Thursday, May 05, 2016

The National Day of Prayer -- 2016

Funny, Irony has a way of waking you out of a sound sleep in the middle of the night.  About two hours ago, I woke pondering something.  Yesterday we learned that our three apparent choices for the next POTUS are an unapologetic Marxist, a closeted Marxist, and a populist strongman; today is the National Day of Prayer.

Today, Americans are gathering in various places to pray for our Republic. I'm certain that for as long as there has been a United States of America, there have been untold numbers of individuals of believers who have prayed for its direction and future.  

The United States of America is truly unique, and clearly has had the hand of the Almighty on its birth and development.  Though our path has been flawed and has fallen far short of your standards, it has strived to be a good and righteous land.  Joining with those who are praying for our Republic today, I want to offer up this prayer that is being offered at two different locations this morning:
Almighty and ever living God, we your offspring and the generations of Adam gather this morning under this flag pole to bring praise to you and to intercede for our Republic, its Leaders and her citizens. 
As we approach you, we don’t presume to come into your presence, trusting in our own goodness, but in your great and bountiful mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather
up the crumbs from under your table. But you are the same God whose property is always to have mercy upon the contrite. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, to enter into your presence, to lift up our petitions for our Republic that our Land may be healed and all her inhabitants would be reconciled unto you. 
We stand before you as the giver of all good things and the one by whose command, nations rise and fall. You’ve taught us through your holy counsels that every good and perfect gift comes from you and for this reason; we come before you this morning, joining others around this Republic who’ve also gathered in intercession. 
In your presence, we’ve come seeking your mercy for ourselves, and for our nation. Too often, we’ve been like the prodigal child; the one who though desiring their father’s riches and bounty, but determined to live life on their terms, or as the other harboring bitterness and malice under thin veneers of conformity and civility. In this we ask your mercy, and for the strength and resolve to live lives of gratitude and mutual concern for one another. 
We ask that you would move within our lives, that we would be used as change agents for good. We pray that we might become channels of your peace and mercy to those you’ve placed in our lives and paths. We pray too, as public servants, that through your help, we will be faithful and diligent stewards of the nation and its collective trust and treasure. 
We commend to you this morning, those who’ve you placed in authority to govern and lead this Republic including Barack our President, Joseph our vice president, and those on Capitol Hill; may they administer justice, govern wisely, and strive for the welfare and peace of the whole world. May they always stand faithfully, with an ear towards their constituents and a heart towards heaven. 
We uplift to you those in our nation who are in need or who suffer this morning. We call out on their behalf, asking that you would open you storehouses of mercy for them. Too, we offer ourselves that we might become you heart and hands extended to those in need. Make us channels of your provision. 
We commend to you, all those who stand in harm’s way, those who’ve sword oaths to protect, defend and serve their fellow citizens. Watch over them as they serve in faraway deserts, stand on thin blue lines or place their safety aside for the sakes of others. 
Finally Lord, we seek your protection against our enemies, both here in our homes and around the world. Not because we are deserving, but because you are one whose first principles include mercy and loving kindness. Protect us not only from our enemies, but also from ourselves that we might not only be recipients’ stewards of your blessings in this day, but also be able to pass along your bounty to those who will follow after us.
All of this, we ask, seek and hope for in your name.   Amen