heart so that we may not sin against you.  Teach us your statutes.  Let our lips declare all the ordinances of your mouth.  We delight in the way of your decrees.  We will meditate on your precepts, and fix our eyes on your ways, and we will not forget your word” (Ps.119:9-16). We are filled with wonder that your word was made flesh and dwelt among us to instruct us as we are made one with you and one with each other.  You came to show us the Way, the Truth, and the Life that you would have us follow and embrace.  We pray for those who teach your word and implore you to lead them as they direct and teach others. We have already asked you if we are to be our brother’s or sister’s keeper and “who is our neighbor?”  Thank you for teaching us that we are to be the neighbor – the Samaritan – to all, as we offer unmerited, undeserved grace.  May our words, actions, and thoughts reflect the Divine Presence of Jesus in the world.  Forgive us our sins as we “rid ourselves of the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfector of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).   In this way, O Lord, you will keep us from acting and speaking from resentment and fear. It is our heart-felt desire that in every action and every response we make to the worldly decisions around us, that we will be filled with the fruit of the Spirit:  “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23).  May all be welcomed and considered with this spirit!  Amen.