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Crescent Hill Baptist Church, September 26, 2010
You know why we are here, O God. We are here:
- Because you have made us for yourself, to praise you, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.
- Because we need comfort, encouragement, and guidance in a worst of times or in a best of times.
- Because we need to hear your Word, your Truth, even when it burns like fire deep inside us.
- Because you have called us to be salt and light in our world that your kingdom may come and your will be done on earth as in heaven.
We are here as repentant people, O God,
- Because we know you expect more of us than we have fulfilled.
- Because we expect better of ourselves than we have thought and done.
- Because our community and our city and our state have not displayed the righteousness, goodness, and peacefulness you require.
- Because our nation seems now so torn by conflicting ideologies and special interests.
We are here bending the knees of our hearts to ask you to change our hearts and our nation’s heart, O God. The figures of the latest census accuse us:
- Fourteen percent of Americans, mostly single-parent families, live below the poverty line.
- Almost one-fourth of America’s children live in poverty.
- There are nearly a million homeless Americans.
- Fifty million Americans have no health insurance.
Jesus told for us the Parable of the Rich Man and Poor Lazarus. On earth the rich man had it all. Dressed in resplendent clothes, he enjoyed life every day. He scarcely noticed the poor beggar deposited daily at his doorstep that a few crumbs might fall his way from the table of the rich man. Dogs licked his wounds. Then came heaven’s reversal. When both died, the poor man found himself in Abraham’s bosom, the rich man in a place of torment, repenting—but too late! He couldn’t even arrange a wake up call for the family he left behind except the message he had had all the time—Moses and the prophets.
Your Word is hard, Lord. I do not have the wisdom and understanding to know how to pray in our present circumstances. So I pray for the one thing I can think will matter here—a change of heart for a whole people and a whole nation.
- In your infinite Love, O God, cast out the fear which stands in the way of change to a more equitable and caring society in America.
- In your unfailing Mercy, replace our hubris that causes us to bully others with humility that lets us share their hurts.
- In your unlimited Compassion, O God, sensitize and conscientize and tenderize us to see the world through your eyes.
- In your great Wisdom, O God, enable us to elect leaders who know and live your love and compassion for all humankind.
- In your eternal Hopefulness, O God, grant us a vision of your kingdom come and your will done on earth as in heaven.
We join together to pray the prayer our Lord Jesus taught us to pray, saying,
Our Father, who art in heaven . . .