A Prayer for my Church, for our People
Devotional Thought of the Day:
9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9-10 (NKJV)
St. Aiden’s Prayer for the Holy Island of Lindisfarne (and my prayer for Concordia!)
Lord, this bare island, make it a place of peace! Here be the peace f those who do Your will. Here be the peace of brothers serving man. Here be the peace of holy people* obeying. Here be the peace of praise by dark and day. Be this Island, Your Holy Island! I, Lord, your servant Aidan make this prayer. May it be Your care, AMEN! (1)
it hit me this morning, as I read the prayer above, that we should be praying like this more often than we do.
Please hear me, I am not saying we don’t pray enough for our people. Anyone who has been to my church knows of our prayers, and many people who have never been here.
But how often do we pray our churches, our homes, will be a place of peace, a place where people grow in their devotion to God, a place where there is praise, day and night? Do we desire and beg God that our sanctuaries, our homes would be places that are set aside to be with Him, to be places where people are served, where people learn to obey God ( I prefer the Greek – to guard/treasure His way of life)
Is this not what we are praying for in part, as we pray the Lord’s prayer? That God’s rule over us would be established, that He would be our Master, that His will would be done. I love how Luther explains this:
Truly, God’s good and gracious will is accomplished without our prayer. But we pray in this request that is be accomplished among us as well. (2)
But do we actively pray this for our people? For the places where they are set apart? Do we fervently seek God’s will for them, and ask His guidance? Or do we reduce our prayers to simple survival? For healing, that we would get through the next crisis. Do we want to see their praises so inspired, that they cannot stop praising God? And in those praises, find ways to serve those around them?
I think we do pray for their holiness, but I am not sure we are as conscious of it as we could be. It is there, but it could be brought out more.
It is time for that….
Lord, may our people here be holy and set apart. May our church, their homes, their workplaces, be such places of peace, set apart to see your will accomplished. May our desire to see this happen grow, and may we dedicate our lives and our fervent prayers to seeing them grow in the grace, mercy and love that is known in you. AMEN!
(1) Taken and slightly adapted from Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers of the Northumbrian Community
(2) Luther’s Small Catechism: Developed and Explained.