We are in a mess and we need your help. The blame can’t be cast on any one person, group, political stance or television show. None of us are smart enough to think our way out of this mess. None of us are strong enough to fight our way out of it. In fact, it seems as though sometimes the more we think and fight, the worse it gets.
Father, we need peace. Not the peace we hear about in songs. We don’t want anything to do with the token talks of peace we see on television and hear from some politicians. We need to be changed and that can only come from Your peace. I confess that change isn’t just something that other people need. It’s not just something that the guy down the street or the person on the news needs. I need to be changed too. Every day I, along with the rest of your Church, need your peace-producing change.
Father, I don’t expect the world to stop acting like the world. At least not until you return. I expect turmoil, corruption, violence, oppression and hate. It’s what the world does. But as the world does what it does, please protect your Church. I do not ask that you just protect us from the world but also that you protect us from acting like the world.
There seems to be some very powerful people who would love nothing more than a full-blown race war in this country. Protect us, both white and black, from being a part of that in our speech and social media presence. Protect us from trying to one up the other guy at all costs. Instead, help us to return truth where lies are spread and love where hate is prevailing. Equip us to show the world that in you, despite all of our differences, white and black Christians share a common hope and that in him, though unique, one race or person is not better than the other.
Shake us from our slumber. The world is on fire. The culture of death is growing. But Father, death was defeated when your Son, Jesus Christ, rose from the grave. We still live with the sting of death but it has no final say over us. Help us to live that out. Help us to promote your kingdom culture in the face of the culture of death we are living in.
Father, please help us to see people as you made them. Help us to take the time to get to know people who are different from us. Help us to establish friendships that go beyond what seems natural to us. Father, whether the other guy is a small baby that could fit in the palm of my hand or just someone from a different race, help us to see him for who he really is – a human being who You created in your image for Your glory. Help us to remember that life matters, not because it’s trendy to say so but because all human life comes from you and will one day return to you.
Father, help us to laugh. I do not ask for the laughter of foolish men who occupy themselves with nonsense while destruction awaits. Instead, give us the laughter of a people who find their joy in you even when things are far from perfect. Father, may the world look at us and not see a people who are immune from the world’s pain but a people who are immune from the world’s hopelessness.
Father, we all want our voice to be heard. We want the final say. We want our way. Please forgive us for this. In repentance, help us to seek your voice, to submit to your authority and to follow your way, even when it’s time for us to speak up about something. Help us to remember that, throughout history, things have gone so much better when you spoke through people instead of people trying to speak for you. Help us to put your authority over our own.
Father, the world is a mess. In a lot of ways, so is Your Church. But that’s nothing new. Father, no one creates beauty from messes like you. Clean us, Father. Clean us and use us.
In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ and for his glory,