NIGHT PRAYER: Thursday 6/10

So much discord, Lord:
antagonism, name calling, anger,
animosity, ill will and bitterness...

We are a sad lot, a sorry crew, 
a nation divided by race, by color, by creed;
a people torn apart by philosophies and ideologies, 
programs and tactics, hot tempers and short fuses, 
politics and cultures, blind spots and obstinacy...

We're in an argument both sides are doomed to lose
for failing to listen with both mind and heart,
for refusing to learn from what others offer,
for being precisely what we condemn - prejudiced:
   dogmatically intolerant of other ideas...

I don't know the nation's way out of this mess, Lord,
   but there are some things I need to pray tonight
   to keep myself honest and open and wise...

I'm turned off by self-righteous writing and speech:
   so drain me of smugness in my tone and my words...

I'm repulsed by dogmatism posing as humility:
   so humble me, Lord - curb my arrogant pride... 

I cringe when confronted with the snide and the snarky,
   so keep my words moderate, on point and dispassionate...

I'm insulted when I'm dismissed without being heard:
   so open my ears to what others are saying...

I'm dumbstruck by arguments not based on fact:
   so help me discern the true from the false...

I'm put off when folks argue the part for the whole,
   the false dilemma, the slippery slope or ad hominem,
so keep my thoughts logical, consistent and rational...

I'm speechless when history is simply ignored
   or when it's proposed as all that there is:
so broaden my view
   with the arc of the past, of the present and future...

I'm heartbroken, Lord, when debate and dispute
   disparage integrity, virtue and honor
       breaking the bonds of family and friendship:
so give me wisdom and courage to see with clear eyes
   and to filter my feelings through love for my neighbor...

Finally, Lord, help me see tonight, with unflinching clarity,
   the ways in which this very prayer might betray my own
      smug, self-righteous, proud, dogmatic, narrow-minded,
      intolerant, intemperate, snarky thoughts and words and tone
   and give me the grace to correct myself, to do penance
      and to amend my ways accordingly...

Protect me, Lord, from myself
as I lie awake tonight
and watch over me as I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...


Make Me A Channel of Your Peace performed by Tessera


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