A Long Prayer for Our People, Nation and Church

12208667_10103544666067677_8116296108963092722_nThere are six types of people this election:

Those who voted for Trump.

Those who voted for Hillary.

Those who voted for a third party candidate.

Those who didn’t vote on purpose as an objection.

Those who didn’t vote for some other reason, perhaps they didn’t care or couldn’t get to the polls.

Those who couldn’t vote – especially those under 18 and non-citizens.

 

No matter what, we’re all in this together.

City Pres is a church with all of these people, and that’s a good thing.

We have a lot to talk about, to pray about, to work for and to hope for.

 

Let’s pray. This is not a prayer for Republicans or Democrats or Libertarians or non-voters – it’s a prayer for all of us together, those gathered on this Sunday to worship.

 

[From Rev. Scotty Smith] Heavenly Father, we begin this day in America with a new president-elect, and with all kinds of emotions racing through our hearts. Half of our country is delighted, and half is despondent, while the rest of the world reacts with wariness and worry. Some see this election as your judgment, and some as your deliverance.

But as your people, our first response is to hit our knees, lift our hands and proclaim that you alone are God; you alone are Savior; you alone are good. Our hope is built on nothing more, nothing less, and nothing other than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Our trust is in you—the God who does all things well—the Father who works in all things for the good of his children and the glory of his name.

In obedience to this portion of your Word, we pray for all people in our country today. This election year has demonstrated the deep divisions, multiple idols, and moral malaise of our culture. Father, restrain evil, and the predictable chaos, anger, and gloating that will possibly ensue.

We need your heart and hand to humble us, center us, and refocus us. We need the gospel of your grace and the kingdom of your Son. We need nothing short of a revival in our country. May your church lead the way in these coming days, weeks, and months. May we serve as peacemakers in our communities—agents of kindness, reconciliation, and hope.

We pray for our sitting president and our president-elect. Father, direct their hearts, as surely as you direct the rising and setting of the sun. We pray for as peaceful of a transition as possible. We also ask you to place men and women in this new administration who fear you and trust your Son—those who will love mercy, work for justice, and walk humbly with you.

 

[From the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer]

Lord,

This election season is over.

It is the end after a long season.

What has been done has been done; What has not been done; has not been done;

Let it be.

Receive all our fears and anxieties about the future into your transforming presence.

Give us rest to prepare for a new day; New joys, new challenges, new possibilities in which to manifest in the world the Way of your reign: Justice, Peace and Love.

In your name we pray, Amen.

 

[From Rev. Craig Garriott] Lord God, the scriptures remind us that you are the most unusual Great King of Kings. You are the King who sojourned in the middle of your nomadic people, dwelling in a tent. You did not remain aloof or far away. David wanted to make your Name great and build you a great house, but you told him, No, but that you would make his name great and build him a great house, that you would subdue all his enemies and would establish his throne forever. (1Chron 17:1-20) What kind of King are you? There is no one like you, O Lord. And we praise and love you for being so great, wise, righteous, so loving and so good. You are full of light and there is no darkness in you.

We confess we are a flawed and fallen people who live among flawed and fallen people and leaders. (Isaiah 6:1-7) On this eve of our presidential election we confess to you that we have not been faithful in praying and making intercession with thanksgiving for our leaders and all those in authority, as your servant Paul commanded us. (1Tim 2:1-5) We confess that we are quick to judge, criticize and condemn but slow to repent, slow to speak words seasoned with grace, slow to weep (Col 4:6; James 5:9). Forgive us, Lord. Holy Spirit, soften our jaded and calloused hearts. We need your strength to learn and live humble, repentant lives.

And so we plead for your mercy on us and on our nation in this hour. We do not deserve your mercy. We only deserve your judgment. Yet, you have declared yourself to be the Lord, the Great King, the compassionate, gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”(Ex 34:6,7) We need your bleeding charity, the covenant blood shed in the sacrifice of your Son. By his precious blood we boldly approach your throne as fully forgiven sons and daughters, eternally beloved, eternally welcomed and summoned to pray (Heb 4:16).

So we pray to you Sovereign Lord, who knows the beginning from the end, who establishes all those in authority (Rom 13:1,2). Guide our hearts and minds Holy Spirit to be faithful citizens of heaven on this side of our election, and that we might be faithful witnesses as citizens to our nation. May we labor, serve and love our neighbors and our leaders even as we strive for a more perfect union. And because you are sovereign and good we can with Paul “rejoice in you, Lord always” (Phil 4:4). For you Lord have given us a hope that will not disappoint (Rom 5:5), you have promised a better country and you have prepared for us a great city whose architect and builder is you, the Lord our God (Heb.11:10,16) Give us hearts and wills to seek your Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10). For your glory we pray in Christ’s powerful Name.

 

[From Martin Luther King, Jr’s speech “Where Do We Go From Here?”] Lord, we have decided to stick to love. Love is ultimately the only answer to our problems. We’re not talking about emotional bosh when we talk about love. We’re talking about a strong, demanding love. We have seen too much hate. We’ve seen too much hate on faces, on social media and in the news. When we see so much hate, we want to hate too, because every time we see it, we know that it does something to their faces and their personalities, and hate is too great a burden to bear. We have decided to love. The highest good, strongest ethic and greatest power can be found through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who has love has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality.

My friends, the road ahead will not always be smooth. There will still be rocky places of frustration and meandering points of bewilderment. There will be inevitable setbacks here and there. There will be those moments when the buoyancy of hope will be transformed into the fatigue of despair. Our dreams will sometimes be shattered and our hopes blasted. Difficult and painful as it is, we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future.

In Jesus, may we have the courage to face the uncertainties of the future. May our tired feet receive new strength as we continue to love the city, as we move ahead toward the city of freedom, of shalom. When our days become dreary with low hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.

 

Lord, we pray as Paul did in 1 Corinthians 13,

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.

Doug in library