Tuesday, July 08, 2014

a prayer from Annual Conference

God, our great Refiner,

We approach you this morning with openness: open hands, open minds, open hearts, open spirits. This is hard for us, God, this being opened, being vulnerable. When we’re opened up, we’re exposed, at risk, in danger of being hurt or burned or changed. And yet, here we are. Open to you.

God, we trust you. We trust that you will hold us, hold our open hearts, in the palm of your gentle hand. We know that we are in need of refining, God, and we trust that you are the one to do it. So we come, open, before you.

There are so many pieces and parts of us that need refining, God. When we crack open our hearts we’re forced to look head-on at all that brokenness, all that sinfulness, all that failure to live up to your call upon us to be your people and share your gospel. Sometimes, the pain and embarrassment and shame of these things is just too much. We curl up, turn in on ourselves, hold tight to the safety of what we know and refuse to open ourselves to your refining fire.

But you love us, God. You formed us in our mothers’ wombs, walked beside us through all of our days, witnessed us living out our best moments and our worst. And all the while, you have called us into closer relationship with you, into a deeper union and a way of life that shines with honesty, integrity, the joy of being all of who we are with you.

Give us the strength, God, and the courage, to open ourselves to you. Be gentle with us, but don’t let us off the hook. Keep us vulnerable. Keep us honest. Keep us close. Give us the faith to trust that the things that we will lose in the process – those impurities and appendices to which we’ve become so attached – that these can all be counted as loss. Remind us that knowing you, walking in the way of Christ, is the only thing we need. Assure us that you are enough, that we are enough.

We are coming to you ready to be refined, God. Do with us what you will.


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