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Justice Prayers - Christmas 2023

“The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not understood it.” - John 1: 6 

 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” - John 14: 27

Prince of Peace,

This Christmas we cannot pretend that all is well on planet earth. This Christmas we dare not. And yet this is the time and the place where you meet us all - in the dark with a flicker of flame that defies every force of death. 

While the dark understands violence, 
    You confront with gentleness.
While the dark understands force and power, 
    You confront with quiet and hiddenness.
While the dark understands exacting revenge, 
     You confront with forgiveness.
While the dark understands deception and manipulation, 
      You confront with an undefended heart.
While the dark understands supremacy and exclusion,
      You confront with tables extended to those least likely, least worthy.


While the world gives security through control and fear,
       You give peace through the open-handed love.
While the world gives identity by giving each group an enemy,
      You give belonging by welcoming across boundaries.
While the world gives vengeance, 
     You give prayer for your enemy.
While the world gives promises of curing and fixing, 
     You give healing, wholeness and redemption of our being.
While the world gives perfection through striving and moralism, punishment and banishment,
     You give grace. Then more grace. And then even more.


The story we tell at Christmas confronts us with every sort of thing the world does not understand: peace, hope, joy even though it has considered all the facts. And love.  We pray for our hearts to be troubled by your love for the world, as waters are stirred by the wind. Trouble us with your kind of gifts, Lord, not the gifts the world promises us will make us powerful, or happy, or at rest. May this Christmas we choose your kind of gifts - welcoming the stranger, healing the sick, recovering sight for the blind and pronouncing jubilee for this weary world.  This Christmas, may we be like you in our world - present and unafraid with unending grace and welcome. 


Becoming (part of) the Answer to our Own Prayers

Do Justice Podcast: Season 7 

“But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.”  Genesis 33:4  Ray Orlund ⁠reflects that this verse has often struck him as one of the most beautiful in the Bible.  “We all feel the power of it. When we see ex-friends reconciling, so removing every barrier that they run and embrace and fall on one another’s necks—I love that expression—and weep, the beauty of it gets to us. Not a negotiated settlement. No face-saving hypocrisy. Honest. Unforced. Deeply felt. We all perceive true reconciliation with awe. It is of God.” This is why we’re so excited to reflect on healing rifts in this season of the Do Justice podcast.  

CRC Prayer Guide

The CRC Prayer Guide offers another way to pray for our shared ministry as a denomination, with specific prayer requests for each day of the year. You can view these prayer requests online, download printer-friendly versions, or get them delivered to your email inbox (choose to receive them daily, weekly, or once a month).

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