Prayer for the Day on the National Day of Prayer

O God, the King eternal,
who divides the day from the night
and turns the shadow of death into the morning:
Drive far from us all wrong desires,
incline our hearts to keep your law,
and guide our feet into the way of peace;
that, having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day,
we may, when night comes,
rejoice to give you thanks;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

National Day of Prayer

It IS the National Day of Prayer. I think this is something geared toward praying for our nation.

More appropriately, for me, it is a time of prayer for the American Church. If we ourselves are not revived, if we are not following our King with passion, if we are not turning our own hearts toward God… how do we ask this of people who don’t care for God?

Lord, when Solomon prayed that phrase we use today, “heal our land,” we need to pray something similar: “Heal our hearts.” Lord, it’s not my American brother or sister standing in the need of prayer. It’s me, O Lord. It’s the American Church, O Lord.

Father, forgive us. We have “conservative” Christians hating on “liberal” Christians, and vice versa. We have different factions claiming to be the ones knowing the mind of God, but we don’t stop to ask YOU about your heart anymore.

Father, heal us. We name ourselves as believers, but we are a “body” that does not obey its “HEAD” very well!

Father, forgive us. We have become arrogant and smug in our theological camps and have refused to extend a hand of fellowship to those who name the name of Christ simply because they don’t name the name of Christ our way. 

Father, revive us. It’s not the Congress. It’s not the Supreme Court. It’s not the White House. It’s US, O Lord. WE stand in the need of prayer.

We have been prayerless. We have been faithless. We have bowed to the gods of this age as easily as anyone else. We are distracted by our thirst for being noticed. We have sat at the table of consumerism and materialism far too long. We are drunk on the wine of sexual identity, sexual innuendos, and laziness in our identity in YOU rather than in our desire to please our sexual desires.

Holy Spirit, visit your Church once again. Visit us with hunger for the presence of Jesus. Visit us with conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Visit us with the taste of the Kingdom of God once again. Give us that taste once more so that we have no more thirst for wanting this world to simply like us. It’s not enough.

King of kings, we must bow to YOU ALONE again. Our allegiance has been divided. We have wanted to be noticed by this world. We are trying to out-world the world and while we think we have “numbers” we do not have your presence. 

It is not about healing our land, Lord. It is about healing our soul. 

Give us your Spirit once again. Give us your power once again. Let us be a Church radically in love with YOU all over again.

Fire up my love for the Body of Christ! For my brothers and sisters who are Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, non-denominational, non-partisan, non-whatever.

Keep my love for my neighbor burning white hot. I want Kingdom rightness coming into their lives. When they see it in me they might start asking more questions.

Revive your church once again. If we will give ourselves to radical love for you, maybe… just maybe… this nation will pay attention once again.

But, Lord, let us not look for the attention of our nation. Let us look for the smile of our King.

For your glory alone. Amen.

Mountains Out of Molehills

A judge in Wisconsin seems to have ruled the National Day of Prayer to be unconstitutional. The suit was filed by, of course, a coalition that was touting freedom FROM religion.

1. It is so crazy to see how these groups so misinterpret the First Amendment of the Constitution. Are they reading this in English? Freedom FROM religion? Come on.

2. It is equally crazy to see the reaction of Christian conservatives who seem to believe this is just the end of our country. One comment said, “They’re taking away all our freedoms.”

Okay, they may be taking away SOME freedoms (and let the arguments begin as to which ones), but prayer? Really?

Just because the National Day of Prayer is no longer an “official” day, does that mean people can’t show up to public places and stand there and pray? Is it we just want the recognition?

We are be hurled toward the day when the need to be Christian over being American is going to slap a lot of people awake. Government cannot recognize our desire to prayer. They should not endorse it. Nor should we expect them, as Christians, to be our nannies. Yet, conservatives keep looking for that endorsement and liberals keep insisting that nanny.

It’s not the end of the world. That’s in 2012.

In the mean time… let us pray.