The following is the text of the prayer that I wrote for the National Day of Prayer service held in our community. The theme I was given to pray about was “spiritual renewal in our land, our churches, and all Christ-centered ministries.” Of course, I approached it in my own unique way.
Loving and almighty God, we come before you today in need of a renewal, but not simply that. We pray this day for resurrection.
You, O God of life and light, you alone are our source of life and strength. We face a great many burdens. Burdens of self-importance. Burdens of arrogance. Burdens of certainty and self-sufficiency. Burdens of misplaced love, self-indulgency, pride, and greed. Help us. Revive us. Help us to die to ourselves, and find new life in you.
We pray for spiritual renewal in our land, that we might be able to listen to your spirit and find hope in you. You are the spirit of love, the spirit of grace, and the spirit of forgiveness. Help us to learn not to condemn others, even though they live and believe in different ways than we perceive ourselves to live. Help us to not see merely in labels. Help us to not cling to our predispositions, but instead live by the Spirit of grace. We pray that, as your representatives on earth, we might re-present Christ to others. To not cast the first stone. To listen first, and understand those whom you have called us to love. To embrace our difference and admit that your Spirit transcends what petty barriers we perceive to exist between us and our fellow people.
We pray for revival and resurrection in our churches. We live in a state of constant fear: fear of the world, fear of the culture, fear of scarcity, and fear of the death of the church. Remind us, oh God, that above all, you are a God of resurrection. You can make stones to speak, make water from the rock, and revive the dead. Help us to overcome our fear, and remember that the opposite of fear is love. You said once that faith like a small mustard-seed can grow and grow in abundance. Help us to reclaim our mustard-seed faith, and know that whatever storms we face, you are our rock, and our redeemer.
Renew us, oh Holy Spirit. Make us new. Give us new life, and help us to see you in all things. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.