A Prayer for Disciples Who Struggle

prepared for worship at Montecito Covenant Church
September 6, 2010 by
Diana R.G. Trautwein

That song we’ve just sung together, Lord –
it’s a really great song.
The words are strong and compelling,
and on my best days,
in my better moments –
when I’m feeling well
and hopeful
and grateful –
those words are truly the prayer of my heart:
“Send me out to the world.
I want to be your hands and feet…
I want to give my life away,
all for your kingdom’s sake.”

All of us who love you want that to be the
deepest desire of our hearts,
to pass along to others the great good news of
your love and mercy.
So, I begin this morning by saying
thank you
for that news,
for that love,
for that mercy.
The good news of Jesus is truly
what gives our lives meaning and purpose,
and we are grateful.

But I also have to admit
that there’s another side to me,
and I’m sure to everyone else in this room, too.
There’s the side that gets tired,
that gets distracted,
that gets sideswiped instead of sent,
that gets waylaid instead of led,
that gets lost on the way —
mired in the demands of daily life.

We are your fickle people, Lord
too ready to give up the best
for the good enough,
to substitute busyness
for purpose,
to listen to the desires of our own hearts rather
than to the desires of yours.
Forgive us.
Cleanse us.
Help us to turn around and begin again,
with you in the lead this time,
with you in the lead.

And we know that you will lead us
in two distinctly different,
but equally important directions –
you’ve shown us this in the life of Jesus,
you’ve taught us this in the words of scripture:
you will lead us out,
and you will lead us in
out to the world in love and service,
but also,
in to the center of ourselves
where, as the prophet Isaiah reminds us
so beautifully, we discover that,
“In repentance and rest is our salvation,
in quietness and trust is our strength…”
these are what lead to salvation and strength;
these are what prepare us
and position us to
be sent,
to be led,
to be disciples.
So…help us, one and all, right now, right here –
to repent,
to rest,
to be quiet,
to trust.
To take the heaviest thoughts on our hearts
right this minute –
that person we love who is dying,
that child who is straying,
that marriage that is foundering
that divorce that is looming,
that illness that is threatening,
that paycheck that is missing,
that project that is falling apart
that relationship that is churning,
that school assignment that is overwhelming –
whatever it is that is heavy
and worrisome and scary –
help us to hold it before you
with trembling hands
and say…
“thy will be done.”
“Thy will be done.”
And help us to open our hands
and let…it…go!

Fill us with your peace,
free us from our chains,
feed us from your word,
empower us to do your work.
For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

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  1. Thank yoiu, Diana:

    This really ministered to me today. May the Lord continue to bestow blessings upon you and your family now and forever.

    We continue to hold you up in prayer.

    Donna Streeter

  2. Beautiful Diana! Your words have blessed us again.