BY CURRY F. BUTLER & SAFIYAH FOSUA
STOP BY HERE, LORD
A Prayer for 1 Samuel 16:7
“For the LORD does not see as mortals see . . . the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7, NRSV)
Lord, what do you see when you look at our hearts? When you are passing through the land, looking for someone fit to serve you, will you stop by here? When the world has broken every heart and you need someone to pour out the balm of Gilead, to shelter the stranger, to declare your peace, would you even consider stopping by here, Lord?
We may not look like much to others; but do we have what you seek?
Cleanse our hearts, O God. Search us and scour us and fit us for your service. Help us to mend our ways and to mend fences. Turn us away from the idols of this world and bury our lives in yours. Teach us, afresh, how to live holy and how to truly love the people around us and the people we will never meet face-to-face. Let no one created in your image be as a stranger to us.
Fix our hearts, O God. We, like the disciples of old, live in perilous times. Violence is all around us. Workplaces too frequently become warzones. It is dangerous for children to go to school. It is unsafe to travel – day or night. Our hearts have been broken by the gods of this world, and we have been bruised and battered by those who would want to wipe your image off our faces. Lord, you are the only one who can heal us and fit us for your service.
For you, O Lord, are our only refuge. Our safety is found in you; our hope is found in you. Our future is found in you. Not only do we run to you for the healing that we desperately need, but we also stand before you, hoping that you will find us to be of some use for your work.
Lord, what do you see when you look at us? When you pass through the land, looking for someone fit to serve you, won’t you stop by here? Amen.
MAY WE RESPOND TO GOD’S CREATING
(Curry F. Butler)
All of God’s creation has responded to his creating. Likewise, we must do the same. So, let us go out into the world understanding that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Let our walk declare his glory. Let our talk sing his praise. Let our attitude make men and women wonder what they must do to be saved. Why? Because we are indeed walking billboards declaring God’s glory!
Rev. Curry F. Butler, Jr. is an ordained deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Currently, Rev. Butler is completing his Doctor of Ministry degree at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Safiyah Fosua is a retired associate professor of the Wesley Seminary of Marion, Indiana, and a retired elder from the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Safiyah was the associate editor of the first Africana Worship Book series. She has authored several books and appears in several multi-author publications. She is married to the Rev. Dr. Kwasi Kena.