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A Prayer for Boston: Lord Have Mercy

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LORD ALMIGHTY, Maker of Heaven and Earth, we lift up our prayers to you:

WE PRAY for the people of Boston. LORD HAVE MERCY.

WE PRAY for those injured. CHRIST HAVE MERCY.

WE PRAY for those lost, and their families and friends. LORD HAVE MERCY.

WE PRAY for all the first responders, doctors, nurses, firefighters and police officers. CHRIST HAVE MERCY.

WE PRAY for our Governor, President and Government Leaders, as they investigate and respond. LORD HAVE MERCY.

WE PRAY for an end to violence, terror and hatred.  CHRIST HAVE MERCY.

WE PRAY, too, for our enemies — for you have commanded us to do so. LORD HAVE MERCY.

WE PRAY for peace — an everlasting peace that only comes from the Prince of Peace. CHRIST HAVE MERCY.

WE PRAY for our own hearts. LORD HAVE MERCY.

And we pray these things, as we can only pray:

In the name of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

LORD HAVE MERCY.

Amen.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A Costly Prayer, Answered

For several years now, there is a prayer that I have been praying for myself and for others.  I often share it at the end of sermons or messages, especially when I am a guest speaker and especially when I am speaking to college students.  Over the years, I have shared it at Campus Crusade for Christ, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Young LIfe College Leadership and other campus fellowships. I have also shared it with my former church and other churches I speak at.

As I have been reflecting on what God is doing in my life, I realized that in many ways He has been answering this prayer — and it has been at times painful and costly. Yet worth every pain and any cost.  In answering it, He has been shaping me, sanctifying me and purifying me.

It can be dangerous to pray bold prayers — because sometimes God answers them.

This one, I will keep praying — that it would be true of me… and also increasingly true of you.  And I would challenge you to pray it as well… but be careful, the cost is high.

 

I am a part of the fellowship of the Unashamed.

I have the Holy Spirit Power.

The die has been cast.

I have stepped over the line.

The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

 

I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.

I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning,

smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions,

mundane talking, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity,

position, promotions, plaudits, orpopularity.

I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised,

regarded, or rewarded.

I now live by presence, learn by faith,

love by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.

My pace is set,

my gait is fast,

my goal is Heaven,

my road is narrow,

myway is rough,

my companions few,

my Guide is reliable,

my mission is clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back,

diluted, or delayed.

I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice,

hesitate in the presence of adversity,

negotiate at the table of the enemy,

ponder at the pool of popularity,

or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, back up, let up, or shut up

until I’ve preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up

for the cause of Christ.

 

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I must go until He returns,

give until I drop,

preach until all know,

and work until He comes.

 

And when He comes to get His own,

He will have no problem recognizing me.

My banner will be clear for

“I am not ashamed of the Gospel,

because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16)

(Adapted from Dr. Bob Moorehead)

Lord, may this be more true of me, your servant, everyday…

For the glory is yours alone, forever and ever…

AMEN.

 

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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My Prayer for the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast for the National Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer, and for the second time, MACC Charities hosted the Manchester Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.  It was a great time of fellowship and prayer this morning, with lots of diversity.  In addition to a broad spectrum of Christian churches represented, both the Jewish community and Islamic community were part of the prayer this year.

For my prayer, I adapted a prayer from Shane Claiborne.  Here it is:

God of Avraham, Yitzak & Yacov,
God of Miriam, Hannah, Rizpah, and David…
God of Elijah, Amos, Ruth, Isaiah, Deborah…
God of Mary, John the Baptizer, Peter, Paul, Philemon and Onesimus…
God of Anthony, Ambrose, Teresa of Avila, and Francis of Assisi,
God of Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa,
        William Wilberforce, and Oscar Romero
God of Manchester, America and the world… God of us all…
and God of love, grace, and hope…

Thank you…
Thank you for creating a perfect world.
Forgive us for the mess we have made of it.
Thank you for creating Jubilee, gleaning, and Sabbath as patterns to
ensure that the poor are cared for, the earth rests, and inequality is dismantled.

Forgive us…

for choosing the patterns of empire.
Thank you for using the weak things to shame the strong and the
foolish things to confound the wise.
Protect us from becoming too strong or too wise.
Protect us from ourselves.

Forgive us…
for the groaning of creation
for the millions who die of hunger and curable diseases
for warehousing people in prisons and using them for labor
for the scandal of billions wasted in war
for worrying about tomorrow and storing up more than this day our daily bread
for an economy that mirrors the seven deadly sins
for our Caesars and our Herods
for the violence and greed in our own hearts
Save us from ourselves.

Deliver us…
from the arrogance of power
from the myth of redemptive violence
from the tyranny of greed
from the ugliness of racism
from false hope and counterfeit change
from the cancer of hatred
from the seduction of wealth
from the idolatry of nationalism
from the paralysis of cynicism
from the ghettoes of poverty
from the ghettoes of wealth
from the blood-stained pages of history
and from the legacy of slavery.
Deliver us oh God.

Give us the courage…
to bless the poor in a world that blesses the middle class.
to bless the meek in a world that admires aggression.
to bless the hungry in a world that feeds the already fed.
to bless the merciful in a world that shows no mercy on evildoers.
to bless the pure in heart in a world of clutter and noise.
to bless the peacemakers in a world that baptizes bombs.

Give us imagination…
that we might not conform to the patterns of this world.
that we might shatter indifference and interrupt injustice with grace
that we might choose the cross over the sword
that we might be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves
that we might choose the dream of God over the dreams of nations
that we might cling to the God that so loved the world, not just America
that we might allow our Jesus to change America rather than America to change our Jesus.

Give us your eyes…

to see the world as you see it.
Give us your hands…
to engage to the world as would have us engage it.
Give us your feet…
that we might go where you would have us go.
 

And may we especially have eyes to see —
and hearts to love —
the lost, the least and the lonely
in our midst and in our community.
 
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.   

Amen.

 

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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