“Give us this day the freedom to be amazed and to trust your way among us, even when the world seems closed to all futures.”
Last week a friend sent me a brief video that captured the experience of a woman named Sheryl in his congregation who had recently walked through The Journey process with a group. As I listened to Sheryl, a portion of a prayer began echoing through my mind — “Give us this day the freedom to be amazed and to trust your way among us….” Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann crafts beautiful and jarring prayers in preparation for some of his classes. This prayer, which Brueggemann penned in response to the Abraham narrative (“On Reading Genesis 12-25”), wove itself in my mind through Sheryl’s vulnerable and beautiful and grace-full witness to God’s powerful movement in her life.
Take 3 minutes with to watch Sheryl’s story.
Where does your heart stir as you listen to Sheryl?
What gratitudes emerge in your heart for the work of God’s Spirit in your story?
What longings surface for God’s transforming presence in your life … in other’s lives?
Share these things with the Lord, and maybe a friend or two.
Give us Lord the freedom to be amazed and trust your way among us…
Here is the complete Brueggemann prayer:
On Reading Genesis 12-25
You are a God who awes us and astonishes us.
You are a God who selects a dysfunctional family to carry out your future.
You are a God who dwells with barren women who become mothers in Israel.
You are a God who makes promises with no evidence at hand or in sight.
You are a God powerful in purpose,
hidden in performance,
faithful over time.
And we are among those drawn into the orbit of your life;
a life teeming with impossibilities
so hard to trust,
so impossible to explain,
so precious to treasure.
Give us this day the freedom to be amazed and to trust your way among us, even when the world seems closed to all futures.
We praise you, future-creating God. Amen.*
*Inscribing the Text: Sermons and Prayers of Walter Brueggemann, edited by Anna Carter Florence (Fortress Press, 2004), p. 57.