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A Pledge and Prayer of Allegiance

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In this turbulent time of political, social, and emotional unrest, I thought a prayer and pledge of allegiance might be helpful to remind ourselves where we should be aligned and why.  Loyalty and trust are important, but they reflect what we value most. They reflect what we truly worship . A prayer and pledge of allegiance I pledge allegiance to Jesus Christ and to unity of believers and t the gospel for which He died, one Church, under God, indivisible in His Spirit, with love and forgiveness for all. Oh, Lord, the King of Kings and Prince of Peace , I pledge my obedience and reverence to you alone. You have created me to love you and to love others . Keep me from spiritual distractions, from aligning myself against others, from creating enemies and judging friends, from believing that you can only work through human law. I pledge my faith to your will and your timing because you are not hampered by the decisions of men. You can use anyone. You can use me, if only I will trust you.

An American Prayer: Lament & Confession

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Oh, Lord, King of heaven and earth, how you must be grieved. My heart is broken over the sins of my country and especially the Church. I can't imagine the heartbreak you have, and I can't fathom the hope and patience you also have for us when we sin. I confess the sins of my country. I confess our disunity, our rage, our insatiable desire for revenge . I confess our idolatry of wealth, class, power, fame, and self-righteousness. I confess our desire to condemn, hate, judge, blame, and kill one another. We're obsessed with our own comfort and security, to the detriment of anyone else. I confess our unflagging determination to idolize people: celebrities, politicians, millionaires, leaders of any field, as if they have the answers for life,  when You are the only one with answers. I confess our desire to win, to make teams, to align ourselves with political platforms and policies, to elevate elections, political races, and national power over loving our brothers and sisters

A lament about violence

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  Oh, Lord, This is a lament about violence.  Our hearts are grieved but not surprised at the violence and encouragement toward violence that's been occurring in this country.  There is no limit to the senseless hatred and selfishness that transpires when we do not seek your kingdom first. Forgive us, Lord, for our partisanship and hatred for one another. Forgive us for our inconsistent laws and prejudiced perspectives. Forgive us for consulting political consultants instead of you. Forgive us for turning on one another because we disagree. Lord, we need to repent individually and corporately.  Restore power and order through the body of Christ. Let it spill out and influence our local and national leaders. May our churches lead the cause of compassion and restitution. Protect our law enforcement . Protect innocent bystanders. Bring perpetrators to justice. Vengeance belongs to you. We ask you to work through our justice system fairly. Give our country another chance to radiate

A prayer for anyone disillusioned with the Church

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Oh, Lord, the Lover of the Church, I am part of the Bride of Christ, the Church. And we are seriously messed up right now. We are scared. We are searching. We are scattered. We are scarred. We are angry at  one another and divided from one another within the body of Christ. We are fighting disillusionment about the church, about other Christians, about our world. Lord, re-ignite my soul. I want to cling to you instead of hoping for people to change or the church to get back to "normal" or the world to get better or life to get easier. Surround me with your love and comfort because it's tempting to walk away from this big mess. It's becoming all too easy to disengage  from everything we find  uncomfortable and disconcerting. Lord, keep me from giving up on your church because of disunity . It's tempting to replace church with friend groups, TV church, and partisan network television. We read books instead of the Bible. We watch podcasts instead of meeting f

A prayer of hope and purpose for the New Year

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  A prayer of hope and purpose for the new year, from Philippians 3 -- Lord God, I want to know Jesus Christ and his resurrection. I can't understand his power or his suffering, or his perfection and righteousness. But you know that about me. You know I can't handle this world's problems on my own. You know I can't keep perspective on what matters. It's why you sent Jesus to us in the first place. Because I can't manage on my own, I cling to the hope that you can and will transform all things. I will forget what is behind me in this year. I will reach toward what you have before me in the new year. I will strain toward the prize of winning Christ, of choosing hope in my ordinary existence. I will press on toward the goal of becoming more like your son. My end of the pursuit is heaven. May I long to live in your presence, rather than be fearful of leaving this earth. Mature me this year. Transform me this year. Use me this year. I am yours. That is my hope . Hel

An anniversary prayer

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Lord God, You are the lover of my soul, my Bridegroom , my Savior, my friend forever. Thank you for inventing marriage, for having this incredible idea that two people are better than one if they are joined in unity with You. Thank you for my spouse and for all our years of marriage. I praise You for working in us and through us and between us. Thank you for going before us in the hard times, for carrying us through trials and trauma, for blessing us always. We owe you everything. Every happiness. Every parcel of maturity and wisdom. Every comfort. Lord, put a guard around my spouse . Protect his/her heart, mind, and soul. I pray the power of the Holy Spirit over his/her life each day. Enlarge his/her territory--expand his/her reach and influence, may he/she impact the world in the way you designed and imagined. May we both be obedient and compliant to all your plans  and most of all, to staying in close relationship with you. We want to hear You every time You speak. Obey You every

What God's saying to you this Christmas: a conversation

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What is God saying to you this Christmas? Do you know? Because He is speaking. He is calling. He is encouraging. He is blessing. Prayer is a two-way street. When we read Scripture, God speaks to us. When we pray, He confirms or corrects what we think we've heard. And we respond to Him. It's holy communication. Consider Mary's story this Christmas as a wonderful pattern of prayer for us humans. It's also a revelation about how God speaks to us and responds to our fear. Because we're all afraid . GOD (through an ANGEL): Greetings, (God sees you) you who are highly favored! (You are special to God, with special blessings from God) The Lord is with you. (You are not alone , ever) Do not be afraid, (God knows how you feel without you saying anything) Mary, (God knows your name and everything about you) you have found favor with God. (Again, you are blessed) You will be with child and give birth to a son.... (God has a particular calling on your life; it will