News and Views

Cabinet Prayers

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The following prayers were offered weekly in the e-connection by Bishop LaTrelle Easterling and members of the Cabinet of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. 

December 21
Holy God of Light and Love,
Our time of Advent preparation is drawing down. We know that Isaiah prophesied and John the Baptist prepared the way. We have sung, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." We have prayed to become like Mary and Joseph, obedient and ready to embrace a child who will be our savior. We await a miracle: for the Word to become flesh and dwell among us.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come! Shine your light into our darkness. Pour your love into our weary and hardened hearts.  Have mercy on us, until our hearts are strangely warmed, and we surrender to you, the Source of Life. This silent and holy night, we want to walk as children of light, we want to follow Jesus. In Christ's name, we pray.  Amen.
December 14

Loving and Ever-present God,

 Our souls magnify the Lord!
Our spirits rejoice in God our Savior!

Though this season of expectant waiting is filled with darkness pressing against the light of your love, our souls magnify the Lord.

Though illness and death have visited far too many homes and shattered countless hearts, our souls magnify the Lord.

Though we traverse this wilderness of uncertainty and disruption for what feels like an eternity, our souls magnify the Lord.

Though we have yet to embrace family and friends in this season of distancing and our hearts yearn for their presence, our souls magnify the Lord.

Though many hunger for succor, our souls magnify the Lord.

Because you have planted seeds of hope in the heart of all created beings;
because you have birthed within creation a power that cannot be conquered;
because you are present in all of our suffering and promise blessing to your faithful;
because you love us with an everlasting love,
our souls magnify you, O Lord, and await your presence, anew. Amen.

December 7

Waiting with Conviction

 “For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from God.” -- Psalm 62:5

 Holy God,  Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer:

 As events unfold in this season of Advent, we pray to be able to wait with conviction.   Calm our anxiety and release us from fears which may interfere with faithful endurance.

 Remind us that this is a season of holy waiting and  that all things are not yet revealed and  we are called to affirm again that your promises are true.

As we navigate this in-between time, when we wait upon the coming of Christ,

 between falling down and rising up;
between loss and discovery;
between grief and joy;
between letting go and holding on;
between  speaking and listening;
between  holding on and letting go;
between  despair and rejoicing;
between silence and speech;

 Let us be guided by you alone, that  our direction is true and we might have the courage we need. Help us to  know we are not alone in this in-between time  as a new era comes to life.

 In the meantime, give us what we need to wait --  with conviction.  Amen.

November 30

Emmanuel means God with us
“O Come, Desire of nations bind, all people in one heart and mind.  From dust thou brought us forth to life; deliver us from earthly strife.”

Gracious God,
    Thank you for your grace that you freely give.
    Help us show grace to those in need during this unique season of life.
Illuminating God, 
    Thank you for being the light of the world.
    Help us to shine your light in this dark world.
Loving God,
    Thank you for setting a table that transcends our differences and celebrates our diversity.
    Help us to embody your love to all that we encounter.
Listening God,
    Thank you for listening to every groan.
    Help us to be sensitive to your voice in and around us.
Merciful God,
    Thank you the new mercies that greet us every morning.
    Help us to show mercy to our brothers and sisters daily as we strive to get it right.
Healing God,
    Thank you for being the balm in Gilead.
    Help us to be whole during this unprecedented time of strife in our world.
Sovereign God,
    Thank you for the gift or your son Jesus Christ.
     Bind us together as we become people in one heart and mind.
Almighty God, we are one in you, Amen

November 22

 God of Heaven and Earth,
    of Space and Time,
    of all that is Seen and Unseen,
We, your children, lift our hearts to you in gratitude and thanksgiving. 
For you are the God of our rest, the source of all our provision,
    the bringer of truth, and the author of justice.
The Heavens declare your glory, the earth your majesty.
    We are surrounded by signs and wonders that reveal your unfailing love.
Yet we are beset by troubles, weary in our striving, and too reliant on our own strength.
Renew and revive us, Spirit of God.
May we drink of your living water.
May we feast at your bountiful table.
May we embrace all your children as family.
You are our Rock, our refuge.
Our one true Home.

 November 16

 From sea to shiny sea we belong to you, O God.
You created a world of diversity and wisely declared it good.
You made us in your image.
You breathed into us the breath of life.
You gave us dominion over your created order.
We give you thanks, blessed Creator.
Holy One, your created order needs your help.
The waters surrounding us have become turbulent.
We fear the waters of social unrest and climate change may overtake us.
Midst the challenges of this era, we pray,
Master of the wind and the waves,
Bind us together in mutual love, respect, and resolve.
That we may live into the self-evident truth our nation proclaims;
All are created equal, endowed with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Holy One, may it be so…
For as a nation we proclaim it is in God we trust.  Amen. 

 November 9

 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control... If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Sprit.  -- Galatians 5:22,25

 God of Grace and Mercy, we ask you, by the fire of your Holy Spirit, to light our hearts, that we may proclaim your Gospel with holiness of heart and life in ways that all can understand.

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us, melt us, fill us, use us.

 Spirit of the Living God, empower us that we may express your love in our attitudes and actions so that the violence and animosity of this time can be lessened.

 Spirit of the Living God, provide us with patience to be with those whose pain may be lessened if we brought our compassionate presence.

 Spirit of the Living God, fill us with your kindness that heals and restores our desire to be considerate to others.

 Spirit of the Living God, breathe renewed confidence into our fatigued spirits. Send us forth with a passionate intention to be conveyors of your unconditional love.

 Receive this prayer through Christ who came among us that we may have life, and have it abundantly.  Amen

November 2

God Enough: A Prayer of Faith to an All-Sufficient God

 God of all grace, all power, and all glory,
Today we are grateful that you are God enough.
When we feel isolated and alone, your presence is enough;
When we are fearful and uncertain, your faithfulness is enough;
When we are surrounded by hatred and 
divided by agendas, opinions, and points of view, your love is enough;
When, we don't know what to say to the challenges of the day,  your word is enough.
When our hearts break, you heal;
When our tongues fail, you speak;
So speak to our hearts O God.
Quiet us with your peace,
Strengthen us with your joy,
Steady us with your wisdom,
And remind us of your promises
Help us to know that weapons may form, but not enough to prosper;
Trials may come, but only to make us strong;
Darkness may fall, but it must give way to the day.
Light of the world: protector, provider, friend
Thank you for being more than enough.

October 26

I lift up my eyes to the hills;
from where will my help come? 
 God, our only refuge in trouble,
The world thirsts for the living God and longs for your help and grace. 

 We pray for the wounded world suffering because of the pandemic.
Rescue us from sin and death and protect us from the deadly virus. 
Grant healing grace to those who suffer from the infection.
Bring peace and comfort to those who lost their loved ones. 

We pray for your church. 
Bring harmony and peace to your church.
Inspire us to be united in your name despite our differences. 
Remind your church to be faithful to your calling. 

 We pray for our nation. 
Guide our electoral process as we are ready to select our leaders. 
Empower us to be responsible citizens with our choices and actions. 
Guide our leaders so that they may seek the wisdom and truth that come from you. 

 We pray for our community. 
Bring peace and reconciliation, where there are discord and violence.
Make us more willing to understand each other. 
Encourage us to stand up for justice. 

 We confess that our help comes from you, our God and Savior. 

October 19

Breathe on me breath of God.
 Breathe and enliven my soul
To be the best of You, to be Your heart's desire,
To know grace, seek peace, embrace mercy, and exude joy.

 It's your breath that enables me to fight the good fight, to struggle well, and to trust when all else seems to fail. Your breath causes me to greet each morning with hope and rest each night in blessed assurance...
I am not in control, you are. 

 This day, breathe mighty and strong, shift the atmosphere and lighten the burdens.
Breathe full and deep to clear the way for your purposes and plan. Fill my being, center my thoughts, and calm my ways.

 Without your breath, I will perish. Hallelujah, Amen!

 October 12

 Lord, I was doing something important when I stopped   to     pray     today.  
Regardless,   slow   me   down   now   that   I   may   be   rooted   in   this   moment.
Grateful   for   this   embodiment   and   accompaniment...
Awakened   to   you   breathing   in   me...So   filled   with   you   that   there   is   noroomforanythingnotofyou...

Responsive   to   your   welcome...

  [God's kingdom
Not money, not might
Come, dance with me!]

 May   this   practice   of   rootedness   bear   fruit   for   your   glory. May   this   practice   of   prayer   be   pleasing   to   you.

 October 5, 2020

Elohim, You alone are Great and you alone are God. We humble ourselves before your hallowed presence and give thanks for your steadfast goodness, mercy and love. Your powerful hand has sustained us and will sustain us for the days to come.

 You desire intimacy with your creation, abiding closer than breath, enabling us to live, move, and have our being. You meet us at our deepest point of need to quench our thirst, heal our wounds, provide shelter in the storm, and fell the arrows of harm. Your love for us is unyielding. Our cup runs over with blessing.

 Yet, we make graven images from the insignificant materiality of life and bow before unholy gods.
Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.

Forgive our impatience and our impertinence, once again failing to trust that your promises, provision, and providence are more than enough.

 Your faithfulness to all generations and throughout every season strengthens our resolve.
Even now, even in the midst of death and hardship and adversity and uncertainty we will rejoice! We will rejoice knowing that your peace is our protection and our assurance that it is well.

 Even now you beckon us, come...
We receive your invitation to come and rest.
We receive your invitation to come and feast.
We receive your invitation to come and dance.
We receive your invitation to come and worship.
We receive your invitation to come and renew our covenant with you.

 You alone are Great and you alone are God
Our God, forever and ever. Amen.