I will be quite honest … a great many things I read on social media sites saddens my spirit.  The political trashing, the name calling, the absolute hatred I read being slung back and forth among persons often causes me to wonder what they think it means to be a Christian. 

I am not aware of anywhere in the Bible that our Lord permits such hatred to be spewed. I do recall, however, that Jesus says to love your enemies and to pray for them (and not a prayer for them to meet an untimely demise). 

Now, on these same social media sites, there are also a good many positive posts that support others, that offer words of encouragement, that share good news with others.  Those are a joy to read. 

One such group that posts positive and uplifting thoughts is the Church of Scotland.  At least once a week they post brief prayers that help one regain a proper focus and remember what God desires of us, how we need to act and react, that we are God’s children and how we can rejoice in that. 

What follows is 5 of those brief prayers.  May they speak to your heart and provide great food for thought, helping you remember who you are, and Whose you are. 

“God knows me by my name because God gives me life.  God calls me by my name because God seeks my company.  God cherishes my name because God loves me.” 

“God, forgive us when our lives are full of commandments and rules and bereft of compassion and love.  Forgive us when the word becomes more than the Word, when our determination to adhere to the word belies the Spirit of joy and hope.” 

“God, this day we have come to share your view of humankind, your angle on the things on earth, your perspective on past and future.  Where we do not see things right, where we have not done things right, where we fail you and other people, forgive us; make us clean from our sin, and create a new heart within us.” 

“Giving God, we give you thanks and praise for all of your gifts to us.  We know you are the source of every good thing, light and love come from you.  You created us and continue to breathe life into us through the power of your Holy Spirit.” 

“May the silence of God surround me; may the calm of the Spirit fill me; may the peace of Christ uphold me, this and every day.” 

Amen.

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.