My husband sends a weekly email to the college-age Christian community at our church. The prayer found in today's email is too raw, too revelatory, too beautiful, too liberating, too necessary not to pass on.
We have secrets. We're lying if we say that we don't. The beautiful part of admitting this is exactly what Walter leads us into praying, that God's knowing is more powerful than our secrets. That we can take a deep sigh in his presence because we no longer feel the need to cover up or deny anything. Our secrets are emptied of strength and we find ourselves free.
We are free to live. Free to lead each day minus any guilt or shame. We the redeemed, realize that God knows--forgives--and transforms. And we find ourselves liberated, lighter, embraced, exuberant, zealous...
Will you pray?
"Almighty God . . . from whom no secrets are hid
We are rich conundrums of secrets,
we weave a pattern of lies in order to be
well thought of,
we engage in subterfuge about our truth.
We carry old secrets too painful to utter,
too shameful to acknowledge
too burdensome to bear,
of failures we cannot undo,
of alienations we regret but cannot fix,
of grandiose exhibits we cannot curb
And you know them.
You know them all.
And so we keep a deep sigh in your presence,
no longer needing to pretend and
cover up and
We mostly do not have big sins to confess,
only modest shames that do not
fit our hoped-for selves.
And then we find that your knowing is more
powerful than our secrets.
You know and do not turn away,
and our secrets that seemed too powerful
are emptied of strength,
secrets that seemed too burdensome
are now less severe.
We marvel that when you find us out,
you stay with us,
taking us seriously,
taking our secrets soberly,
but not ultimately,
overpowering our little failure
with your massive love
and abiding patience.
We long to be fully, honestly
exposed to your gaze of gentleness.
In the moment of your knowing
we are eased and lightened,
and we feel the surge of joy move in our bodies,
because we are not ours in cringing
but yours in communion.
We are yours and find the truth before you
makes us free for
wonder, love, and praise -- and new life.
[Taken from Prayers for a Privileged People by Walter Brueggemann]