When I read this prayer, I thought of my own silence during the apartheid years:
You ask for our courage to protect the powerless
but we prefer to remain safe, preserving ourselves for future challenges.
You ask us to speak out for justice
but we whisper, in case we are heard.
You ask us to stand up for what is right,
but we would rather blend in to the crowd
You ask us to have faith,
when doubting seems so much easier.
Lord forgive our calculated efforts to follow you,
only when it is convenient to do so,
only in those places where it is safe to do so,
only with those who make it easy to do so.
Together we pray
God forgive us and renew us;
Inspire us and challenge us
So that we might risk the journey, to your kingdom with you,
This Prayer of Confession was read in 2003 at a service at Cheltenham Races, GreenBelt, UK. Nora Carmi from Kairos Palestine (who was there but doesn’t know who the writer is) recently used it to open a skype meeting of the international Kairos core group whereafter my South African Kairos colleague, Stiaan van der Merwe, forwarded it to me on e-mail.