“And So We Pray”, from L.Willows (repentance, reconciliation, restoration)

BelovedWePray

Christians everywhere are praying. We are called by the brokenness that our nation is experiencing and by the cries for justice. We need to examine ourselves before God with humility and seek Him in Prayer. I would like to share with you what my church sent out to us almost two weeks ago –and so we pray. L.Willows

We are praying and fasting together as a church family in response to the brokenness our nation is experiencing. May these thoughts and scriptures be helpful to us as we seek the Lord honestly, openly, and expectantly.

We pray for hearts of repentance.

We are called to lives of faith and repentance. If we avoid repentance, we
undermine our faith. That’s why we confess sin in worship regularly at APC.
Confession, and the assurance of pardon, are necessary components of worship dialogue. The more we repent, the more we see and comprehend the Father’s mercy, Christ’s sacrificial love, and our dependency on the Holy Spirit.

We confess our personal sin

We deeply want to believe we are not guilty of racism. Yet ethnocentrism,
prejudice, and racism exist in every human heart. Lord, help us see it, without fear or self-justification! Even Peter, an apostle, was guilty of this sin. Paul rebuked him (Gal. 2:11-14) for racial prejudice, for refusing to eat with Gentiles. Peter’s personal sin led others to follow his example, even Barnabas. That’s why…

We confess systemic and historic sin

God sees sin as a comprehensive and corporate, as well as personal. All of “creation was subjected to futility.” (Rom. 8:20). Everything is broken. Our individual hearts, and the communities we form. It is not a sin to be white, or any other ethnicity. But we must not be blind to our history and how it persists today.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

We thank Jesus for taking our sin on Himself Jesus moved proactively toward us (Phil. 2) and humbled himself, taking upon himself sins that he did not personally commit. We give thanks that although Adam’s sin was imputed to us, Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us when we repent and believe. “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:17)

We pray corporately, covenantally We cannot look away from the despair of our neighbors of color, for they are made in God’s image and violence against them is an assault on His image.
We do not close our ears to their cries over the centuries. We do not deny the sin of a nation that has shown preference for people of one color over another—and then labors to deny this preference even exists, doubling the pain and insult. Instead, we “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15) and we pray Psalm 106:6—”Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.”

We also pray corporately with Daniel (9:3-6), with Jeremiah (14:20), with Isaiah (6:5), and with Nehemiah (1:5-7; 9:1-37).

We pray that repentance leads to reconciliation

Relationships are important to God. They are the only things that last eternally. Jesus tells us if your brother feels you have offended him, you must not worship until you proactively pursue reconciliation with him. (Matt.5:23-24) Because our vertical relationships and horizontal relationships are connected.

So we pray for reconciliation between individuals, families, neighbors, fellow believers, in our denomination, our nation, and our world. Such reconciliation does not come from us, but flows through us, the fruit of reconciliation with God. (2 Cor. 5:16-20)

We pray for peace

We are called to “open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Prov. 31:9) We pray for peace in the streets, that voices are heard and violence is prevented. We pray for safety for both the protestors and those who enforce the law.

We pray with hope

We grieve over the world’s brokenness, and give thanks that the restoration of all things is not our work, but Christ’s. We live between the Garden and the City, looking with hope to the day when God Himself “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore.” (Rev. 21:4)
We long to see people “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages…standing before the throne and before the Lamb…crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev. 7:9-10)

Alexandria Presbyterian Church (Alexandria, VA USA -A Day of Fasting and Prayer, June 7, 2020)

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