Friday, May 05, 2006

National Day of Prayer -- Retrospective

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Yesterday, I participated in Hamilton County's observance of the National Day of Prayer. With us were the parents of Matt Maupin who is the only MIA for the present war in Iraq. As I talked with the Maupins afterward, they asked us to continue to pray for Matt -- which I told them we would do. They are fine folks, and however we can encourage them, let us please do it.

The event was covered in the Cincinnati Enguirer -- see here for the story!

"And for those of you who are curious -- below is the manuscript for the prayer I prayed -- not word for word what I said, but pretty darn close.

Lord God Almighty, we acknowledge you as the soveriegn God – the lord over nations and lord over cities and lord of our churches. Lord you rule from on high, and it is by the grace extended to us through Christ that we have the freedom to gather before you, unite our hearts in prayer, and seek your guidance, wisdom, power, and rule over our lives, our churches, and our cities.

Lord we confess, we are a city that is torn by violence. We have allowed bitterness, wrath, and anger to become idols in this city. We have allowed the idol of uncommitted free sexuality to reign in parts of this city. We’ve turned a blind eye as the scourge of drugs and abuse and despair and hopelessness have swept our city. All the while, we have pursued our little agendas, playing turf warfare among government bodies, playing our chess games of power and prestige. Lord, give us hearts that mourn our sinfulness, give us hearts that hunger and thirst for righteousness, give us hearts that repent of our sin and turn to you.

Sovereign God – we pray that your Spirit would bring healing to this city. Where there has been violence, we pray for peace. Where there has been despair, we pray for the hope that comes through Christ. Where there has been addiction, we pray for the freedom that comes through Christ. Where there has been bitterness and division, we pray for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Lord, indeed we pray that this city would honor you and would be transformed by you into a place of blessing.

To that end, Lord, we pray for the churches of this city. We repent of the divisiveness and turf battles in which churches have engaged in this city. We repent of building our own little empires of ego. We repent of thinking that the world somehow owes us respect. We repent of complacency and self-serving behavior. Lord heal us and send us, we pray.

We pray that you would spiritually empower each church in this city to proclaim Christ as Lord. Grant unto the churches of this city a missionary mindset – that each church, in its own setting where you have placed them, would reach out and be a blessing to its neighbors. Let your word be proclaimed faithfully. Let your saints issue forth from the pews to be salt and light in a watching world. Let the good deeds of your people bring praise and glory to you, O God in heaven.

Lord, we pray that you would make us people of prayer – people who cry out to you night and day, continually. People who praise you and love you with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. And then makes us people who are sent – sent to be blessings and ambassadors in the name of Jesus Christ.

We ask all these things for the praise and glory of Jesus Christ, and it is in his name we pray.Amen"

Soli Deo Gloria