Divine Bullying Intercessions
God of fragility and power, God of severity and love,
May your people reflect your image in this world.
We want to ask why humans made in your image resort so naturally to bullying others, and we pray for all victims of bullying.
When we see the most vulnerable members of society manipulated and exploited.
When we see those with no public voice removed from their land, be it in Indonesia or North Dakota.
When we see victims of war, footage too hard to film and too hard to watch, of vulnerable families bombed and frightened, displaced and ignored. For all who clawing their way out of the rubble of heartless political decisions, we want to ask you how a loving and all-powerful God can allow this.
When we see those who have been or are being bullied at school, carry their scars into later life. When bullying happens behind closed doors or beneath the radar of our perception. When power we subconsciously wield blinds us to our complicity in bullying. We want to ask you for the restoration of your true image in our lives.
When we justify our own coercive behaviour by appealing to some higher power, some greater good, some redeeming ends, some divine name, some isolated sacred text – forgive us, forgive us when our all-too-human words about you, drag your name into the dirt.
And may we discover you afresh, as a God whose power is so radically holy that it cannot be employed for the purposes of human coercion.
May we worship you as a God whose name has always been associated with the marginalised and the outcast and the bullied:
with the beleaguered nation of Israel;
with the outsider status of the prophet;
with the crucified figure of Christ.
And in holding the gaze of this Christ – may the bully and the bullied find themselves renewed and restored in your divine image, revealed to us in the crucified and risen Lord.