Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Conflict of Prayers

During the pastoral prayer in church on Sunday, I bowed my head and didn't know what to pray.  I've been a little giddy since I got the text on Friday that Neal had landed stateside.  Having such a close friend - essentially a family member - in combat is very difficult.  It's draining.  It's a constant worry - so naturally I would be overjoyed and want to praise God Neal's unit was home safe and sound.  But for some reason I couldn't.  I can't repeatedly thank God for their safe return when I know that there are still so many who are in harm's way, so many who never came home and so many families who worry and mourn.

Instead I just stared at the cross.

I'm taking a worship practicum called "Writing Liturgical Texts" this month.  We're working on writing collects, which are short and direct prayers with a systematic formula in their structure. (Name God -> Praise God -> Petition to God -> "So that" or what will happen if God grants this petition -> Doxology) We're supposed to bring one to class tomorrow, so I decided to take my conflict of prayers to this assignment.  I hope this collect expresses my gratitude, but also my struggle. 

A Conflict of Prayers
A collect written in honor of the soldiers embedded with A Troop 2-104th CAV, part of the PA National Guard Stryker Unit, who returned home from Iraq on Friday, September 4, 2009
God of war and God of peace
You stand with us wherever we are on our journey through life
Protect all those who are in harms way, comfort their loved ones and guide their leaders
So that harmony can be heard and peace on earth can become a reality and not just a song of hope
We pray this in the name of your Son, the Prince of Peace

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