Did you know today is the National Day of Prayer?
You do now.
Coincidentally, our church started an online Equip class last night on Prayer.
Through the magic of Zoom and the incredible talent of one of our pastors, we managed to gather on our computers and phones and, with a whole bunch of little Brady Bunch squares dotting our screen, we were led through some dynamics of prayer.
We even got divided into “small groups” and then were reconvened and as a child born into a world of big old console TV’s and wowzer….now they come in color??? I was just blown away by what it took to make this happen.
As I looked at the faces on my laptop and heard the reasons why people had signed up for the class, I wished I wasn’t on video because I was fighting back some ugly tears.
Just a few faces and then all the faces and I realized how many stories each one represented and for the most part people signed up for the class because of overwhelming need for prayer…prayers for themselves or to be better equipped to pray for others.
So today, I am just going to pray for you all.
Heavenly Father, I come to You this morning and I lift up in advance any reader who might happen across this space.
Lord, I thank You that You see and You know the needs and desires of each one.
For families: I pray for the ups and downs that this season has introduced into each home. I pray for the added stress of children home all day and yet all parks and excursions canceled. I pray for the energy of parents and for those who are juggling working from home, facilitating school assignments and providing meals and snacks and refereeing. I pray for those who have lost income and hope. I pray for the children in homes where dysfunction was already creating an unsafe environment. I pray Your love and presence to be known in all of our homes, Father.
For businesses: Lord, I thank You for the creative and innovative ways that both small and large companies have implemented emergency plans so that they could continue on. I thank You for help from the government for many, but Lord I also pray for wisdom in our leaders regarding huge debts at all levels of funding. I pray for protection over those who have continued to work and I pray for an understanding of those who are in positions of leadership within companies that there is great value for all levels of workers. I pray You would instill in all of us a desire to work hard, pay fair wages and forgive us our sins of greed and entitlement.
For churches: Lord, I thank You for the ways big and small churches and ministries have adapted quickly and complied with the government leaders to protect and promote the health of their flock. I thank You for the internet and technology that has allowed the Church to continue to gather, but Father, I am mindful that there are many for whom all of this is overwhelming and so they have been isolated. I pray for those who do not have access to computers, smart phones or the knowledge to operate these tools and so they have been left on the fringes. I pray that You would meet them in their homes and places of seeking. I thank You that the Holy Spirit moves freely without wifi and can minister in the darkest of places. I pray for small churches that were struggling. I thank you for the many who have continued to press on and have not despised their lack of numbers but have ministered one by one to each member.
For teachers, coaches, instructors of dance and music: Lord, we thank You for the hearts of those who have dedicated their lives to teaching and caring for children. How helpless they have felt as they would very much go to the front lines, but have been side-lined. Thank You for the ways they love these kids and work to create connections in their vans and cars, on Zoom and through any measure they can use to encourage the parents and children they serve. Lord, give the administrators, teachers, coaches, dance and music and art instructors wisdom as decisions are being made regarding the coming year.
For graduates and those seeking employment: Father, lift up the heads of those who were prepared to move into the next season of life and are now unsure. Lord, You sustain us and You provide for us, let Your peace reign in these many who are now facing unexpected interruptions and uncertainty for their future. Raise up out of this a new generation of wise and talented leaders who have understood what it is to build character through adversity.
For the medical community and first responders: Father for those who have been fatigued in various areas, I pray that You would strengthen them and refresh them and remind them that they are only required to do what they can do. In their weariness, give them assurance of Your love for them. Ease the heaviness, hold them in their grief, wipe their tears. For those who have been unable to care for patients due to restrictions, give them a peace and wisdom in how to move forward into opening practices and returning to work. Place a hedge of protection around this community from exposure and exhaustion. Encourage them in their service to us.
For our country: Lord, silence the voices of those who desire to bring conflict instead of resolution. Forgive us for always choosing sides and for always carrying offenses against others. Forgive us Lord for the hatred that still rules over so many and for the injustices towards one another. Forgive us for our pride and our agendas. Forgive our disregard for human life at all ages, in all races and ethnicities, and help us, who know You and are called by Your name, to be agents of peace and reconciliation.
For the world: Father, we often forget in this country that we have been blessed with so much. The minor inconveniences we have experienced are a way of life for most of the world. Instead of complaining about what we don’t have, help us to be ever grateful for all that we do have.
Father, I have surely missed so many things. I pray for anyone who made it through with me and thought of something I forgot that You would prompt them to pray for those things as we share the burdens of Your heart for our fellow travelers in our prayers.
Thank You that we are all called to pray for different assignments. May we enter into the yoke with our Lord Jesus Christ and partner with Him in faithful/faith-filled prayer and increasing acts of love and obedience.
In Jesus’ Name