wise and deep thinker recently said that prophecy is given as a warning
in the hope that it brings repentance, and if there is repentance, then
judgement need not be rendered. I am reminded of the intercessory prayer
offered by Daniel in chapter 9 of his book. It is striking the type of
prayer he prayed, not that God would have mercy on "them" for their sins,
but that He would have mercy on "us" for our sins. In that spirit I offer
this intercessory prayer as this week's Sabbath Morning Companion.
O Great God, who is our Father, you who were there from the beginning and who has a plan for all mankind,
Thank you for giving meaning to our lives and for offering the hope found in the resurrection.
We as your people do not deserve your mercy, and yet you have offered it freely to us.
We as a nation have fallen woefully short of whom we should be, and we do not deserve the blessings that you have bestowed upon us, and yet you have bestowed them.
Sometimes we go through dry lands and deserts, and as we walk through the valley of death, remind us that you are with us. We are now living in a place and time fraught with danger and risk. Our prayer must always be for your compassion and mercy upon us, your flawed people. We pray for our nation and its leaders, that wise decisions will be made, that loss of life will be minimized.
But we also pray for all of your children in all nations, who want nothing more in life than we do. They want freedom. They want families. They want peace. And we pray for them, that their way may be eased as we share this world together.
We know that in the end those things can only come with the return of Jesus Christ. But until that time comes, we pray for an awakening in our nation, that the people of this land will seek you and come to you and find meaning in their lives, and that we will all turn from our wicked ways.
O Great God, give us all wisdom and strength to face the days ahead and to be your servants. Look over us and hold us as a father holds his children.
In Jesus name we pray this.
The Sabbath Morning Companion, March 16, 2003, by Lenny Cacchio.