Lately, it seems as though there has been an increase in violence–in our own lives, as well as on the nightly news. As I thought about the toxicity our society seems to be developing, this is the prayer that came to my heart.

NOT OF YOUR KINGDOM

Heavenly Father,

My heart is aching today.
So much violence.
So much anger and hatred.

Scars
Wounds
Privilege
Distrust
Greed

Such things are not of Your Kingdom.

All the while,
Hurricanes of anger,
Earthquakes of violence,
Wildfires of hatred,
Consume the lives,
Devour the souls—
Of our sons,
Our fathers,
Our brothers…
Of every color and every class.

For just as the blood of my body—
Pouring on the ground—
Is a life-threatening condition,

So, too, the blood of another—
Covering my hands—
Is a soul-threatening condition.

Such things are not of YOUR Kingdom.

Father,
I repent
Of every lie or gossip
Spoken of ANY person,

Of every angry action
Taken toward ANY person,
Of every hateful word
Shouted (or whispered) at ANY person.

For, any lie
Any rage
Any hatred
That I nurture in my heart—
Whatever my reason—
Only adds to the cesspool
Of bitterness, violence, toxicity,
Held in reserve,
Building toward the day
That it would break free
To flood the land.

Such THINGS are not of Your Kingdom.

Black lives—
All lives—

Matter to You

How much more must You value
The eternal soul in each of us?

With each shot I fire,
Each clenched fist I raise,
Each curse I utter,
I wound two souls
Created in Your image—

My enemy’s soul
And my own.

Once again, I crucify Your Son.

Once again, break Your Father-heart.

For each time we strike at the creation,
We wound the Creator.

And such things ARE NOT of Your Kingdom.