Request for Prayer

We’ve talked a lot about prayer in recent weeks on this space. I learned a lot from those conversations and am grateful for them. One of the things I learned, and continue to learn, frankly, is that it’s important not just to pray, but also to ask others to pray for you, as by honoring each other with our deepest needs we weave each other more surely and securely into the holy tapestry that is our life of faith in the Body of Christ.

So that’s what I want to do, simply ask you for your prayers.

This is a significant weekend and week, you see, in the history of an institution that I hold dear and in the lives of people I hold even more dear. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we at Luther Seminary are, to be most succinct, in a deep financial hole and are trying hard to dig ourselves out. (If you’re interested, you can read a longer version of the story in our local newspaper.)

It won’t be an easy process, and a number of staff and faculty colleagues will soon be leaving Luther as we try to right our financial ship. Our Board of Directors will be deliberating this weekend and early next week on some important steps to take, including decisions about staff and faculty that could be announced by the middle of next week. This is no easy time, and so I covet your prayers for all of us.

Prayers for wisdom for our administration and Board as they discern the best path forward.

Prayers that the leaders of the school will act in ways they believe will bring about God’s preferred future and resist the temptation simply to take the path of least resistance.

Prayers for all those who lose their employment by cuts to the budget, that they would have adequate support in the challenging weeks to come.

Prayers for those who have to make the decisions about which budgets to cut and tell people they care about that they will be losing their jobs.

Prayers for all those who remain at Luther that they will hearken to God’s call to train leaders for a changed and changing church and world.

Prayers for all of us that we be rooted in the confidence and courage of the Gospel and emboldened to share the good news of God’s love in Christ for all the world.

Prayers for hope, for love, for peace in this place and throughout the world.

Thank you.

Amid this situation, I find myself coming back again and again to the “Serenity Prayer” and recently found a very fine version produced, perhaps not surprisingly, by the good folks at The Work of the People. I will be praying these words often in the coming days and wanted to share them also with you, whether for now or for a future time when they are helpful. (The text of this version of the prayer is below the video.)

Blessings to you this day and weekend, and thank you for your prayers and support.

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The Serenity Prayer

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other. Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.

(Music by