Thursday, May 7, 2015

My prayer for the Church and our Nation



Our Father, bring to the remembrance of your people your ancient and time-honored promise: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;  then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

We do humble ourselves and seek your face this day.  

Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. ‘You show lovingkindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them—the Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the Lord of hosts. ‘You are great in counsel and mighty in work, for your eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings.

Father we confess that we are a wayward people.  We are broken and battered by sin.  Father, we as a church must confess our sins before confessing those of our nation.  We have not been the salt and the light you have called us to be.  We have timidly hidden your light under a basket.  We have not sought holiness in our own midst as the best way to make an impact on our countrymen.  In many ways, the Church has done it’s best to blend in to the world.  Forgive us father for our sins of complacence, compromise, and apathy.  

Father, as citizens of the United States of America, it seems we are regularly astonished by how seemingly unstable our world is.  Help us, as your people, to hold fast to what we know to be true- you are still on the throne.   You have not ceased to be sovereign.  Father, before we ask for your healing, wisdom, and protection, we must confess to your our nation's great and grievous sins, of which we are to some degree a party to.  

We confess to you that:

Wrong ideas and sinful living have cut us off from the full extent of your blessings.   We have cast off the restraint of your Word and have sought after our lustful passions.  We have been greedy for wealth and possessions. It seems the richer our nation has grown the more we have tried to isolate ourselves from you- as if we do not need you.  Father we are likewise grieved for the 1 million babies we have sacrificed on the altar of convenience in this land over this past year.  Forgive us for not shedding more tears for the unborn, for having no memorial service for them.  We have sought to hide behind barricades of selfishness;  shackles have imprisoned the great heart of America.  It seems that only when a tragedy or disaster happens do men and women invoke your name.  We act as though we can completely ignore and even rebel against your Holy Word for year after year- but when we need you- you’d better listen or else we will blame you or say that you are not real.  God forgive us from this extreme arrogance, pride, and out-right rebellion!  

Father, teach our nation we cannot leverage the God of the Universe.  You have blessed us immeasurably because of your grace not because of our goodness… and our response has been to hand you rebellion.  God, thank you for not reigning down fire and brimstone upon us this very day.    

Lord God of Hosts, Forgive us!  O God, by your guidance and power may we become a nation contrite in heart- not proud and arrogant, a nation confessing her sins- not exalting immoral living, a nation keenly sensitive to all unresolved justice and wrong still in our midst- not tolerant of any injustice or cruelty.

We know, our Father, times are desperate and we need you.  We need your strength, your guidance, your wisdom.  There are challenges and problems far greater than any wisdom of man can solve.  What shall our leaders do in such an hour?

May your wisdom and your power come upon our local leaders, our governor, and our state legislators. May your wisdom and your power come upon President Obama, Vice President Biden, their staff and advisers, the Senators and Congressmen, to who have been entrusted leadership.  May the responsibility lie heavily on their hearts, until they are ready to acknowledge their helplessness and turn to you.  Give them the honesty, the courage, and the moral integrity to confess that they don’t know what to do.  Only then can they lead us as a nation beyond human wisdom to you, who alone has the answer.  If our rulers will not heed your Word and lead us according to your timeless Law, spare us their influence O God and remove them from office!

Our Father, as important and influential as our elected officials are- you have not given them the task and commission of being salt and light. Our Father, we recognize that government has it’s divinely instituted place, however we also acknowledge that it is a temporary institution.  Father, we confess that blaming elected officials can be a guise and an excuse for not taking responsibility for our own sin.  Lord, we are your Church- those called by your name.

I pray for the pulpits of this land- restore a biblical spine to those called to preach.  Free us from the love of personal affirmation, the enslavement of numbers and church “growth”, the fear of man, and the scourge of watering down your Word.  I pray for the church to return to the same things that moved the Reformation and brought revival to this land in it’s early days- 

The Bible is the only measure and ultimate authority for all matters of faith and life
Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man.
Grace is the only method of divine salvation- we cannot save ourselves.
Faith is the only means by which the righteousness of Christ is imputed.
God’s glory alone is the chief end of man and the motivation for living.

Revive the pulpits in this land.  Revive those sitting in the pews of this land.  God, please shed your grace on us!

We do pray that you, O Holy Spirit, in your own mysterious way, would prevail upon the wills of men that they may do the will of God.  All these things we ask in that name above every name, that name before whom all nations of the earth shall bow, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.  Amen.

Amen


-Tony Felich, Redeemer Presbyterian Church