How Did We Get Here?

(A Pastoral Prayer)

Heavenly father, there are times when we find ourselves full of disappointment and heartbreak.   Sometimes it comes when we find ourselves in places we never thought we would be.   The people we have become are not those we expected, and we wonder how we got here.   The lives we are living are not what we wanted or hoped for and we wonder when we let our dreams fade.

Way too often that disappointment leads us to do silly, stupid, or selfish things.   Sometimes we pretend to be the people we should be and end up fooling no one.  Sometimes we crush ourselves being jealous of the lives of others.   We let the success of others be our reason for disappointment.

All too often we let the hopelessness and the regret take over.   Too often we set the anger or bitterness free.   Other times we push it so far down inside of us that we hardly realize it’s there.   All the while it rots us from the inside out.

Lord, we ask for your help.  Help us to embrace the anger and the dissatisfaction that will lead to the change that we hope and long for.   Help us to put away the anger that leads us to regret and nothingness.   Help us to look at our lives and our world and see possibilities.   Help us to embrace hope.

Remind us continually that hope abounds.   Help us to see it in the moments of our celebrations; be they birthday parties, accomplishments, or job promotions.   Help us to celebrate the hope that is found in our moments of joy such as the birth of a new baby, a dream fulfilled, or a return to health.

Even more importantly, Lord, we ask that hope be seen in our dark moments when we hurt, suffer or struggle.   Let us find the hope of your promise just as near us in these moments as they are in our moments of joy and celebration.  Let us never forget that your hope is always here for the taking.

In those times when the pain around us is not our own, we ask that you help us to become your presence to others.   Remind us we can be faith and belief, for those who believe neither is for them.  Help us to be the face of Jesus to our neighbors.

Along with all the concerns of friends and family that we raise to you continually, we pray that we can be hope for one another in their dark times.  We pray that we will always remember to be present.   We pray that we can be a source of encouragement and hope, and be seen as proof positive as to how much you truly love each of us, no matter the moment or the challenge. 

In you we put all of our trust, all of hope, all of our love, and all of our prayers,  Amen.

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