Category: Prayer

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

October 22, 2012 (Psalm 4:5)

‘Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.’ (Ps. 4:5)

We take our places in our nation as living sacrifices, offering prayers to God that He would have mercy on our land through releasing what is good (His healing stream) and restraining what is evil (‘gay marriage’).

We are citizens of a democracy. That means our voices and votes count. And we are citizens of a Kingdom that transcends the temporary rule and reign of men. That means our prayers count. God’s rule is often thwarted on earth. Still, we pray alongside our Brother Jesus as He prays to the Father: ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven…’ (Matt. 6:10)

Our trust is wholly in the Lord, partially (at best) in human leadership. We ask God for hope to sustain us as we behold the rise of wickedness. We offer ourselves as prayerful, fragrant sacrifices that seek to live what we pray: that God would be glorified in the world He made and is intent on redeeming.

‘No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on whose hope is in His unfailing love.’ (Ps. 33:16, 18)

‘We pray that You would preserve marriage in our nation. It is Your will, O God. Let Your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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October 21, 2012 (Psalm 4:5)

‘Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.’ (Ps. 4:5)

For the sake of a generation yet to come, we cry for mercy to restrain the drive to normalize homosexuality through ‘gay marriage.’ We know that ‘gay marriage’ is but a symptom and symbol of the greater idolatry in the land. However, symbols matter. They bear witness to emerging lives in any culture as to what ‘normal’ is.

‘Gay marriage’ is not normal. It tears out the heart and purpose of marriage, which is for man and woman to unite with an orientation toward creating new life. Marriage is not, and should never be, a mere tax shelter for two persons who enjoy sensual companionship.

‘Gay marriage’ seeks to persuade us that homosexuality is finally normal in the eyes of society. It testifies to the citizenry of every land that gay is not just OK. It is utterly on par with heterosexual-relating—a truth to be integrated into every sector of community, including church life. What are you going to tell the two mommies down the street who want to attend your Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group? After all, they are married…

Do you want your son or daughter to grow up believing that ‘gay marriage’ is as beautiful a goal for his or her emerging sexuality as real marriage? Get real. Same-sex attraction is a problem and a weakness, not a boast. Restraining ‘gay marriage’ is an act of mercy for everyone who supports the pursuit of wholeness.

‘Since my youth, You have taught me, O God, and to this day, I declare Your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come.’ (Ps. 71:17, 18)

‘Father, grant us foresight for a generation. Open our eyes to what ‘gay marriage’ means for generations-to-come. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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October 20, 2012 (Psalm 4:5)

‘Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord’ (Ps. 4:5)

Broken and contrite spirits make room for others. They lead out with mercy because they rely upon mercy. As we learn to live under the shadow of the cross, we discover like Bonheoffer ‘that no sin can ever be alien to us’, meaning, we brim with hope for everyone fallen soul who has yet to turn to the Lord. We await them alongside of us at Calvary.

How wonderful for parents and friends of those caught in idolatry to draw upon the wealth of mercy stored up in them from years of turning to the Source. Though deeply personal, mercy is also objective, as its Source never changes and will be ever true to those who turn to Him. He gives each of us the dignity of choice. But we know that God hears our prayers of mercy for loved ones, and our encouragement of them to trust wholly in Him. He is on the move.

Following his fresh reception of mercy, David declares: ‘Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will turn back to You.’ (Ps. 51: 12, 13)

‘Stir up the gift of Your mercy in us, that our hearts might freely extend that mercy to loved ones. Release the spirit of repentance upon those far away; may our prayerful love draw them near. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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October 19, 2012 (Psalm 4:5)

 

‘Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord.’ (Ps. 4:5)

St. Faustina Kowalska is right; the deeper our recognition of sin’s misery, the deeper our reception of mercy can be. For this reason alone, we can be grateful to God for ongoing reminders of moral weakness. As we endure temptation, over and over, we learn to become those fitting sacrifices to the Lord. We know that if we turned to the world and its pleasures, we could be consumed. We choose instead to turn to Him.

Mercy consumes the sacrifice. Set aflame by holy love, our prayers are kindled with gratitude. We burn gloriously, sons and daughters of mercy who trust wholly in Him.

‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.’ (Luke 5: 31, 32)

‘May we become sacrifices pleasing to You, O God. Open our eyes to see why You allow moral affliction. Make us beautiful in our offering ourselves to You, over and over. Transform our frustration with ourselves into trust in Your mercy. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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Broken Offerings – October 18, 2012 (Psalm 4:5)


‘Offer right sacrifices, and trust in the Lord.’ (PS 4:5)

Never before have I witnessed such an escalation of sexual and relational sin.

Pretty good marriages cooling into divorce, cohabitation as a matter of course, guys joking over the porn addictions they share: in the dirty mix, homosexual practice seems as natural as the weather.

What breaks me is not the human tendency to settle for less. Each of us is subject to sin’s gravitational pull. The hard truth that should propel our prayers is that the church of Jesus Christ is helping us ‘settle.’ Diseased by her drive to make church easy, she has exchanged the call to repent with the call to relent to sin.

Of course Jesus came to dwell with sinners. But He did so to rouse and raise them from what was killing them. Today’s church may be more inclined to support us in our sin, killing us softly.

How else do you explain the biggest evangelical church in Kansas City going soft on premarital sex or another one advocating for gay couples or the Cardinal who blessed the election of a ‘married’ gay man to the parish council? (In a telling twist, the conservative who most protested the gay man was silenced by the exposure of his own adulterous affair.)

If the salt loses its savor, it is good for nothing. If the Church loses vision of what humanity can be, then the citizens of the earth have no hope.

Adulterous David got low. His offering to God was a broken heart. ‘The sacrifices of God area broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.’ (PS 51:17)

Hear our prayer, O God. Forgive us, Your Church, for settling. We are Your body and we have not loved others according to Your headship. Have mercy on us. Our hope is in You.

 

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‘Offer right sacrifices, and trust in the Lord.’ (Ps. 4:5)

David asks that we make right, or fitting, sacrifices to the Lord. What does this mean? David explains it himself after his heart-rending confession of adultery in Psalm 51: ‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.’(v17).

Perhaps after our quiet examination of soul in the days preceding, we might agree with him. Each of us is subject to the adultery of this day; none are blameless. Our foundational sacrifice is our cry for mercy. I love the Roman Catholic ‘Mystery of Faith’ in which we pray: ‘Save us, Savior of the world, for by Your cross and resurrection, You have set us free.’ Free yes, yet still crying out for saving mercies. Such a cry can emanate only from a broken spirit. We offer our whole being to Him, and cleave.

‘On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night. Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wing. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.’ (Ps. 63: 7, 8)

‘Father, as we mature in You, we grow more dependent; as trust grows, we rely less on our strength and more on Yours. Reduce us to offering our whole broken selves to You, for You to do with what You will. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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