I've always been at home in the church. Growing up, my home was a Baptist church. In college, I found my home in an Evangelical, community church. As a newlywed, my home was in a church plant started by our college community church. Now, we find our young family at home in an Anglican church.
My experiences in these different traditions of following Jesus taught me much about faith, transformation, mission, and family life. There are great similarities I can trace between each one, and there are vast differences I find too. But in each place I have called home, I have found Jesus, and therein the inspiration for the renewal of my soul and the growth of my faith and character.
In the Anglican church, I have found Jesus deeper through liturgical prayers. There is something profoundly beautiful about a crafted prayer, prayed in unity, full of truth and sentiment, that withstands culture and time. Over the next few posts, I would like to share some of the prayers that have lit up my soul with hope, expectation, and thankfulness in a God who is doing might things in our midst.
Today's prayer is a prayer for the diversity of races and cultures:
O God, who created all peoples in your image, we thank you for the wonderful diversity of races and cultures in this world. Enrich our lives by ever-widening circles of fellowship, and show us your presence in those who differ most from us, until our knowledge of your love is made perfect in our love for all your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today there is a growing state of crisis across the globe along lines of diversity-whether it be the color of our skin, our chosen religious affiliation (either by practice or heritage), the candidate we support, or one of the many other aspects of our race and culture that put us at odds with those around us. Then we add the distant and impersonal modes of communication that technology has provided for us and we exponentially increase the urges toward hate growing in the hearts of man.
But this prayer shocks my heart back to life, from the death and hopelessness I see around me, to the life and redemption I know is coming! Will you pray it with me? Would you ask for your life to have ever-widening circles of fellowship? Would you look for God in those who differ most from you? Can we believe together that our knowledge of God's love will be made perfect in our love for ALL his children? And more so, can we believe together that prayer is not just an act of ritual but a plea to a God who hears and answers?