another prayer…

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A Prayer for the Church and the Nation
September 16, 2001
by David Horner

Almighty and Most Glorious Lord,
With grateful hearts we bow before you,
proclaiming your matchless strength,
taking comfort in your sovereign dominion, and
confessing our complete dependence upon You.

We come to You and join together with all who love your name
to declare that You alone are the Lord.

While all around us, people lose heart and hope,
we find our future anchored in Christ and our peace resting upon Christ
who alone upholds all things by the power of His might.
Whom have we in heaven but You?
And besides You, we desire nothing more on earth.
One by one, we cry out, “My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”[1]

In a fallen world, You have told us that
“When vileness is exalted among the sons of men,
the wicked strut about on every side.”[2]
But you have drawn us near,
held us close, called us Your own and
sheltered us beneath the shadow of Your wings.
What can man do to us when our lives are in You?

May the devastating losses of these days of terror
never be wasted on futile thoughts of revenge, but
may we take captive every thought born of the tragedy.
May each of those thoughts serve us well and act
as a sober testimony to the frailty of human existence, and
as a grim reminder of the unlimited wickedness of total depravity.

For those who mourn,
for those whose sorrows weigh heavily
upon hearts crushed with grief,
O God, be their comfort and their peace.
For the brokenhearted, be merciful and bring
a touch of healing,
a sense of Your presence, and
a promise of hope.

In days past, we have enjoyed Your great favor,
consumed Your gracious bounty, and
scarcely even said, “Thank You, Lord!”
On this day, our hearts cry out to You with gratitude for the way
the lines of our lives have fallen to us in pleasant places,
the beauty of our heritage has marked us as a blessed people, and
the fullness of our joy has been limited only by our own short-sightedness and ingratitude.

Now as the dark clouds surround us, we still give thanks, for you are the Lord.
Now as the nations roar with indignation, we will give thanks, for you are our Sovereign God.
Now as the foundations are shaken and the false sense of security has been exposed,
we come before the God of all creation, the Lord of heaven and earth,
and we give thanks!

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines,
though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food,
though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls…”[3]

Though the centers of trade and the towers of commerce should fall,
though the strongholds of warriors and the bastions of might should crumble,
though the comings and goings of the nations cease…

“…Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord is my strength!”[4]

May we know the perfect sufficiency of our Savior,
the blessed comfort of the Holy Spirit, and
the everlasting mercy of our Father,
as we enter into uncharted waters together.

Father, we ask that You give
comfort to our troubled minds,
peace to our anxious hearts and
rest to our weary souls.

In the difficult days ahead, our desire would be for You
to bring the greatest glory and highest praise
to Your Son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Our hope and our trust are in You, O God our Father;
Guard our hearts as we persevere in your peace.
This we pray in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

[1] Psalm 73:25-26

[2] Psalm 12:8

[3] Habakkuk 3:17-18

[4] Habakkuk 3:19

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