National Day of Prayer–My prayer for our nation.
Our Father in heaven
Our Father–Thank you that you have revealed yourself as our Father, a personal caring being, who not only loves, but who is love,
who is in heaven–above and beyond this physical world–beyond the dimensions of time and space and matter.
hallowed be your name.–Oh, Father, in a world where the words “My God” and “Dios Mio” are tossed around as thoughtlessly as if they were commas and semi-colons–in a world where your name is called on more often for cursing than for blessing–I want to honor your name. And I thank you that there are still people in this nation who confirm the phrases–“In God we trust”–and “one nation, under God.”
your kingdom come–I acknowledge your kingdom, Father, the kingdom Jesus announced–the kingdom that is “not of this world.” I acknowledge Jesus as king of my life. I pray that the message of your kingdom may spread and be honored in this nation and in all the world.
your will be done–this is a hard one, Father. As I think about the condition of the world today and all through history, it looks like most of what happens cannot be consistent with your will.
on earth, as it is in heaven–For some reason, Father, for some reason I don’t comprehend, you have given us the ability to choose–to choose to believe and honor you–or to believe in and honor our own intelligence without even acknowledging you as the creator. I take comfort in believing that you know what to do with the mistakes we and our leaders make–that above and beyond all that, you are still in control of the nations, including those who do not acknowledge you. And, ultimately, your will will be done.
Give us today our daily bread–we depend on you for our physical existence. In a world where greed often rules the distribution and processing of our food, I ask for nourishment for my body today. I also ask for the distribution of food to include the hungry people in this world, those who have been deprived of their rightful share because of the mistakes of leaders and the greedy choices of the rest of us. And since “man does not live by bread alone,” I ask for our portion of your Word as food for our spirits today.
Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors–the ultimate source of the brotherhood of man, the great equalizer, is that none of us can claim to be perfect. Though we like to look down on others and consider ourselves to be “better” than they, only you know their hearts and mine. May I forgive and help, because I believe that you, in Christ, have offered forgiveness to me. In any way that we can do this as a nation, Father, guide our leaders and give them wisdom.
And lead us not into temptation–why do we have to say that? Would you, our Father, ever really lead us into temptation?–I don’t understand completely, but I certainly acknowledge that temptation abounds, both in my life as an individual, and in our life as a nation. Don’t let me be placed in a situation that is too hard for me to handle at my present level of faith. And as a world power, help us as a nation to proceed with a spirit of humility–
but deliver us from the evil one. There are definitely two forces in the world and no one knows better than You, Father, the ends the philosophers and theologians have gone to in trying to figure that one out for themselves. I trust the explanation in your Word, that there is an evil one who is in rebellion against You–whose only weapon is to make us believe a lie, the lie that your plan for our life is no good, that it will keep us from what we really deserve–the things that look good, taste good, and make us the wise and important persons we should be.
No way! for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
And, on a personal note, may I give you my “picture” of God’s unlimited power.
Our home is built into the side of a hill, and my windows look out over a valley surrounded by higher hills, refreshingly green after our spring rains. Sometimes as I look out over the landscape, I imagine God’s power as a strong tower with its base in the valley and the walls reaching up toward heaven. But the walls never end. They go up and up into infinity. God has unlimited power, and he has given us the privilege of calling on that power in prayer and faith. The older I get, the more helpless I feel in the face of the waves of evils like the cancer that threatens our bodies and the moral filth that threatens our spirits. The bit of good I can do with my physical presence diminishes each year I live. But if I can tap into that unlimited tower of power and ask, just ask with faith–
2 Corinthians 4:18 – “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.