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Litany for National Day of Prayer…

April 26, 2010

 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.  Matthew 16:18

Eternal God,
for whom all the nations of the earth are surely like a drop in the bucket
we come before you today recognizing our own smallness

We acknowledge that we were not there when you laid the foundations of the earth
we did not define the boundaries of the sea as it burst from the womb
we have never commanded the morning to appear or dawn to rise in the east

We see the hippopotamus, feeding on lotus plants by raging rivers
we see the fierce crocodile, the wild ox
we see the lightning
the rain watering the earth
and we are in awe

We come before you as residents of the earth
and together with Job
confess that we are nothing–we have no answers
we will put our hands over our mouths in silence
we have said too much already
we have nothing more to say

Today we will listen and confess…

God of all Creation,
we listen to your call to preserve the sanctity of life
and we confess that we have desecrated your image
in the massacre of Native Americans
in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
in the lynching of the sons and daughters of African slaves
in the abortions of unborn fetuses
We confess that we have sanctioned death in many forms
Have mercy on us

God who welcomed us into your garden
whose eye is on the sparrow
who clothes the lilies of the field
we listen to your call to tend the earth wisely
We confess that we have not always done so
we are inconsiderate of our neighbors who live downstream
from the fields we fertilize with nitrates
We engage in mining practices that disregard the safety of workers
the health of the surrounding community and ecosystem
We see the earth as mere raw materials to be consumed
to grow the economy, to raise profit margins, to pay dividends
We are not considerate of those who will come after us
on this green planet
Have mercy on us

God of all who bear your image,
we listen to your call for justice to roll on like a river
and righteousness like a never ending stream
We listen and confess that in our personal relationships
and in our national policies and laws
we have not always been just or righteous
we have a history of discrimination and segregation
we are full of hateful rhetoric and violent thoughts
toward immigrants, Muslims, gays and lesbians
we have not welcomed the stranger
we have mistreated and oppressed the alien
we have not found just ways to balance security concerns
with a pathway to citizenship for the tired and poor of the world
Have mercy on us

God of mercy and love
We confess that we have not loved our enemies as Jesus teaches
We have made war instead of peace
We have returned evil for evil
We have not forgiven our debtors
We have placed our trust in chariots and F-16s
We account for 41% of the world’s military expenditures
we amass debt through deficit spending
in order to extend our empire of military bases
throughout the world
We confess and listen for your word to us
We who this day would humble ourselves and pray to you 
the God of all nations, tribes and languages

Jesus, we confess you as Lord
so we listen once again today for your voice
calling us to be disciples
calling us to take up our cross
calling us to follow you

we listen once again for your voice
calling us to seek first your kingdom dream
calling us not to worry about tomorrow
calling us to see you in the least of these

We listen to your caution that we cannot serve two masters
Forgive us where we have confused the way of empire
with your Kingdom way of servant love
Forgive us for serving the idols of
nationalism
materialism
ethnocentrism
tribalism…

Whatever privilege or power we have as American Christians
may our attitude be the same as that of Christ Jesus
who though he was God, did not demand or cling to his rights
but made himself nothing

Whatever the colors of the flags flying all over your world today
help your Church be willing to live as the Body of Christ in the world
help your Church be willing to speak and act for your redemptive kingdom
help your Church be willing to live as if the Lamb is on the throne
as if this is that and then is now

Today we listen and confess…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 26, 2010 8:36 pm

    How prophetic . . . thank you for giving words to the Spirit’s voice.

  2. Cheryl permalink
    April 27, 2010 7:28 pm

    Very moving….your words ministered to my heart. Thanks!

  3. May 6, 2010 8:27 am

    I really appreciate the questions you ask in your other post on this topic –

    https://justanapprentice.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/what-if/

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