John T. Willis

Sunday, June 27, 2010


The heart is very devious. We have a "public" face. We also have a "very private" face. We are often different in reality from WHO we portray ourselves to others. Hebrews 4:12-13 states:
"Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul and spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is HIDDEN, but all are NAKED and LAID BARE to the yes of the one in whom we must render an account."
The composer of Psalm 19:12 affirms:
"But who can detect their errors?
Clear me from HIDDEN faults."

Walter Brueggemann has written two prayers which speak to this problem in his work: Awed to Heaven, Rooted to Earth. PLEASE ponder deeply and often these thoughts of prayer.

A People With Many Secrets

You are the God from whom no secret can be hid,
and we are a people with many secrets,
that we wants to tell for the sake of our lives,
that we dare not tell because they are deep and painful.
But they are out secrets . . . and they count for much;
they are our truth . . . rooted deep in our lives.
You are the God of all truth,
and now we bid you heed our truth,
about which we will not bear false witness . . .
The truth of grief unresolved,
the truth of pain unacknowledged,
the truth of fear too child-like,
the truth of hate, as powerful as it is deep,
the truth of being taken advantage of,
and being used,
and manipulated,
and slandered.
We trust the great truth of your wondrous love,
but we will not sit still for it,
UNTIL you hear us.
Our truth--heard by you--will make us free.
So be the God of all truth, even ours,
we pray in the name of Jesus,
who is your best kept secret of hurt. Amen.


Power turns and postures and exhibits.
It controls and manages and plots.
We participate in it,
we benefit from it,
we are dazzled by it . . . and more than a little afraid.
Just underneath, all the while . . .
Just underneath dazzling power
sits violence and brutality.
greed and fear and envy,
cunning and shamelessness.
In that too we participate.
Like the ancients, we also live double lives,
public in pageant and role and office,
hidden in meanness and thinness.
We do not do well bringing this double together.
But we confess you to be Lord of all of our lives.
Give us new freedom about our public lives,
give us new candor about our hidden lives.
Correct what is brutal and greedy and fearful,
chasten what is hidden and mean.
Make us women and men of shalom,
the kind of welfare you will for our common life. Amen.

I hope all of us will benefit from these tremendous prayers by Walter Brueggemann. Share YOUR insights and thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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