By Kaleb A. Oates & Kwasi Kena
Praying in the Holy Place
Inspired by 1 Kings 8:10-11
(Kaleb A. Oates)
Let us pray....
Hallelujah in the highest!
God, we give you praise today -- an unrestricted praise. Together, O God, we will act up and act out our thanksgiving and gratitude to you. We will show you, Lord God, that we appreciate your love, your grace, and your mercy. For we are not worthy, but you keep on doing great things for us. How dare we come into your house without a sacrifice of praise on our lips? -- You are a great big God and you deserve a great big praise!
Lord, we will be active participants in worship this day, and we desire to lift you up forever more. Remove the tape of fear and anxiety from our mouths so that we can give you shouts of praise. Cut the rope of restraint from our wrists so that we can lift our hands in your sanctuary. Take the shackles of weariness off our feet so that we can dance. Clear the wax from our ears so that we can hear your voice more clearly. Dissolve the cataracts from our eyes so that we might see the infinite miracles that you have performed all around us. Awaken our taste buds so that we are able to taste and see that you are good. Strip from us the clothes of complacency -- tradition and religion -- so that we might experience your true presence in a real and intimate way.
Let your Holy Spirit fill this place like a cloud. Let your Shekinah Glory arrest our individual situations and circumstances so that we be not distracted from your power. We want to concentrate entirely on you, Lord. Saturate our minds, bodies, hearts, and souls so that we will never ever be the same again.
We belong to you. Move as you please.
In Jesus' Name We Pray,
Hear Our Prayers, Lord
For Ephesians 6:10-20
Hear our prayers, Lord.
How we long to cease
This struggle against one another -- futile, endless, prideful struggle.
Hear us over the noise of restlessness and worry.
Forgive us, Lord, and hear our prayers
Even when we have run everywhere else first -- before turning to you.
Remind us that the real struggle is not against blood and flesh.
Remind us that the real fight is spiritual.
Prepare us for the real battle. Clothe us in your armor.
Teach us to pray in your Spirit,
To pray for one another,
To pray for boldness to be what you have created us to be.
Hear our prayers, Lord. Amen.
Kaleb Oates, a native of Detroit, is a dynamic orator, educator, and musician. He currently serves as the music director of the historic Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. A proud graduate of Howard University, Kaleb is currently pursuing graduate studies at American University. An impassioned teacher, Kaleb enjoys reading, laughing, cooking, and traveling.
Kwasi Kena is retired elder in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. He is currently serving as Associate Professor of Ethnic and Multicultural Ministries at the Wesley Seminary in Marion, Indiana. He is married to the Rev. Dr. Safiyah Fosua.