It was a good day of worship. Our current sermon series led us to an important subject – prayer. We all understand the importance of this personal relationship with the Father, but the Scriptures also teach us the importance of the communal prayers. The Psalms continue to teach and inspire us as we grow in our activity together that goes well beyond ourselves.
For those who lead us in prayer each week, I would encourage you to prepare for this sacred moment. Put some thought into what you would like to say on behalf of the people. It’s ok to write it out, use a prayer (or aspects of it) you have read that would lead and bless the believing community. The main thing is to free your heart and mind as you approach the throne of grace.
Along those lines, a couple of you mentioned the prayer I read in response to the school shooting last week. I am no psalm poet and doubt it is even close to being grammatically correct. Either way, here is the prayer:
Abba, Father, we cry out for the children of the earth. The slain cry out from the grave and asked “How long?” How long will the shootings continue in our schools? How long are you going to allow evil to shed the blood of innocent children? We have heard the pain, anguish, and anger of parents who have lost the very gift you have given them. We plead with you as a father, our Father, to stop the madness and comfort the grieving. You are our only hope.
Because You have not stopped this evil, people are looking for other means. They call out for the government to save their children. They call on medal detectors and armed guards to protect them. They say, “We no longer want to hear your ‘thoughts and prayers’ for these tragedies. We are mocked by those who deny Your existence. They say, “A lot of good prayer did the last time you prayed after a violent shooting.”
But we have not gone after their way of unbelief. We have not put our trust in the governments of mankind. We have not stopped trusting in You. We pray for justice! Do not let the cries of the innocent and grieving go unheard. May your justice prevail so Your name will be praised.
We long for the day when perfect peace returns to the earth. The Day when darkness is removed and Your light/glory shines upon the renewed earth. The Day when the wolf and the lamb live in harmony (Isa. 65:25). A Day when weapons will be replaced with tools for life. Come, Lord Jesus!
Until then, make us agents of peace and hope. Help us, in Your name, to comfort the grieving and fearful. May we continue to share Your news of love, grace, redemption and hope. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Continue to study the Psalms to grow deeper in your personal and communal prayers. Allow them to help you understand our God and this unique relationship with have with Him. Be transformed by praying its prayers and meditating on its rich language.
This morning the church received a prayer request for India. I don’t believe this comes to us through Louis, in fact, it doesn’t say what part of India this news is coming from. This group has a preaching school and a Christian academy. They are asking for prayers after some of their students (and family) were attacked while sleeping. Pregnant women, children and elderly were beaten by “radicals.” Some of them suffered fractures and head injuries. The email asks that we pray for strength and courage during adversity, as well as for those who are persecuting them.
Speaking of prayers, the leadership asks that you to pray for a special retreat we are having today. We are not sure what will come out of these meetings, but we believe in the power of prayer. We are moving in a positive direction and give God all the credit and praise. Keep praying!