Grace Church AZ Prayer for Sunday, June 07, 2020

O great God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who created all things, the God above all gods, the God who was, and is, and is to come, the God who never changes, the God who never slumbers nor sleeps, the God and Father of Jesus Christ who reigns as our Lord and King. Grant us grace and bring Your kingdom to this world just as it is in heaven. We live in very uncertain, confusing, hostile, fearful times, have mercy on us.

Give us wisdom and clarity as we face the CoronaV. As we continue to hear of new cases and new deaths each day, ground us in fear of You so that we might be wise and understanding. Over the last three months, tens of millions have lost their livelihoods and more are faced with the threat of uncertainty. Protect us from hopelessness, anxiety and depression. Cause us to fight for faith in the promises of real hope that You, the God of hope, offer abundantly. As we reopen our businesses and neighborhoods and our gatherings, our differences seem to quickly turn into division. We argue whether or not to re-open quickly or re-open slowly, whether we should wear a mask or not, whether COVID is worse than we think or this has been a massive over-reaction. Protect us from ourselves so that we might disagree without contempt for those who don’t agree with us. Have mercy on our souls, unite us in the truth of Your gospel.

Lord, we are in a land full of injustice because we are in a land full of sinners. We are witness to and recipients of tragedy after tragedy, injustice after injustice and blame after blame. It feels as if there is no end in sight. But, by Your Grace we know that is not true. May Your truth trump our feelings at every turn. Lord, we ask that you would bring justice to those involved in the case of murder in Minneapolis and also to those who are involved in violence against the law enforcement officers across the country. Every time we witness another tragedy like this we know it makes the difficult and honorable job of law enforcement almost impossible. We know that it makes the difficult and honorable task of peacefully, patiently seeking justice almost impossible. Many courageous people, who are risking their lives to serve and protect – to pursue justice and reform will suffer unfairly because of actions done often thousands of miles away, actions they condemn, actions outside their control.

Help us as a people to see that injustice does not correct injustice. For those all across our nation who are living in utter chaos and darkness and fear, facing the loss of property, fearing the loss of life, grant them relief in the hope of Your gospel. Hope made tangible through Your people. Grant repentance for those who sinned against George Floyd, for those who have responded in sin, and those of us who have harbored sin in our hearts toward those who seem to be on the other side or part of the other team. May our leaders love the truth, seek the truth, stand unflinching for the truth, and act on the truth. Let nothing, O Lord, be swept under the rug. Regardless of consequences, we ask that You will expose all and and bring the darkness of wrong into the light of right. For the haters and the bitter and the hostile and the slanderers — of every ethnicity and every tribe and every position — we pray that they will see “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” We pray that the light will banish darkness from their souls — the darkness of arrogance and divisiveness and selfish ambition. We pray for broken hearts, because “a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise”

Build in us and restore to us harmony, rooted in truth and in the paths of righteousness. Shower us with peace — let us enjoy shalom, flowing down from You, the God of peace, bought at an infinite price for the brokenhearted followers of the Prince of Peace. As the virus wreaks havoc with our economy, and hostility exposes the darkness of our hearts and destruction sends lifetimes of labor up in smoke, and the fabric of our common life is torn, we pray that the compounding of sorrows will not compound our sins, but instead will send us desperate and running to the risen Savior, our only hope, Jesus Christ. Christ Jesus, You died for all of this! That you might reconcile hopeless, hostile people to the Father and to each other. Let us delight in Your grace, reconcile us that we might spread the joy that comes from hope in You to a world that desperately needs to see hope.

Amen

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