let me practice pure religion

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash
 
Father, I have seen the commands of Scripture
    to care deeply about the plight of the oppressed.
I am often moved emotionally 
    when oppression is before me.
I am often filled with good intentions about what I could do
    to help those who are oppressed.
Yet I seldom act.
I seldom visit the orphans and the widows.
I seldom speak against the systematic oppression in our world.
Sometimes I don’t act because I’m too consumed 
    with the details of my life.
Sometimes I don’t act because I don’t want to complicate my life.
But today please strip away all my excuses,
    and let me practice pure religion:
    by visiting the afflicted and comforting them,
    by working to stop injustice,
    and by keeping myself from loving this world too much to act or pray.
 
Kurt Bjorklund, 1968- , American Minister and author of
Prayers for Today A Yearlong Journey of Devotional Prayer
 
______________________________
 
 
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: 
    to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, 
    and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
 
 

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unite us by your peace

Photo by Daniel Curran on Unsplash  
O God of peace, unite our hearts by your bond of peace,
    that we may live with one another in gentleness and humility,
    in peace and unity.
O God of patience, give us patience in times of trial
    and steadfastness to endure to the end.
O Spirit of prayer, awaken our hearts,
    that we may lift up holy hands to God
    and cry unto him in all our distresses.
Be our defence and shade in time of need, our help in trial,
    our consolation when all things are against us.
Come, eternal light, salvation and comfort,
    be our light in darkness, salvation in life, comfort in death,
    and lead us in the straight way to everlasting life,
    that we may praise you forever, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Bernard Albrecht, 1569-1636
 
________________________
 
 
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 

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