When we risk ourselves to follow you,
and find ourselves in uncharted territory,
claiming things in your name
that others are sure belong to them,
grant us courage, Lord,
and give us the words to say
that will reassure
and calm fears
and open a path to you for those
who may not have found it otherwise.
When we lay our lives before you,
uncertain of what that will mean ...
of the danger that lies ahead ...
of the pain that will be endured ...
of the betrayal and the shame,
be present with us,
for you have walked this path before,
and you know what we can hardly imagine.
Grant us strength, we pray,
and grant us courage
to be the disciples you have called us to be.
When we sing your praises
and with loud voices,
and those in authority
attempt to silence us,
by demanding us to stop ...
by ridiculing and reprimanding ...
by lording their power over us ...
inspire us to remain
and to worship you unabashedly,
for even if we were to be silenced,
the stones themselves
would cry out.
Hear our prayers, O God,
for those who do not understand
what it means to go
Fill them with your Spirit,
and let release the demons
that live within them,
that they, too,
can know the unrestrained joy
of life in your grace.