May18MonMay 18, 2020
Prayer Exercise: Engaging with Injustice
The Story of Naboth: 1 Kings 21 (You can read the story here that the message was formed around)
Leader have everyone mute themselves and say the following prayer out loud. *If you are doing this on your own, read the Psalm out loud yourself.
O God, we pray for all those in our world
who are suffering from injustice:
because of their race, color, or religion;
for those imprisoned
for working for the relief of oppression;
for those who are hounded
for speaking the inconvenient truth;
for those tempted to violence
as a cry against overwhelming hardship;
for those deprived of reasonable health and education;
for those suffering from hunger and famine;
for those too weak to help themselves
and who have no one else to help them;
for the unemployed who cry out
for work but do not find it.
We pray for anyone of our acquaintance
who is personally affected by injustice.
Forgive us, Lord, if we unwittingly share in the conditions
or in a system that perpetuates injustice.
Show us how we can serve your children
and make your love practical by washing their feet.
(Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
Leader have someone read the following quote (alternatively read on your own):
How deeply Hosea must have sensed the pathos of God to have been able to convey such dreadful words against his own people whom he loved so deeply. These words, however, were neither a final judgement nor an actual prediction. Their true intention was to impart the intensity of divine anger. And yet that anger did not express all that God felt about the people. Intense is his anger, but profound is his compassion. It is as if there were a dramatic tension in God.
The Prophets, Jewish Philosopher/Theologian Abraham Heschel
Take some moments with this quote and the above graphic. Leader invite people to share what thoughts/feelings/senses come out of this. People are listening for the divine in this. Listening to what God is bringing to them through it. (Alternatively, engage on your own.)
Take turns reading Psalm 10 out loud. Take some silence after the reading. Ask the Spirit to show you what injustice and mercy He wants you to pray into using whatever fits/helps from the Psalm.
1 Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
5 His ways are always prosperous;
your laws are rejected byhim;
he sneers at all his enemies.
6 He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
7 His mouth is full of lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.
8 He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
9 like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “God will never notice;
he covers his face and never sees.”
12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.
For Reflection After Community Prayer Time:
What/who the Spirit led me to pray for:
What part of the Psalm I prayed out of:
Where I sensed God forming my own soul as I prayed: