We have heard, O LORD,*
that it is possible
to fall in love:
Isaac for Rebekah, a nation for her king, people for their neighbors’ donkeys, the sinner for his actions, the weary for their unburdened rest.

Our own lives bear witness
to the beautiful as well as
the less-than-faithful
possibilities of love:
daily love for one another, expressed through encouragement and care; patriotic love for country that overshadows love for the stranger; hungry love that envies its neighbors; stubborn love of pride that refuses to learn new lessons.

What we are trying to say,
O LORD, is that we long
for love and especially
we long for you:
a faithful love to lead us as surely as the Big Dipper points a way across the night sky; a patient love that sees our faults and knows our frustrations and yet does not rush to anger; a gracious love to inspire our growth and offer us rest.

What we are trying to say,
O LORD, is that we love
this life and the breath
we’re given each day:
we hold out to you in love the joys and delights of our lives; we hold out to you in love the raw edges and deep sorrows of our hearts; we hold out to you in love our worries and our dreams for this community, this nation, this world.

We pray in the rich fullness of
our less-than-perfect love,
resting in the fierceness
of your holy love. Amen.

*in today’s Revised Common Lectionary Readings (Genesis 24:34-67, Psalm 45:10-17, Romans 7:15-25a, Matthew 11:16-19 and 25-30) and the Narrative Readings (Exodus 20:17)

This pastoral prayer is cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals.

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