Last night, I joined several fellow members of my church community for an evening of prayer. We spent a couple of hours praying for our world, for our nation, our state, our city, our neighborhoods, our church family and each other. We sang and we prayed — silently, out loud, in a chorus (all praying aloud at the same time), in small groups, as a large group. And at the end of our time, we stood in the center of the sanctuary, holding hands as Carmen gave the benediction, which she read from Eugene Peterson’s translation of the Bible, The Message.
Here is what Carmen read:
So let’s go outside, where Jesus is, where the action is—not trying to be privileged insiders, but taking our share in the abuse of Jesus. This “insider world” is not our home. We have our eyes peeled for the City about to come. Let’s take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus’ name.
Make sure you don’t take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of “sacrifice”—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets. —Hebrews 13:13-16