Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Together For Life in Atlanta

Today I was privileged today to say the closing prayer for the "Together for Life" gathering at the Georgia State Capital in Atlanta.  Thousands of people gathered to remember the 40th Anniversary of Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton and the over 55 Million babies killed in the last 40 years.  Can you believe it??  We as a nation have killed over 55 Million innocent unborn children.  How can we take pride in who we are as a people when we continue to slaughter new life?  How can God turn away His anger when the blood of so many cry out to him?? 

Below is the prayer I prayed asking God to change our hearts as a people and nation.

Heavenly Father,
The Creator of the Universe,
The Creator of our World, and
The Creator of each one of us,

You formed us while we were in our mother’s womb,
You have known us before we knew ourselves.

You have told us in Psalm 139 that you knit us together in our mother’s womb, and that we have been fearfully and wonderfully made.

You have told us in the Gospel of John that we are your children, born of the Holy Sprit and given eternal life.

It is You, Lord, who brings forth life
It is You, Lord who breathes life into every living thing.
You are the creator and sustainer of all we know.

And Lord, you have warned us in Proverbs 6 that you hate and call an abomination the hands that shed innocent blood.

You have told us in Leviticus that the sacrifice of a child profanes your Name.

You have told us that You will not leave unpunished the sacrifice of children.

Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us for taking the lives of over 55 million precious babies.

Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us for snuffing out the beauty of your creation.

Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us for abandoning your Laws and Commandments.

Heavenly Father, I plead the blood of your Son over my sin and the sins of our Nation.  God end abortion and send revival to the United States of America.

Father, we come in Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ asking you to intervene in the affairs of our nation.

Change the hearts of our leaders,
bring them to repentance.

Change the hearts of our judges,
bring them to repentance.

Change the hearts of our government officials and policy makers,
bring them to repentance.

Change the hearts of those in the media,
bring them to repentance.

Change the hearts of our religious leaders,
bring them to repentance.

Change the hearts of our citizens, b
ring them to repentance.

Change our hearts, O God,
bring us to repentance.

Help us all to turn from our wicked and evil ways, thoughts, and actions – those things which violate your commandments – and help us to follow in the ways of true justice and right living.

Start with us – start with me!

Father, we come in the Name of Jesus, asking you to help us stop abortion in our nation.

We ask in the Name of Jesus that it be stopped.

Father, we ask that you pour out your Holy Spirit on this nation and blow the Spirit of life throughout the land.

And Father, we pray for all those young women who right now find themselves expecting a baby, guide them to one of your servants who will guide them toward life, and not death.

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory, me, Rev. Dr. Alvida King 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Facing our Fears

            We seem to be in a time with a heightened sense of fear. Just last night I was listening to a newscast and the commentators were terrified about where our nation’s economy is going.  They used words like “fiscal cliff,” “devastating,” “traumatic,” “life-changing,” “meltdown,” and “depression.”  Whether their analysis is correct or not, the tone of their comments could not help but bring fear and anxiety to those listening.
            All of us are constantly challenged by fear: financial crises, health issues, family concerns, local crime, the neighbor’s dog, and even driving in traffic.  Fear is one of our God-given emotions to cause us to be alert, to warn us that danger is lurking, and to prepare us to act.   But fear can paralyze us and can bring on anxiety, worry, and all kind of physical effects in our body.  Fear is to be a guide, not the controller of our being.  It calls us to pay attention, but it is not an emotion by which we are meant to live.
            The most often used words of Jesus in the New Testament are: “Do not fear.”  He did not mean that we should not be aware of our fear.  He meant that we should not live in our fear.  Fear can terrorize one’s life.  He wants us to know that God is with is in all our circumstances and will guide us and direct us regardless of what we face. 
Jesus tells us that as we seek the things of God and attempt to follow His ways, what we need will be provided as we obey and trust Him – food, clothing, health, time, guidance, etc.  (Matthew 6:21-33).  In our culture of abundance, it is easy to fear the loss of so many of our wants and greeds, and forget the important things in our lives.
            The biggest weapon we have against fear controlling us is our faith that God is with us.  Knowing that His Presence is with me - right now - empowers me to have the courage to face what is before me.  His Holy Spirit, who indwells us, empowers us to move forward with caution and wisdom.  Joshua 1:9 says:  “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 is Here!

Today is New Year's Day.  On the church's calendar, it is also the Feast of The Holy Name -- the day when we remember Joseph and Mary taking Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised.  See Luke 2:21-38.

Heavenly Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation:  Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.  -- Collect of the Holy Name