Teach Us to Pray
“…your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Verse 10)
Just as last week’s devotional on Epiphany was sent out, news reports came flooding in of violence at the Capitol. I couldn’t believe my eyes as what started as a peaceful and prayerful protest, evolved into total anarchy and outright lawlessness especially as news spread that Vice President Pence would not make any moves toward validating the claims that the election was stolen. Hundreds will certainly be prosecuted at the very least for the illegal entry of the Capitol building as well as the violence and threats that occurred inside and outside of the building. I emailed the staff and elders and charged them to make time for prayer that evening, and several folks gathered online to pray for our church, our nation and the world.
Pastor Robert Jeffress, one of Trump’s most avid supporters, said this: “What happened on Wednesday when a mob infiltrated the Capitol building was not a protest. It was lawlessness…Shouting profanities, beating back police officers, destroying property, intimidating elected officials… These are not forms of political argument, no matter who uses them. They’re just an ungodly power grab. Celebrating evil is evil. It corrodes the soul.” I couldn’t agree more. I am praying even more for our churches and nation.
The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Jesus said, “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, holy is your name…” I’ve always been particularly moved and challenged by Jesus’ instruction to pray that “…your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). It is a prayer for the rule of God to be made known on earth.
In heaven there will be no chaos…may the Lord’s peace come upon on our land.
In heaven there will be no lies…may God’s truth reign in and through our lives.
In heaven there will be no arrogance…may the Spirit invite us to choose the path of humility.
So as I continue to learn to pray, I invite you to join me in praying for our nation this week: “The division in our country is as great as any time since the Civil War. I am calling on Christians to unite our hearts together in prayer for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and for the leadership in both parties” (Franklin Graham).
Last Sunday I said it’s time to pray for our outgoing President and Vice President and for our incoming President-elect and Vice-President elect. Let’s pray for a peaceful transition of power as Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20. And let’s continue to invite the Spirit to search our own hearts for any allegiance that is above the Lord Jesus Christ and for any despair that fails to take in the fullness of God’s faithfulness and glory. God's goodness will prevail, and we have the privilege to join God in the work he is doing on earth through our everyday lives.
LIVING OUT GOD’S WORD
Take some time to pray specifically for a way that heavenly realities might be expressed on earth through your life. Ask the Lord to show you how you are to be a part of revealing his goodness in your everyday life. Pray for our nation and our churches for truth to prevail.
We grieve the events of last week and any ongoing violence and plans for violence. We repent for putting other lords and power above you, God. May your Spirit reveal truth from your Scriptures and help us see how we are to participate in revealing your goodness on earth. We pray against the evil one who wants to sow division, chaos, arrogance, confusion and fear. We put our trust in you alone, our Deliverer and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.