We have fallen short. There is no other way to say it. We have fallen short, short of your will, short of your love, short of your hope, short of your forgiveness.
We have fallen short. We have allowed the world to replace your mission with its causes and activism, pro this and anti that. We have fallen short.
We have fallen short. We have allowed hyper partisanship and politicians to dictate to us that we are not permitted to speak your truth in the public sphere. We have fallen short.
We have fallen short. We have allowed media, social media, newspapers, blogs, and reporters to tell us that your lifegiving Word is no longer relevant to the world. We have fallen short.
We have fallen short. We have allowed those that do not know your love and forgiveness to tell us what we can and can’t say, define who you are and aren’t. We have fallen short.
We have fallen short. We have allowed our own preservation and fear to distract us from your Mission to restore all people to unity with you and each other in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. We have fallen short.
We have fallen short. We have failed to inject this broken world with the love, reconciliation, and forgiveness of Jesus, allowing hardness of heart to take root, desperation to permeate, and hopelessness to dictate actions. We have fallen short.
We have fallen short. We have allowed rightness and wrongness, taking credit and placing blame, and winning and losing, to replace reconciliation and your eternal truth. We have fallen short.
We have fallen short. We have allowed violence, hostility, and anger of all kinds to replace your gentleness and peace which passes all understanding. We have fallen short.
We have fallen short. We have allowed individualism, independence, and ego to replace community and fellowship. We have fallen short.
We have fallen short. We have allowed our own self-fulfillment and happiness to suppress true joy found only in you. We have fallen short.
We have fallen short. We have allowed revenge and retaliation to replace understanding and forgiveness. We have fallen short.
We have fallen short. We have allowed the influence of evil to dilute your eternal majesty and glory. We have fallen short.
God, we have fallen short. We now confess to you that we have fallen short in what we have done, and what we have left undone. We are truly sorry, and we humbly repent.
Gracious God, we have fallen short… but, we have not lost hope. Transform our hearts. Make us new this day. You sent your Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to guide and direct us, to equip us to do your work in the world, to inspire and give hope to a lost and broken world.
You alone are the source of all life and all truth, all joy and all mercy, all reconciliation and all forgiveness. You alone bring light into the darkness and comfort those who mourn. You alone have called us to be the hands and feet of your good message.
Use us for your glory, we beseech you, to spread the truth of your love, reconciliation, and forgiveness. Give us strength and courage, determination and resolve, humbleness and humility. Give us these things not for our own sake, but for the sake of the world, that they might know the loving embrace of you, their creator.
Our hope lies in you, Lord. Remind us in dark times that you walk with us and that our work in you must continue. Even more, remind us in times of joy and celebration, in times of peace and rest, in times of light and life, that we must be evermore fervent in our work in you, for it’s in these times that the evil one prowls.
Finally, Lord, we love you. Our hearts are forever and always grateful for your love, forgiveness, and mercy. Sanctify us. Make us different for your glory.
Faithfully and with all our heart.
(written by The Rev. Brian Cannaday)
“We can and will certainly not agree on what should be done in the longer term in response to this latest killing of the innocents… Prayer is not the only thing we can do. But if we cease to pray, we are giving up on the conversation God is trying to have with us, and we are giving in to the spirits of cynicism and fatalism that infect so much of our society. Pray for the Spirit of Christ to come upon us—so that we might be renewed as people of love, joy and peace for the life of our communities and for the sake of the Kingdom.”
The Rt. Rev. David Reed – Bishop of the Diocese of West Texas