Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lakeview Elementary and a Prayer for our Nation

Last night, an outdoor prayer rally was held in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee for Lakeview Elementary, which is being sued by the ACLU for things including allowing a group called "Praying Parents" to meet at the school. The story is in today's Tennessean. We have prayed about this situation a couple of times before. Today, pray anew for the students, teachers and parents at Lakeview Elementary.
Rebecca Johnson, writing in Monsters and Critics.com, shares with us a prayer for our country today. It is so compelling, that I am printing it in its entirety. Please include it in your prayers today:
Lord, I pray for this world you have made. It is a wonderful world, full of so much beauty, hope, and good. The season is changing, and we revel in the falling leaves and the glorious colors, and the apples, and the pumpkins, and the morning frosts.

Thank you for the rhythm of our years, and for the years themselves. They are gifts we cherish.

Lord, be with those who lack these gifts, who because of war, poverty, environmental destruction, or urbanization lack trees, fruit, food, and water. Comfort them, and remind us of the role we can play in providing clean water, adequate food, and a healthy environment. Through the story of creation you have invited us to serve as stewards of this earth. Through the teaching of Christ you have instructed us love all of creation as we love you. We struggle with both at times, Lord. Help us to better answer your call.

I pray for the people of the world. For those in our immediate lives who bring us such unspeakable joy, and for those who cause us unspeakable pain. Protect them all, and empower us to love them all, not simply with our words, but with our lives.

And God, help the people of the world reconcile to one another. There is so much fear - with Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran - each of these nations is filled with people created by you. And though they are our brothers and sisters, we fear them. They fear us. Hatred grows between us. We are broken. I know you don`t want this for us, but we can`t find a way to change how things are.

It is in trust that I give thanks, because I know that you have a way to change these fearful, dangerous relationships. It is in trust that I ask you to reveal your way to peace for all people. You have guided us in the way of peace with our enemies before, Lord. I ask that you do so again now.

Lord, I pray for those who hurt today, who are suffering from loss, confusion, pain, loneliness, despair. You are the great comforter. Comfort those who mourn and remind us to be the living presence of your love and compassion to all who suffer. Just as we are your presence to them, they are your presence to us. May we not forget.

Amen.

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