We learn to pray through praying the prayers of the Bible. One of the great wrestlers of prayer in Holy Scripture is Daniel. His prayer when disaster overtook the people of Jerusalem is apropos for us in our national disasters of egregious sin. Today I take the second part of Daniel’s prayer and use it as my own prayer (this is a continuation from yesterday’s prayer of confession). One of our own contemporary American disasters are the habitual mass shootings, especially at schools.
Prayer is an act of subversion. It challenges the status quo. It looks evil in the face and gives it a name. Real change begins with the step of real prayer, and real prayer is modeled after the great prayers of Scripture:
Our Lord God, with Your own mighty arm You brought our forefathers from religious harassment to this land. You graced us with a country to call our own, with the freedom to become what we couldn’t in other places. Through this You made Yourself famous to this very day, but we have sinned terribly. We keep killing one another with words and then with guns. All the while justifying our behavior through doing nothing about it and instead spending our efforts on spiritual gerrymandering. Meanwhile, our children keep dying.
In the past You treated us with such kindness, that we now beg You to stop being so terribly angry with America. After all, this nation was intended by our spiritual ancestors to be a city built on your holy mountain, even though it has suffered public disgrace because of our great and many sins.
I am your servant, Lord God, and I beg You to answer my prayers and bring honor to Yourself by having pity on our grieving families and the people who have forgotten You. Please show mercy to the United States, not because we deserve it, but because of your great kindness. Forgive us! Hurry and do something, not only for us, but to bring honor to yourself….Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.