A Bold and Powerful Prayer
Today I am doing something radically different on my blog. I am sharing something written by a new friend ... a prayer that we can all pray and should pray.
Blogging allows me to meet many folks I never would have. One such person, though I have never met personally is Douglas A. Doser. Doug lives in Phoenix, Az and works for Arizona State University. He has been reading my blog and has even read Kingdom Come (yeah!!). Doug recently emailed me a prayer that prayed in his home congregation there in Az. This is a soul opening prayer. With his permission I am placing it on my blog for the sake of others to be challenged by this prayer. This, beloved, is a kingdom centered prayer.
"Lord we approach your throne this morning in the context of Jesus’ teaching and your word being real commandments in which we should live our lives – not simply nice sayings or things we only play lip service to.
We pray that we be shocked out of our naiveté and our complacency that is so easy to accept as Christians who happen to live in America. While 9/11 was a tragedy – and we continue to pray for those who lost loved ones and much more – we pray that event has led us to view the world in the way in which it really is – Fallen and in need of your word, presence, and love.
We pray that the wealth we enjoy in this nation and consider a blessing hasn’t become a stumbling block or given us a false sense of “special favor” in your sight.
We pray that we, as Christians not confuse worldly wars of physical death and destruction with the true day-by-day spiritual battle to glorify you and lead others to salvation in your heavenly Kingdom. We pray that we recognize and know the difference between worldly liberty and the spiritual freedom you offer in your Kingdom.
We pray that we do not compartmentalize our Christianity and our “worldliness” – having the ability to switch back and forth whenever it is the most convenient for either. We pray that we incorporate the values of a Christ-centered life – into our involuntary thoughts and actions. We pray that we truly live Christ’s teachings 24 hours a days, seven days a week until we breathe our last breath. Give us the strength, determination, and humbleness to make this so. Be with us as we strive to be above the world yet in the world at the same time. Keep us focused on, and always recognizing the narrow path. Help us not to fall in the ditch of unrighteousness on the one side or the ditch of self-righteousness on the other.
We pray that our commitment to Christ is not directly correlated with political freedom. We pray that we, as Christians would have the same commitment to your commands and desire to worship you – under the worst of political conditions. In other words, Lord we pray that each and every one of us would be here in your presence – even if there was a real threat of physical death. Instill in us the commitment of those early Christians who were willing to die in the Roman arena before they would deny you before men.
We pray for the nation we live in. We pray for all the worldly nations of this earth. We pray that we recognize events – whether positive or tragic – as spiritual opportunities to serve and glorify your name by helping and teaching those around us. Create in us a spiritual outlook toward this world instead of a worldly outlook toward your Kingdom.
We pray for all our political leaders and government officials – elected, appointed, hired, advisors, and consultants. We especially pray for those who have accepted Jesus. Let their Christianity reign over the temptations to act as the world acts. Let their “yes” mean yes and their “no” mean no. Let their actions and leadership reflect your Son’s teachings. Allow them to love their enemies and act like it – whether that enemy is simply on the other side of the political spectrum or a Terrorist. Allow them to be motivated by the Gospel in how they treat others vs. worldly fear. Allow their responsibility to govern effectively and competently overcome selfish desire for power. Allow them to focus on honesty; Let the results of effective government speak for their ability vs. harsh rhetoric and name calling - that divides.
We pray for political leaders who can effectively govern this nation and interact with the other governments of this world. Regardless of political affiliation, I know you don’t want us, as your body, divided over earthly politics. Help us as a nation and individual Christians realize this. Help us to strive to be above politics. Give us the wisdom to seek out and understand what the Christian’s true relationship to Civil Government should be. Give us spiritual perspective.
Allow us to be “blessed,” as peacekeepers in such a harsh, divided, name calling political climate. In the context of a nation at war in the worldly and spiritual sense – help us to remember that sin in sin. Help us to not justify sin because that sin somehow advances noble worldly or political goals. Let all of our actions, regardless of circumstances be in line with Jesus’ teachings and not justified through our earthly fears and weaknesses.
As Christians, we know that the only way to you is through Jesus. Open the hearts of our non-Christian, yet religious brothers and sisters in such a way that their spiritual writings may lead them to you. Lord, allow us, as Christians the world over to stand up and show others a better way of living vs. telling them how to live.
Help us to look at ourselves through the mirror of Jesus’ teachings. Help us to see ourselves as we really are – sinners. Help us to have the strength and honesty to make the changes we need to make in ourselves in order to live as you have commanded us to live. We understand your grace, but do not allow us to ever misuse or take advantage of it.
If we have any of the issues of the seven churches in John’s Revelation, we pray that we recognize those, repent and carry on, further reflecting your glory. Continue to open our eyes to the meaning of your word. Allow us to seek a deeper understanding as well as apply it to our lives.
Lord, you know my heart, help me to make the changes that I need to make to be the best use in your Kingdom.
We pray for each of us, as our bodies are temples. We pray that we take care of those temples in a physical and spiritual sense. We know that the Kingdom of God dwells in us. Help us to keep ourselves pure. Let us see ourselves for what we truly are – spiritual beings, belonging to you – yet occupying physical bodies in a physical world. Let us act in a way in which our neighbors see us as more than simply good, moral people. Help us to act and them to see, a people focused on your Kingdom; serving others; and unafraid of physical death or facing worldly concerns.
Lord, rightly or wrongly, we tend to think we are pretty good at the “thou shall not’s.” Help us to be better with your commandments of those things we need to take action on – going into the world, taking care of physical and spiritual needs of the least of our brothers. Let us never forget that anyone Christ died for is our brother, sister, neighbor. Help us to resist the temptation to be distracted into arguments over the best way to help the “least of our brothers.” Help us to act in this area as Jesus did time after time– moved with compassion. Allow compassion in us to overcome the methodology and rationalization of our actions or in-actions in this area. Allow us the time and clarity to truly see and understand needs, and then take care of those in need. Fill us with the compassion of Jesus and his ability to see our brother’s needs.
This is our prayer to you. Thank you for all the gifts you have given us – especially the ones we have yet to fully realize. Amen"
May this prayer bless you and me as we seek to do God's will on Earth as it is in heaven.