Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Prayer

I beseech You, Merciful God, to come quickly and defend Your church. We have become like Israel of old as we dance around idols of our own making.

Though they lack tangible form, our new gods are nevertheless the work of human hands. We call them beautiful and ascribe power to them that does not exist. We rob You of Your due honor and grant great deeds to our idols that they have not achieved. We bow and celebrate beneath them every day. We love and serve them more than we love and serve You. We look to them for comfort. We hope in them for the promise of a bright future rather than looking to Our Lord Jesus Christ alone. In our extreme foolishness, we have abandoned Your law and are no longer frightened by it.

Reprove us in our wicked iniquity, O Lord, and send us men who are enlightened by your Holy Spirit. Stamp out this virulent evil that infects us. Call forth men and place Your Word in their hands so that they may come down from the holy mountain and declare Your righteous judgments to a rebellious people. Grant them the authority to utterly demolish our false worship. Lift them up and instruct them to melt down our idols and so that we may eat the ashes of our sinful handiwork. Without Your loving hand, we will continue to flounder in error and futility. Without the declaration of Your Word among us, we will continue to commit adultery against You as we search for other gods and other christs to please our selfish lusts. We cannot save ourselves from this situation. We need your grace.

How long must the modern church be caged in this prison of false doctrine that we have made for ourselves? How long will we be allowed to look on the true doctrine that was given to us by Your chosen apostles with irreverence and contempt? How long will You, in Your perfect and providential will, permit us to wallow in our idolatry? Almighty and Everlasting God, do not hand us over to the darkness of our own desires as You did during the darkest days of the middle ages. Bring us to repentance so that we may avoid being handed over to captivity and desolation. Replace our growing Scriptural ignorance with a love for nothing short of pure knowledge and perfect truth.

When You consider the disposition of Your church, do not look upon the hated false teachers with Your justifiable wrath, but look upon the weak and poor victims of these heresies through Your boundless mercy. Do not allow us to be crushed under the weight of our sin, but bring us out from under these lies on account of Your abundant grace. Give our mouths voice so that we might cry out to You for deliverance. Return us to Your word and holy sacraments.

Use the balancing of worldly financial matters to create in us a true poverty of spirit. Teach us to look to You alone for deliverance and every blessing. Cause us to see the futility of this dying world and give us the ability to forsake its seduction. Make this upcoming season of lent a true call to repentance and faith for all Christians. So often we must suffer and be brought low so that we can see our place as Your redeemed and reconciled enemy. Bring us back under Your just and perfect rule as Your servile creation. Overturn the tables and cast our money-changers out Your temple. Beat back the influence peddlers, vanquish the legalists, chastise the empowerment seekers, and cause the false prophets to be mute in Your temple.

Look upon us with favor, O God, and spare us from this wicked generation. Pour out your Spirit and stop this tide of maddening self-love. Bless all of Your undeserving servants with wisdom, humility, and discernment so that we may have the strength and knowledge to do Your will. Grant Your servants ears to hear Your Word so that it might vivify and renew us now and forever.

Above all, O Lord, hear the groaning of Your militant church. Come quickly and complete our deliverance through Your Son’s long-awaited second coming.

I humbly ask for all these things on behalf of my brothers and sisters in the true faith through the name of My Savior and Lord Jesus Christ who with You and the Holy Spirit shall reign forever and ever. Amen.

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