READ MICAH 6
I often ponder in my times of prayer whether personal or communal whether there has been a country in history where more prayers have been prayed for peace. Having had the privilege, at times a frightening privilege of being in close to our political peace process I often ponder whether there have been many answers. The obvious questions then take over. Is God not listening? Are we praying wrong? What answers do we expect?
Micah gives us some clues to what we might have been getting wrong. For many of us prayer has been our religious ritual. Like burnt offering and sacrifices we have believed that prayer will call down God’s favour. The religious act though, isn’t what God requires. What God requires says Micah is for those who worship, pray and sacrifice,
“To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God”
Prayer transforms, yes. Prayer transforms nations, yes. BUT prayer’s first transformation happens in the soul of the one who prays. Think of the Lord’s Prayer. It is prayer that refocuses our place in God’s Creation, under God’s Lordship. It gives perspective us ask for the right things and makes us forgivers of others. It guides us in where to go. When we say Amen we should be transformed people. People equipped through prayer to be kingdom bringers because when we act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God we will honour others, heal ou land and give a hopeful future for the world.
Lord forgive me when I use prayer as a short cut
As an easy way out
May I never use prayer to throw the responsibility onto you
But always be available to respond to your omnipotent ability in us
May the prayers I pray for change
Start by changing me
My humble attitude to others - that may I honour them
My love of mercy - that may I heal them
My actions for justice - that may I breathe hope into the world
And when I am finished my prayers
After I say, Amen
May I get up off my knees, changed
And ready to be the one you use to answer my prayers.
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