Living By The GBM Prayer

~ Lila Genereux, Receptionist

This article starts a continuing series on the blog about the GBM Prayer and how it guides and informs the staff, interns and volunteers at Greater Birmingham Ministries. The Prayer is :

O God of many names, reming us that You love all people, no matter how hard we try to deny that love in our thoughts, words and deeds.

Renew our hearts, our souls, and our bodies so that we may serve people more fully.

Give us strength to stand with those who struggle, wisdom to see needs clearly, and courage to pursue justice.

Grant us compassion so that we may open our arms, our minds, and our hearts to build community for all.

The GBM Prayer means to me awareness and the reminder of the importance of constantly pursuing justice and of an all inclusive, loving God. The key words for me, that have the most significance to me, would be, “…remind us that You love all people, no matter how hard we try to deny that love in our thoughts, words and deeds.” Because of human struggles and that we are flawed and damaged humans seeking compassion, comfort, acceptance in all facets of our lives and in the world we live in, and our relationships and with our own selves. Through hardships, life experiences, injustices, and struggles, anger, anxiety, doubt, even thoughts and feelings of “unlove,” it is important to have a prayer, words that remind us that we are all loved, “no matter how hard we try to deny that love

in our thoughts, words and deeds.” That through grace, unconditional love, total acceptance, God is there for us, with a love so pure and so just.

We often need reminding of that, I think, because life can be so hard and so unjust, and people can feel so helpless…so hopeless.

But even then…within our self doubts and inner fears and struggles…and no matter what, God is there and loves us. This is an important reminder and prayer, for any work, but especially in the work of serving people and pursuing justice…because people are flawed, and damaged…and because the world is unjust and often cruel. Through such a prayer, we can gain strength and comfort to share and pass on to others, and to be better stewards ourselves, of justice and serving people…of loving and caring for all humans, as imperfect and as people are, as God does so perfectly.