Lord God, Scripture, every page of Scripture declares both your sovereignty and your majesty. From the first pages of Genesis where you framed the sky above us, formed the earth beneath us and fashioned the people around us, we understand that you Lord, are good, by the joys we experience through these things. From there to the final pages of Revelation where you promise to come again restoring shalom to the world, creating anew and restoring again the heavens and the earth to their proper place, drying every tear and wiping every eye, judging all nations and all peoples, displaying at once your perfect justice and your deep mercy, we understand your sovereignty. Lord, you reign and to you alone belongs the right to judge.
But God as we live between the beginnings of Genesis and the end-point of Revelation, while we yet live on this earth surrounded by sorrow, suffering and sin, Lord would you hear our cry. We rebel against your rule in our lives, we follow our desires, consider our knowledge, wisdom and discernment to be of greater worth than yours. So Lord, we plead forgiveness for the ways we slander your name -- our thoughts, our words, our deeds. In our wealth and affluence, God, forgive us our neglect. We take these testaments of human drive, desire and determination around us, monuments to man's intelligence and ingenuity, and by these great wonders, which you fully intended to serve us, now blind us, and blot you out of our sight. In trusting in only these small things, we grow sedated and complacent, fat and indolent, drowning in affluence and apathy.
God wake us up.
Show us God, that you're better than the food we eat, the T.V. shows we watch, the sports we follow, the video games we play, and all the hundred million little false gods that occupy our lives. Are you better than these things, God? Show us! Are you more worthwhile than the creations of your creations? Show us. Yahweh God, He Who Is That He Is, He Whose Introduction Is His Presence, Whose Name Is His Justification, you Lord to help us ask honestly whether you are greater than all of life's frivolities. Jesus Christ, would you slap the plastic, store-bought, saran-wrapped Sunday School answers from our mouths. Those things won't survive Monday morning. Lord, give us a real answer -- the kind that only comes from truly knowing you, from having a broken heart that you alone repair.
For those of us drunk on our own strength, inebriated by our pay grade and badges of luxury, for those who would never think that this prayer is for them, for those who only give their "amen" when the prayer points to those who earn more than them, for these people would you shatter their illusion of stability. Would they realize that their wallets provide no security and that your strength alone is surety.
For those who are weary of life, who search for entertainment as rodents search for crumbs, for those whose hands itch and inch closer and closer to their Nintendo DS's and cell phones the longer this prayer goes on, Lord would you terrify these people with your reality. No one is ever bored when their life is in danger, so God would you scare them senseless with your presence. Not with the Hellfire, I ask, Lord, but with your grandeur. The pits of Hell have no terror to match the brilliance of your throne. Would you show them your presence and would you force them to ask themselves whether they will live transfixed by the proximity of Ultimate Reality or whether they will live hunched over a LCD screen much smaller than their heart.
And for all those others who we lack the time to pray for this morning, for those that we've already prayed for, for all peoples the plea is the same: Lord don't let us keep sleepwalking through life. Open our eyes, open our hearts, cause us to live with the vastness of Infinity as our kernel, sprouting bold lives and fearless deeds.
In your name we pray,
Monday, February 22, 2010
Congregational Prayer February 21, 2010
The following is the prayer I wrote for yesterday's worship service.