A Prayer for our Times

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Below is a prayer I wrote up and posted on Facebook a little over a year and a half ago. In spite of the changing cultural/political scene, I want to leave it the same.

Heavenly Father,
We pray that you would grant repentance in our churches, families and nations. It is difficult to repent, because that means that we were wrong. With the Psalmist David we say “When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath!” But we believe that you will grant forgiveness, help our unbelief. You were right all along. Lead us into pastures of righteousness, strengthen us in the valley of the shadow of death. We lift our eyes to hills. Where does our help come from? From You, Maker of heaven and earth.
Recently we have learned of the wickedness in Planned Parenthood. Rather than looking to the blood of Christ, our public square drips with the blood of those who are weaker than us. We have seen the legalization of same-sex marriage, for 8 years in Canada, and recently in the States. We have grown numb. We have grown numb to the suffering of the innocent people our nations are bombing in the Middle East. We claim to hate the oppressor, but we have destroyed the innocent. The gods of power crush the weak through our welfare state, abortion, and homosexuality. We love power, and hate whatever is good, lovely, and noble. Teach us to love justice and mercy. Have mercy on us, Oh Lord, have mercy on us.
Strengthen our families in this conflict, before we go down to defeat. We repent of our rage, of our manipulation, of our use of brute force to get our own way. We repent of our lust for power, money, and sex. Have mercy on us. We repent of our desire to be culturally relevant, to be the cool and the suave, and so have cultivated our lust for evil. Fill our land with parents who love each other, and young men and women who honour their parents, but honour and love God above all. Help us to love righteousness and hate wickedness. Lead us into the good fight of faith, and like Timothy to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. In running the race of righteousness, give us strength to run for the gold. Have mercy on us, and lead our families into paths of righteousness.
Strengthen your church, Oh Lord, equip us in this fight. We repent that we have not loved your Bride as you have loved her. We have chosen to live as little islands rather than a community of the forgiven. Rather than pointing a dying world to you, we strut proudly through the congregation. We would rather receive the glory. Rather than being bound together in love, we have fallen to devouring one another. We ask that you might give us strength to stand in the ruins, and declare your love to a dying world. But before we can do that, we beg of You that You would have mercy on us for all our sins. As young people, we stray into sins of various kinds, including porn, dissipation, drunkenness, pride, lack of service reflecting the stubborn hearts of our fathers. All our sins have cultivated and watered the ground that abortion and homosexuality grow out of. We have offered ourselves up to the gods of self-will that have established the altars of abortion and homosexuality in our land. Renew our opportunities to show the love of Christ in our churches, and to the world around us. Have mercy on us, and build our love for your Church.
We repent and beg for mercy, for when people have come to see Jesus, we have become their accuser. We have become an accuser of the brethren. We forget that Christ stood by the High-Priest Joshua and said: “The LORD rebuke you, O Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked from the fire?” (Zechariah 3:2 ESV). People come, and they see their sins, but not the cross and resurrection. Or we lie and tell them that what is evil is OK. We are a self-righteous breed of Pharisees, adulterers, white-washed tomb-stones, a brood of vipers, a whoring people. In our repentance Lord, let the world see our desire for holiness, and work in them a love for the pursuit of Your holiness. Have mercy on us Lord, for we are a Hell-bound people.
Lord, we are a cowardly people, we look left and right to find who we may torment, because we are afraid of the storm of your holiness. Help us to remember with the Psalmist Asaph, that it is “good to draw near to God.” Lead us in faithful lives of service. Return the laughter of Zion to our lips. Help us to love this world you have placed us in. Restore our souls. Thank-you that you have led us to limp down the right path, rather than running down the path to Hell. Restore to us the joy of your salvation, renew a right spirit within us. Lead us to stand joyfully before the holiness of God with a conscience renewed through the Spirit of life.
We pray this in the Name of Jesus Christ,
Amen.

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