FATHER GOD, I AM ASKING . . . that we may humble ourselves under your mighty hand (1 Peter 5:6). You are our Creator God, the true Ruler of this Universe. We thank you for the gift of choice you have given to us (Rev. 3:20, Matt. 23:37). We choose You. We ask that You reign in our lives . . . that we choose You and your ways every day, in every situation.
We are so tempted to criticize others in our sin-filled culture. Instead, we ask to become as aware of our own wrongs and hurtful actions, past and present, as we are of the sins committed against us. Whether hurt comes from an inconsiderate family member, an unknown motorist, or an intentional perpetrator of evil, please enable us to relinquish the desire to judge them and harbor bitterness and rage in our hearts. Oh God, cleanse us of the desire to make others suffer as we have suffered. Instead, we give our grievances to you, Lord Jesus, because you have already suffered and died for them (1 Peter 4:1). You have paid the price for the wrongs done to us as well as for our own sins. Thank you. As we have received your grace, may it now flow through us to others. Cleanse us of anger, even righteous anger, that we may be filled with your Holy Spirit and all its fruits. We leave justice and restoration up to You. We ask to dwell in your mercy and goodness that allows us unity in our homes, our churches and our communities.
We also ask, Father God, that you replace our disgust with one another, even hatred, with your love and respect. You can heal the rift between generations, between races and ethnic groups, between genders, and between political parties. Only You, God, can do this, only You. Please do so. Protect us from the evil one that seeks to turn us against one another. Please expose evil (Eph.5:11) so that we will turn from its allure to embrace your mercy and goodness that follow us all the days of our lives (Psalm 23:6). Cleanse our hearts of suspicion and blame, and please heal the wounds from hurtful words and false accusations. Instead of focusing on the sins of others, may we realize and confess our own. Cleanse us of self-righteousness that we may no longer be blind to the needs and frailties within us and among us. We ask for courtesy to again be common—in every interaction and transaction, on our sidewalks and on our roads, and especially in our homes. We pray for kindness (Eph. 4:32) and respect between all our people groups.
Most of all, Father, we ask for revival in the realm of personal relationship with You. May every adult and each child hear of and experience your love and freeing truth. May your voice be known and heeded among us, and your Word be our compass and our comfort. May your compassion so motivate us that every ministry, every church has an abundance of volunteers and more than enough funds (Exodus 36:5). May the pastors of every town and city meet together (as do those in Battle Ground) encouraging one another in your service. May your purposes be accomplished—intimate relationship, salvation, healing, discipling, equipping and training for fruitful, holy living by the power of your Holy Spirit. Please, Lord God, reveal yourself to us, in us, and through us. We need you, and this nation, this entire world, is desperate for you.
May each of us become like John the Baptist, a voice in the wilderness (Isaiah 40:3) preparing your way into the hearts of our friends and neighbors, old and young, weary or idealistic. You, Lord Jesus, are life to us, the answer to every problem. May we open the doors of our own hearts (Rev. 3:20) and humble ourselves beneath your mighty hand (1 Peter 5:6) that you may be released to do your work in us, among us, and through us.
To you Lord Jesus and the Father, we give praise and glory and many thanks for all you have already done. We long for your return in glory. May the hope of heaven be our energy source and the fear of death lose all of its power. Please enable us to abide in You, the Vine, bear much fruit (John 15), pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17) about all that is amiss, and FINISH THIS LIFE WELL. We ask all these things in the mighty name of Jesus as you instructed us to do. Amen
Fist Bump Drawing by Sam