Our Father, you are seated now as you were those thousands of years ago when you peeled back the curtain to give your servant Isaiah a glimpse of you. Your Son is seated at your right hand, reigning, ruling, holding all things together by the word of his power. Your Spirit has made His home is in the most unlikely place, the temple of human hearts. It is in your presence that there is fullness of joy. We pause and marvel, our hearts bowed low as we approach you in prayer.
How can it be that you welcome us to come to you in this way, that we do not have to slink into your presence, but run to you in boldness? It can ONLY be because your Son Jesus Christ came to save sinners — US — and through him we can be called the children of God, heirs to a kingdom that we cannot yet fully grasp. So we come to you as children, needy and humble in heart and know that you hear and respond to us.
As we shuffle around in these strange days, we feel the frustration and weight of not knowing what to do. Practical clarity feels out of reach and as soon as we may be about to grasp it, it slips out of our hand. We hear the voices of many shouting words and more words, plans and ideas and fears and predictions until our heads and hearts spin like a top. Help us, our Father, to fix our eyes on things above where Jesus is seated at your right hand. Help us remember that you are not spinning like a top, that you are not fretting and seeking counsel from mere men. Help us remember that while no one can fully grasp your mind and your inscrutable ways, still you desire for us to know you. You do not hide yourself from us. You are the one who gives counsel, who says, “This is the way, walk in it.” We desire to know your will as it is perfect and for our good and your glory. We ask that through the power of your spirit and the grace given to us through Jesus our Savior, you would align our hearts with yours.
Father, the giver of every good and perfect gift, we thank you for the another day. For many these days are filled with turmoil and trepidation. Help us to taste and see your goodness, the promised manna, as you provide and sustain us. It is so difficult for us to truly believe that in you, we truly have everything that we need. Give us eyes to see your faithfulness and open hands to receive bread — even when to us it may look like a stone. Settle fretful hearts. Enlarge our faith. Increase our trust in you. We cannot do it on our own. You are faithful, help us to remind ourselves of this.
As the wind shifts in the current days and the temperature of our culture continues to rise, cause our hearts to be soft and not hard. Forgive us for being quick to anger, quick to sling words of accusation and judgment, for grumbling, for lacking compassion for others. We can’t make it through one day without our flesh vying for its own way. Forgive us for giving in to temptation, for failing to turn our hearts from wicked ways and sinning in our thoughts as well as our deeds.
Stir up the wind of grace that forgives us into our hearts so that we might exhale it towards others. Loosen our grip on our own rights and opinions and demands. Teach us humility as we look to and remember our humble Christ. He did not revile in return those who insulted him, he did not threaten when he suffered. Indeed, he bled for those who hated him, and apart from grace we would not love him either. Increase our understanding of the forgiveness that you have poured out on us so we may forgive in the same way. Help us to know, like Jesus did, that our case is safe in your hands Father, that justice is yours and not ours. We trust you with our wounds.
And finally, we know that we have a true enemy, one that hates your glory and desires to steal and kill and destroy. Guard us from his schemes. Give us sharp minds and keen eyes and wise hearts that are alert and sober minded. We gather your armor onto us and ask for your protection to forces seen and unseen. May we remember that victory is already yours. Help us not to be afraid, but to stand firm with the armor of God covering us.
Father in heaven, the winds of change are upon us and we want to stand on the waters with our eyes fixed on you. Save us, hear our prayers, strengthen your weary children. Bind us together by your steadfast love and through the peace that Jesus brought to us.
And all your people said,