Thursday, May 2, 2013

National Day of Prayer 2013 — Lord, Have Mercy

Lord, please have mercy on our nation?  We need it.  We’ve lost our way.  Opinion trumps truth.  Entitlement trumps hard work.  Runaway debt trumps fiscal responsibility.  Secularism trumps faith.  And the elimination of most all sexual boundaries seems to trump it all.  Lord, have mercy on our nation and our leaders and our culture.  If you don't, it's hard to see how the American experiment can end well.  Lord, we plead for mercy on our nation.

Lord, have mercy on your church in our nation.  We need it just as bad.

We’ve turned worship into entertainment.

We’ve traded the Gospel for self-help techniques.

We’ve replaced prayer with programs.

We’ve worked to build a crowd instead of a church.

Lord, have mercy.

We’ve reduced God to a therapist.

We’ve reduced Jesus to a buddy.

We’ve reduced the Holy Spirit to a tingle up the spine.

Lord, have mercy.

We’ve allowed ourselves to be co-opted for political gain, chasing the illusion that our true hope is in government rather than in you.

We've shouted our prophetic announcements at the world’s sinners with venom in our voices instead of tears in our eyes.

We’ve made a mess of our own marriages and families, seeking our way instead of your way.

We’ve turned our backs on the poor and the needy so we could build our own little kingdoms to take care of our own little selves.

Lord, have mercy.  We need you.  We are helpless without you.

Would you teach us to love like Jesus, to speak the truth in winsome rather than in wounding ways, to chase holiness before happiness, to remember that you are God and we are not, that you are large and in charge, holy and righteous altogether, and yet you love us just the same?

Lord, these are complicated times for your church.  The government doesn’t prop us up anymore, rarely has our back anymore, seldom shares our values anymore.

Lord, have mercy. 

Remind us that none of this catches you by surprise.  Inspire us that his could be your church’s finest hour.  Fill us with a desperate hunger and thirst for you and your kingdom and your righteousness.  And please make us conduits rather than catch-basins of your grace to one another and to the world.

Lord, we’re you’re people, and you’re our only hope.  We seek your face.  We humble ourselves.  We confess our sins.  We so desire to turn from our wicked ways.  Please, God, in the name of Jesus …

Forgive our sins.

Cleanse our wickedness.

Renew your church.

And heal our land.

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