Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Almighty God, Creator of the World, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
            Evil is rampant in our world right now and we feel helpless and angry because of those who do wrong and harm others. But Lord, you warn us that it is not productive to stew about people who seem successful even as they hurt others . . . even if they are hurting us. You caution  that fretting only brings harm, and you ask us to trust in you and do good instead.
Please help us trust you, Jesus.
Calm us and help us turn from our frustration and anger because we know our security is in you, nowhere else. Keep us faithful to you as well as friends and family, willing to fulfill our responsibilities. Help us focus our thoughts on you, delighting in who you are and how much you love us. Teach us to commit our way to you knowing you will eventually grant justice. Teach us to be still before you while we wait on you to act. We pray in Jesus name, amen.

Supporting verses:
“Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the LORD and do good: dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.  Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries our evil devices. Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.” Psalm 37: 1-9

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Holy Father,
We ascribe glory and honor and power to you as we call upon your name. We love and worship you. We want to please you. We long to give you pleasure. You are worthy of our praise. Thank you that our prayers are counted as incense rising to your throne.
You completely understand our motives, both good and bad, even when fool ourselves. Help us understand own thoughts and actions. Guide us to feel pleasure when we choose righteousness. Call us up short when we blunder into or deliberately choose unrighteousness. Give us willingness and courage to recognize when our attitudes or actions are flawed, wrong. When your Holy Spirit points out something sinful in us and we feel sad and disappointed in ourselves, remind us that you always forgive. Help us repent and then forgive ourselves as we open our hearts and allow you to envelope us in your peace and love. We thank you for every shortcoming you reveal, because only by seeing our deficiencies and submitting them to you can we become more Christ-like.
Enable us to immediately forgive the flaws of others from our hearts and give us humble spirits so you can delight in us and direct our paths. Use us however you choose, Jesus, establish our steps. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Supporting verses:
Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Rev. 4:11
“. . . golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying. . . ” Rev. 5:8b, 9a
O LORD, I call upon you; hasten to me! Let my prayer be counted as incense before you.” Psalm 141:1,2
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.” Psalm 37:23, 24

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

O God of the Bible Whose Son Jesus died to save us,
          You are the merciful God who longs to bless us. Every one of us has enjoyed innumerable good things poured out by you – everything from food, shelter and safety to economic prosperity. Yet unbelievably we have turned our backs on you, refusing to obey the instructions for daily living found in your Word. We live however we want. We do what feels right to us instead of obeying the things you say are right.
          We live as though you aren’t watching.
But you are.
And unless we repent, not only is our status as a world power at stake, our very existence as a nation is at stake. Yet you are compassionate and never willing to see anyone suffer unnecessarily. If you had found ten righteous people in Sodom, you would have spared that city. If you find enough righteous men, women and children in our country, if you see individuals turning from sin and calling out to you, we will be spared. We will continue to be blessed.
          Open our eyes to our sins. Show us that our problems lie far beneath the surface. We confess that
·       Our problem is not a weak stock market and a failing economy; our problem is that we have rejected the One True God.
·       Our problem is not simply joblessness and homelessness; our problem is that we have ordered the Ten Commandments out of all public places.
·       Our problem is not a school system that rates lower than it should and tolerates bullying; our problem is that we have outlawed prayer in our schools.
·       Our problem is not simply an epidemic of divorce; our problem is that the average American shrugs at sexual immorality and shame has disappeared.  
·       Our problem is not just violence in the streets and schools; our problem is that parents no longer understand how to teach or enforce right from wrong.
·       Our problem is not a corrupt government; our problem is that we the people prefer, and vote for, economic security over righteousness.
We confess these sins, Jesus. We take the responsibility to pray for our nation on our own shoulders. We believe one person can accomplish great things and change our nation, but only through obedience and prayer. Amen.

Supporting verses:
Several thousand years ago, in the book of Lamentations the prophet Jeremiah wrote about the fall of a great world power:
How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow she has become, she who was great among nations! She who was a princess among the provinces has become a slave. . . . because the LORD has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions . . .
Jerusalem sinned grievously; therefore she became filthy; all who honored her despise her. The LORD is in the right for I have rebelled against his word.. . . Because I have been very rebellious. . . . And on the day of the anger of the LORD no one escaped or survived; those who I held and raised my enemy destroyed . . .”
Yet there is hope: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. . . . Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD! Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven. . . . The LORD is good to those who wait for him to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. For the Lord will  not cast off forever, but though he cause grief; he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.. . . Give yourself no rest, your eyes no respite! Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord!” 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Holy God, Father of Truth,

You see each of us. You watch every action and hear every thought. You are completely aware how often we fall short of your plans for us . . . and yet you still love us and call us to come you. You invite us to belong to you.Your Word tells us to imitate you so we can be holy as you are holy.

You are Truth, Father, and you want us to speak Truth – not just to one other but in our in own hearts. Thank you for providing the tools for us to search for and find Truth. You gave us your Word, which is Truth. All your commandments are true. You sent the Spirit of Truth to dwell in us and reveal Truth to us.

Help us value your Truth and not turn from it. Teach us to examine ourselves and be willing to acknowledge Truth in our hearts. Give us the courage to face the Truth about ourselves and others even when it is painful. We give you permission to call us up short when we’re tempted to be dishonest and twist the Truth. Give us the wisdom not to be fooled by deceitful smooth words and help us accomplish that without judgment or rancor. We pledge to seek out and speak Truth. Please guide us to think noble thoughts and speak pure honest words. We pray these things in the name of your Son Jesus. Amen.

Supporting verses:

God looks down from heaven on the children of man to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all fallen away; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” Psalm 53:2,3

Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart.” Psalm 15:2

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16, 17

But you are near, O LORD, and all your commandments are true.” Psalm 119:151

Sanctify them in your truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17

Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right, for my mouth will utter truth.” Proverbs 8:6,7

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

O Jehovah, Holy God of the Bible,
           We stand in awe of you. You name is great, your works impossibly magnificent. Since the beginning of time there has been no other God. You made the stars and named each one. You have even numbered the hairs on our heads.
We should fear your awesome power, Lord, because fear of you is where wisdom begins. Instead, we take your love for granted and do whatever feels good to us, whatever we decide is right.We ignore your Word and flaunt our evil choices. We’re more influenced by friends and the media than by you.
That is not okay, Jesus. As a matter of fact, you warn repeatedly of disaster if we continue to disobey – calamity both for individuals and nations. Despite prevailing opinion to the contrary (even in many churches) you won’t always “fix” things for us. Yes, you love us and forgive if we turn back to you. You are merciful and give us more time to change than we deserve.
But if we continually harden our hearts by refusing to listen to your counsel and obey you, we will eventually reap what we have sewn. We’ll eat the fruit of our own choices and have our fill of our own devices. You will withdraw your hand of protection. We’ll suffer the consequences of our own actions. Our own complacency will destroy us.
Help us, Lord! Show us how to change our own lives and hearts. We need your strength and wisdom. Open our ears to hear your voice calling out to us. Soften our hearts so that they yearn to follow you; give us wisdom to recognize our failings and show us how we can fill our responsibilities.
We believe that if individuals return to you, our nation can be restored one godly person at a time. Though we don’t deserve it, allow us more time to repent and seek you; Jesus. Save us! Amen.

Supporting verses:
To whom will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers. To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see, who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.” Is. 40:18, 25, 26
Purpose of the Solomon’s teaching: “To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth. Let the wise hear and increase in learning; and the one who understands obtain guidance. The fear if the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Prov. 1:2-7
Because I have called and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded, because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer, they will seek me diligently will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose fear of the LORD, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat of the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices. For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” Prov. 1:24 - 33