Hi friends,

In 9am service we had a baptism, which was very encouraging to see God’s work of grace!  However, in our 11am service we took some time to pray for our country and city. This past week have been several recent tragic and sad shootings in our city where even children have been killed and we have also seen several tragedies around our country. Also, in anticipation of potential unrest at the announcement of the verdict for Derek Chauvin, a thousand national guards have been deployed to our city and once again businesses are being boarded up.  

As we process these heavy times, I believe there are three categories that we should take to the Lord in prayer.  First, we should pray to weep with those who weep.  Second,  we should pray to confess to God how humanity’s sin against humanity is dishonoring to him.  Third, we should pray to express our hope in His ultimate redemption of all things.

Here is my prayer for this past Sunday.

God, we come to you with heavy hearts praying for those who have lost loved ones.  Lord, please comfort them.  We pray for those who have been retraumatized by hearing headlines like this once again. God, please be their peace. We thank You that You care about our pain. You say You are near to the broken hearted and You are present in our pain in a special and precious way.  God as we express our lament over the brokenness of this world, we pay that our sorrow would reflect Your sorrow.  Keep our hearts soft.  Protect us from ever becoming desensitized.  May we always be those who weep with those who weep.

God, we come to You with confession.  We confess that hatred, anger, violence and injustice are displeasing to You.  God, while we did not directly contribute to the actions that took place this past week and while we do not plan on being part of any rioting this coming week, we confess that the seeds of those sins reside in each one of our hearts.  We come to You in our broken humanity confessing the sin of humanity.  Have mercy on us we pray and as we come to You with this confession.

God, we come to You with hope.  You have promised in Your Holy Word that there is no such thing as senseless suffering, but everything that happens in this earth is completely entirely under Your sovereign control.  While we can’t imagine why You allow dark chapters to be written, we can know that every page of pain that gets penned comes from the heart of Your divine love and is bringing together a story of great redemption. We believe with faith that Your story of redemption will be so magnificent that when we see it in its full glory at the end of time, this story will cause us to want to praise You for all eternity. And so we stand against the despair, despondency, and discouragement that Satan wants to breathe into our hearts and we declare today that Jesus Christ is the reigning Lord.  Because Jesus reigns, we believe that there is nothing that is broken in this world that He is not ultimately going to turn into tremendous beauty.  And we know that this hope is real and true because Jesus suffered the greatest evil ever as He died on the cross taking on our sins.  But that great evil was under His sovereign control, because three days later He rose from the grave to prove with finality that there is no evil that His redemptive love will not use for His glory in the celebration of His triumph. God, we long for the day when we will see the end of Your story. And so we pray, Maranatha, come quickly Lord Jesus. Oh, come quickly Lord Jesus. Hallelujah and amen.