One of our pastors wrote this prayer this past week. He serves a congregation between Washington, DC and Baltimore.
Prayer for September 11, 2011
Lord Jesus Christ, this is a day of remembrance marking a great tragedy in the life of our people. We are fallen people living in a broken world attended by much pain. But You warned us of this the day You told us we would die if we ate of the forbidden fruit. Yet, you are our Redeemer, and have never abandoned us. Continue to turn our hearts, and all hearts to You, the source of all grace.
We lift up to You today all those who lost loved ones on September 11th – husbands, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, dear friends. The pain of these losses never fully goes away in this life. Be their daily comfort, guide, and strength. Continue to heal those who have been hurt in body or mind, who continue to carry the scars of that day. You alone, Lord Jesus, are the One upon whom we can cast all burdens.
Lord, we pray for all emergency personnel, those who respond in minutes wherever there is a need. Our lives often depend upon these people. Grant them strength, courage, and wisdom for each situation they face. Thank You for their dedication. We especially remember those who responded at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Be there Lord, and provide for all their needs.
Good Lord, you have taught us to pray for our enemies. You know how hard this is for us to do when our feelings run so deep. But we do lift up to You all those who, misguided by their faith, do terrible acts of destruction, whether secular, Christian, or Islamist. They are consumed by hate, and that is not Your desire for any of us. Somehow, Lord, reach into their hearts by the presence of Your Spirit. Show them love and grace which alone changes hearts, and works for good.
We pray, Gracious God, for the Moslems in our country. Most of them do not hate us, and don’t approve of those who do. Protect them from false accusations, and suspicions of others. Help them to live and enjoy life in peace. But above all, Lord Jesus, reveal Yourself to them, not just as another prophet, but as Lord and Christ. Help them to come to You as the way, the truth and the life.
Lord, work in our own hearts, helping us to forgive. It is something we don’t want to do, and cannot do in our own strength. It is only You who said “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”, who can forgive through us. Heal our own hurts, cleanse our own memories, and replace any bitterness in us with Your love. One of your hardest commands is to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us. Change our hearts O Lord, that we can love more with Your love, whether for a Moslem or for our neighbor next door. Only Your love has the power to heal.
And Lord Jesus, we pray for our nation. We live in troubled time. We have sinned greatly, rejecting you in many areas of life. Have mercy on us, O Lord. Let Your mercy be upon us. Turn the hearts of our leaders to You. Work in them with a wisdom that is beyond themselves. Help them to guide us in the way of peace. Help them to get beyond party wrangling, political ambitions, and selfish gains, to do what is right for all people. Only You have the wisdom for this task. Work in them, Good Lord.
O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, hear these our prayers, and the prayers of all those who cry out to You in their hearts. Above all shorten the time until you send the Lord Jesus to us. Only His presence among us again can heal all our needs, cleanse all unrighteousness, and bring true peace to this earth. May it be soon, dear Lord. We pray all this in the blessed name of Christ our Saviour. Amen.