To start these 10 days of prayer we will begin with forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
- Confess the sin that the events of the past few weeks have brought out in you.
- Trust that the Lord is faithful and just!!
- Desire the cleanliness of a holy righteousness by now forgiving others, even those in our country you are harboring resentments toward.
Resentment – When forgiveness is not swift and continually practiced, the heart corrodes into resentment. Resentful hearts will destroy not only your Christian witness but also your relationships. Continue in the confessions to God and repent of all resentments and soften your heart to be in tune with the grace of Christ.
Empathy – It’s hard to walk in the shoes of your political “other” and this is why the super power of empathy will be your best virtue to work out over the next several days. When Christ looked out at Jerusalem, much like we look out over DC, we can, without condescension, look and weep. He felt the lostness and the hope, their temptations and their struggles to love one another. Practice empathy today along with forgiveness for a spiritual combination that rises above the chaos, while refusing to abandon those stuck in the chaos.
Broken Relationships – Reach out to someone today for whom you have had harsh comments and hard feelings. Restore the years the locust have eaten and believe that better times are ahead.
I cry out to you from the depths, Lord— 2 my Lord, listen to my voice! Let your ears pay close attention to my request for mercy! 3 If you kept track of sins, Lord— my Lord, who would stand a chance? 4 But forgiveness is with you— that’s why you are honored. 5 I hope, Lord. My whole being hopes, and I wait for God’s promise. 6 My whole being waits for my Lord— more than the night watch waits for morning; yes, more than the night watch waits for morning! 7 Israel, wait for the Lord! Because faithful love is with the Lord; because great redemption is with our God! 8 He is the one who will redeem Israel from all its sin.
7 “When you pray, don’t pour out a flood of empty words, as the Gentiles do. They think that by saying many words they’ll be heard. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask. 9 Pray like this: Our Father who is in heaven, uphold the holiness of your name.10 Bring in your kingdom so that your will is done on earth as it’s done in heaven. 11 Give us the bread we need for today. 12 Forgive us for the ways we have wronged you, just as we also forgive those who have wronged us. 13 And don’t lead us into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. 14 “If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Lunch or Dinner – Practice a bit of hunger today in your belly and let those growls in your belly turn to hunger for a greater righteousness that is found in Jesus. Long for his rule and reign today during the times that you’d normally be eating that meal.
A Poison Tree by William Blake
I was angry with my friend;
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night.
Till it bore an apple bright.
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine.
And into my garden stole,
When the night had veild the pole;
In the morning glad I see;
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
Merciful Father, you know our hearts and our thoughts. Search us and show us where our fears of recent events have led to feelings of anger and hostility towards our neighbors. Lord, show us the depth of our resentment towards our enemies that we might see the gravity of our sin. Open our eyes that we might come to our senses and turn from evil. Father, we acknowledge the wounds in our heart and the ones we have inflicted on others. And even though we feel distant from your grace you call us to come home and repent of our sins. Your mercy reaches into the deepest parts of our soul and extends far beyond our comprehension. Your love knows no bounds. Father, we seek your understanding and wisdom. Give us eyes to see our fellow citizens with compassion and ears to listen patiently. Create in us a new heart that seeks the wellbeing of those we disagree with. Soften our hearts that we might extend our hands to bring healing and hope. As we surrender ourselves we pray for courage and humility for the work of reconciliation ahead. Father, restore us in your love that we might faithfully practice acts of kindness and forgiveness. Make us servants of peace and grace. In Jesus name, Amen.