This prayer needs a bit of an introduction both for its style and its content. I experienced this style of prayer with different people and in various communities, yet most formative for me was Stanley Hauerwas praying this way before each ethics class for an entire semester. Some of these prayers are collected in a book titled " Prayers Plainly Spoken."
This prayer results from various thoughts and images coming together: One) our move to Maine where one pays a deposit on cans and bottles; Two) the image of the man who walks through the neighborhood and the sound of him rummaging through garbage cans searching for cans and bottles he can take to the redemption center and earn a little cash; Three) the young adults who have a passion for breaking cycles of injustice, abuse of power, and poverty, yet who also wrestle with their own brokenness; Four) the verse from the Bible found in Micah chapter 6 verse 8 which says, "God has shown you what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? Do Justice, Love Mercy, and Walk humbly with the Lord;" Finally) the style of prayer in which we use words intentionally to name God, reflect upon an event or circumstance, express what we feel, and remember the call to love God and love neighbor.
REDEEMING AND RECYCLING GOD
Redeeming and Recycling God, sometimes we can feel like the empty Coke can cast aside. Used and discarded, we long for someone to search for us, to find us, to redeem us, and to recycle our lives into purpose again.
Other times – by our actions and our inactions – we treat others like Coke cans.
Awaken us to when we cast aside others unaware.
Help us, for even in awareness we might try to "recycle" others, yet discard them nonetheless.
Forgive us, we pray.
Empower us to do justice and live with those cast aside;
to love mercy and speak prophetic words for those casting aside;
to walk humbly and become aware of when we perpetrate and remain aware that You are (and we are not) the redeemer.
Thank you for redeeming us for value with the deposit made on the cross.
Recycle us and transform us to see how You want to reincorporate us into Your story.
Resurrect us and grow our imaginations for ways to reincorporate those cast aside into Your story of love, compassion, truth, and grace.
In the name of the resurrected Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, Amen.