Jan 15, 2021 | The Rev. Dr. David Woolverton*

A Prayer for this Weekend and the Week Ahead

Holy Lord, in the shadow of last week’s violence, and in the potential and fear of more to come, we draw our hearts and minds to You.

Forgive us—all of us. In our pain, in our brokenness, in our anger, in our isolation, in our fears, in our moral failures, in our grief, in our idolatry… we don’t fully realize what we have done, what we are really doing. We confess that, as a people, as Your people, we are failing to love You with our whole heart and failing to love our neighbor. Instead we are allowing inner voices to inspire hatred and offense to birth revenge.

On behalf of our sisters and brothers, we repent of our actions and our inactions, both of which have furthered the divisive effects of the Enemy of Love. We need a fresh wind of peace and a renewing of Your Spirit to birth anew within us a healing hope. We don’t know what to do to battle these forces—both human and evil—that threaten Your people… but You know. We fix our eyes on You, and we trust You.

Have Thine own way, Lord. Have Thine own way. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as in heaven. In Jesus’s name, we bind, rebuke, silence and cast out any demonic entity or force present in the people caught in the webs of these organizations of violence—and in ourselves. As for who is “right” or who is “wrong,” help us to remember what Jesus said: “If you abide in my word you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

We take refuge in Your reminder that, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” (Psalms 34:7) Thank You, Lord, in advance, for what You will do in the midst of our chaos. We put our trust in You, the Anchor of our souls. Amen.

*The Rev. Dr. David Woolverton, of Lancaster, PA has been an Elder in the Eastern PA Conference for over 30 years and is the Lead Pastor of St. Paul’s UMC in Elizabethtown, PA. He also is a professor, program director and student advisor at Evangelical Theological Seminary in Myerstown, PA. He teaches conflict resolution/transformation to clergy and laity in our Conference; and in November 2020 he taught our online class, “How to Recognize and Deal with Church Bullies.”