Cleanse Our Hearts

Every time we meet,
We pray that you would “cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit.”

We present ourselves for that strange interface
between our thoughts and your spirit.

We covet our thoughts that do not stay focused
about getting out of church on time and
errands to run after church and
meals to purchase and folks to see;
our thoughts reflect our excessive busyness
that leaves us little time for our life with you.

And beneath busyness our thoughts are preoccupied
with hopes that linger in disappointment,
with hurts that refuse to be healed,
with guilt that does not easily yield to pardon,
with estrangements that cut deep and remain open,
with can-do confidence about power and energy and achievement.

We think a thousand thoughts in a minute…
of money and sex and control
and loss and death and
cell phones and loneliness
and good food.

And then you…
you who give light and wind and life,
you who watch over us with sustaining power
and disciplining presence;
you will us well and whole
and by stealth turn our lives in freshness.

We present ourselves,
seeking…grudgingly…that you will
equip us to relinquish thoughts that
we have thought too long and too often,
seeking that you will restore us to the joy of
your presence,
seeking that you will make things new
in our stale, weary lives.

What we seek, only you can give;
What we ask, we cannot find ourselves;
What we want is a gift
and the open graciousness to receive it
on your terms.
Come Holy Spirit!

–Walter Brueggemann in Prayers for a Privileged People, pp. 9-10.

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