A Prayer for Servant Leaders

footwashing

A Prayer for Servant Leaders

Used in a gathering with local church leaders

I invite you to bow your heads and to fold your hands as we pray:

God of grace –
We bow our heads in awe and thanks.
We fold our hands in reverence and humility.
We are so thankful, God.
Thankful that you draw close to us, even when we’re not sure if we want anyone to see us that intimately, that clearly.
Thankful that you see all of us – all the cleaned up places, and all the rough places – that you  us in our entirety for how we really are and yet you don’t turn away,
but draw closer to us,
close enough to touch us.
Close enough to take a risk.
Close enough to change us.
Close enough to heal us.

I invite you – as we continue to pray – to put your hands on your hearts:

We thank you God for the people who you have put in our own lives,
those people you have placed in our path to show us what your grace, and love looks like.
Thank you God for working in the real world where our real needs are.
Thank you for  those people in our past who walked into our lives when we needed them.
Thank you for those individuals who showed up –
when no one else would take a chance
and who showed up at just the right moment.
Thank you for those who risked getting close to us.
We take a moment to thank you God for those whom You have sent into our lives.

(and I invite you, as you think of those names, to name them now out loud)

We thank You for these servants who came before us, who we leaned on.
Who may have seemed like giants to us then, but now we know, they were
not giants, but humble servants seeking to follow you.

I invite you – as we continue to pray – to open your hands with the palms facing up:

And so God, it’s not out of guilt or shame but out of a deep and profound sense of gratitude that we open our hands and our hearts and our lives to you this evening.  We thank you God that you have, and that you will – put people on our path who we can love.  That you give us the opportunity to risk being there for others the way you are there for us – that you reveal who you are to us when we love others.  That in your infinite wisdom, you created a world where we can grow closer to you and know you more by loving another.

Lord, make us instruments of Thy peace; 
where there is hatred, let us sow love; 
where there is injury, pardon; 
where there is doubt, faith; 
where there is despair, hope; 
where there is darkness, light; 
and where there is sadness, joy. 

O Divine Master, 
grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; 
to be understood, as to understand; 
to be loved, as to love; 
for it is in giving that we receive, 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. 
Amen. 

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