[Author's note: This prayer was inspired by reading Facebook status updates about the passage of the health care reform legislation. I am not offering an opinion on the topic, though I do have one. Instead, this is simply my frustrated response to the hatred I heard from a lot of people on all sides of the debate. We serve a higher purpose. We should start acting like it.]
Lord, we come to you with contrite hearts and ask forgiveness for our sins.
We have mistreated those who love us.
We hide behind walls while we hurl insults and slander.
We scream about problems at the top of our lungs, but suddenly lose our voice when pressed for answers.
We assume those who disagree with us are ignorant at best and evil at worst.
We declare your love on Sunday and spread hatred Monday through Saturday.
We have trivialized words like mercy, responsibility and love.
We claim to serve only you, yet our words and actions betray us - we serve other masters.
We are arrogant.
We have no compassion.
We have sinned in thought, word and deed by what we have done and by what we have left undone.1
Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer
-Ben Reed, March 24, 2010
1 This line is taken from the confession often used during Episcopal/Anglican services in the U.S.A. It appears in The Book Of Common Prayer, Episcopal Church (U.S.A.), 1979.