This past weekend at Eastbrook Church, I offered a prayer before my sermon that interceded for our nation and churches in the midst of the current tensions. A number of people asked me if I could post it, so here it is:
Lord our God, you are the King of kings,
And the Lord of lords.
You are the God who holds together
Grace and truth,
Justice and righteousness,
Holiness and mercy.
At this time, we ask for your restoration
In our individual lives and in our land.
Bring Your grace as a healing balm to us;
Let Your truth uproot falsehood and prejudice;
Uphold Your true justice in our nation for all people;
And may Your righteousness strengthen us for good.
In Your purity and holiness stand strong in our midst, O Lord,
Yet do not fail to pour out mercy upon us
For, as the Scripture says,
we are poor and needy.
Especially on this day,
We grieve together with our African-American brother and sisters
Who sense that things are not as they should be in our nation.
We know that all people have been made
In Your image and are precious in Your sight.
Lord, give us grace to live in that way today,
That all might enjoy the common grace You have given
Without fear of prejudice or distrust.
We particularly pray for the African-American men
In our nation, city and church,
That You would protect them from all harm,
Give powerful grace over their daily lives
That they might grow as mighty men of God.
We also pray for help and great grace
for those in positions of authority,
and particularly those who are in law enforcement
That they would find mercy and strength
In the midst of their challenging jobs,
Particularly, in times of need.
As Jesus prayed, we ask that
You Make us one, Lord, as you are one;
Protect us from the divisions
which the evil seeks to open into wide gulfs.
May our church be a light to the city and nation
Showing that Jesus changes everything.
And now, Lord, lead us into Your truth
As we draw near to Your word.
For in You alone is our hope,
Strength, joy, and peace.
May I decrease, Lord,
So that You might increase.
Occupy our minds, our hearts, and our attention –
We have come here today to meet with You,
The Living God.