Prayer of Contrition :: By David Thayer

Oh Lord, the world-universe you created for us is so wondrous

And yet we have systematically violated our given task of stewardship.

We mismanage, rape, despoil, and in every way possible destroy

The inner-workings of your plan for the world;

We then dare to complain.

The world and creation groan under the heavy weight

Of the burden of sin we have placed on its shoulders and

We sneer at those who would try to call us back

To the purpose of caring for the environment.

Lord forgive the people and our families

That we do such things so thoughtlessly and without

A second glance of remorse or soul searching…

Forgive our recklessness. Forgive our fecklessness.

Forgive our supreme arrogance that we would dare to think

That man is the measure of all things.

Oh Lord, I pray that you would be merciful to us.

Oh Lord, forgive our heedless response to your command;

To love others as you have loved us.

Lord while we drown our sensibilities in television shows and movies,

Music and games, and Twitter, and Facebook,

We turn away from the emotionally impoverished, the financially needy,

Relationally impoverished and the psychologically needy.

We walk on by with our eyes on our I-pads

Our ears plugged with music buds

Oblivious to our brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers,

Grandmothers and grandfathers…

The great web of life around us all in such great need,

For what purpose do we make ourselves deaf, blind and mute?

Our hands inactive, our feet never leaving home base

For the latest reality TV Show?

For the latest, Halo game plot?

For the latest, Kinect app?

The latest, applet on our phone?

Oh people, look around you, there are at least a dozen people

You can spot in the course of a day that need YOU.

Need you to do something for them.

Something that’s more than a smile and a fond wish of, “Good luck.”

And beyond them are others in ever-expanding rank and file

Going to the outermost parts of the earth.

Oh Lord, forgive our inaction.

Forgive our unfeeling souls hardened by the

Burden of carrying so many gadgets and toys so we no longer feel.

Oh Lord I pray for all people, that you would be merciful unto us.

I pray for the angry buzzing hive of interactions on the street

And think of your promise to forgive us as we forgive others.

How many have I forgiven today?

The foreign gentleman in the car ahead of me

Confused and unintentionally obstructing traffic,

I hastily zoomed around and past him so brusquely.

Can he forgive me?

Can I forgive him?

The person who so rudely pushed onto the elevator as I was exiting,

Have I forgiven him?

Or the broken souls I meet every day;

The cashiers, retailers, those at movie kiosks,

Or people in the hallways at work?

Have I forgiven their transgressions against me? Have they forgiven me?

Do I fully understood the constant cry of pain and rage

That is consuming their hearts and in which they are drowning?

Is it possible for me to reach out a hand and rescue them?

From the whirlwind that has them in its clutches?

I pray oh Lord, for all these people that your calming power and grace

Would settle upon them gently like the softly falling snow

And muffle and quiet the distress of their lives

So that they have a moment to

Lift up their eyes, to you.

Oh Lord I pray for the people of my life that you would be merciful to us.

Oh Lord I pray for the children, the millions upon millions

We have sacrificed on the altar of convenience and utility.

As their tiny little feet trudge mournfully into the furnaces and dustbins

And the oceans of blood rise higher and higher around our necks,

I can hear Moloch laughing at us, and our haughty pretentiousness of being so: Progressive.

We teach our children that life has no meaning,

And wonder at their opting out in suicide.

We teach them they are nothing but an animal and cry out in distress

When they act like animals.

What fools we are!

We steal away their childhood trying to latch onto that which we are losing,

Over sexualizing them and sucking the life from them as we worship youth.

We have perverted the very fountain of creation polluting our creative urges

Into perversity and unnatural lusts and affections.

We pander and market and advertise and pimp

For all we are worth to squeeze some advantage for ourselves

Thinking naught of those we turn into objects.

Then we wonder why our elderly end up alone and broken.

Washed up on a cold, cold beach with a million other tired bodies while the footsteps

Of the Beast approaches, through the twilight, with his slow dragging steps.

Oh Lord Jesus forgive us.

Forgive us.

Forgive us, for we have chosen death instead of life.

Oh Lord I pray for the nations in their mighty turmoil.

Their fermenting oceans of debt sloshing from continent to continent,

Panic in its wake.

I think of the lilies of the field that neither toil nor labor.

Yet are arrayed in finery greater than that of kings.

We hold fast to your promises and ask that our worries about time and money,

Sustenance and board, a fearful future slip away into

Calmness found in your abiding spirit.

For all my worry I cannot extend my life one second

And probably clip many seconds from that

Which has been graciously allotted me.

This is not the life God intended us to inhabit.

I reconcile myself to the fact that I am a poor wayfaring stranger in a far off land,

An ambassador for another world awaiting our summons home.

And yet I pray for my estranged fellows, rebels in a rebel land,

And my heart breaks over their intransigence.

Lord I pray for my fellows. I ask of you forgiveness for these my brothers and sisters

As they know not what it is they do.

Oh Lord our leaders strain at a gnat and swallow a stone.

Choking on the hardness of their cold hearts.

They seek the perfect and find only misguided efforts that backfire in their faces.

How long will they continue to do the same things?

For how long will they achieve the same results?

Before they give up in defeat and admit they cannot do it alone?

They need someone larger than themselves to help them reach down and provide a helping hand.

It is so simple really.

The infinite is fully capable of reaching down into the finite

To set things aright,

But the finite has no hope of ever scaling those infinite heights atop which

Our dreams and desires alight.

I pray Lord that you would lift us up and set us

In the places you have prepared for us before the beginning of the world.

Lord I pray for mercy for my people,

Pleas be merciful unto us.