National Day of Prayer was May 7. Since we were not allowed to gather in Court House to pray together, I wanted to share my prayer on behalf of all of us, at The Lighthouse Church.
If ever there was a time we needed to get on our knees, it is now. I believe prayer still changes situations because God is still on the throne.
We are not alone in this all, and when we give God room to move into our lives, that is when miraculousness begins to happen, so Lord, hear our prayer:
“Lord, I am crying out to You on behalf of our County, our State, and our Country. My petition goes way deeper than just asking You to make the coronavirus go away. We need lots more healing than just that which touches our physical bodies.
"There is so much division among our people. There is mistrust and hatred looming all over the place, and these traits never lead to life-giving conclusions.
"We know what You have said about pride, God, and ego is such a trap that our flesh so easily falls into. Forgive the ways some of our leadership speaks, as if You don’t exist. Forgive us for depending upon the latest news to meet our needs more than we should be hungering for our daily bread.
"Nothing is bigger than what You can handle Lord, and no human power intimidates Your sovereignty. Draw us to lean into Your presence, and find solace in Your grip. I hope and yearn that rather than trying to change the course of events with our own ingenuity, we would humbly and willingly surrender our agenda to Your hands and follow Your directions.
"There is so much disappointment in our midst, dear Father. There are no sports, no graduations, no birthday parties, no field trips, no church services with true community, no hugs, no touch, and lots of anxiety and worries. The old saying boasts that children are resilient, but I hurt for them and ask that we as adults will take the time to allow them to express their hearts.
"Let’s assume nothing. Not that we have all the answers they seek, but venting and sharing helps anyone feel better because at least it gets what is boiling on the inside to simmer down on the outside.
"I also pray that in our efforts to keep everyone safe from a virus, we don’t do it at the expense of losing our souls. What good is it if we are physically healthy but spiritually bankrupt.
"I know there are times and seasons for everything Lord, but I am asking that those who make the decisions will take into account the fact that people need each other not merely to survive but to thrive. Open the locked doors, Lord. Let us be wise and careful, but also allow us to get out of the bubble because we aren’t as protected as we think we are by dwelling there.
"Bring a holy peace to those who have had to say goodbye to loved ones from a distance. I ask that our senior adults who are in these special care facilities will sense Your touch and when their loneliness gets overwhelming, please show up to comfort them at just the right time; and for those who serve faithfully in the medical field, God, they must be weary and just wearing those masks all day, putting themselves regularly on the front line, smack dab in the line of fire, God they need to experience fresh energy and renewed strength.
"Those who serve in retail and restaurants, and do so out of necessity, also need encouragement. Customers who can’t find what they need are not the easiest of crowds to work with. We need patience and compassion in bigger doses than we are normally used to so that we can treat one another with love and respect.
"And there are those who are rightfully concerned about their finances and livelihood; and every day this pandemic continues, the questions of what will happen to their future grow louder and more intense.
"Lord, You promise to provide our every need, and we take You at Your word that You will not abandon us when we need You the most. I pray that doors will open and miracles will take place. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world and we refuse to use logic when, Lord, there are so many instances when common sense must be tossed aside and obedience to You must take precedence.
"Speak, Lord, for we listen, and when you lead, give us the courage to follow, no matter whatever.
"We confess our sins of pride and greed. We all have way more than we need. When we should have given more, we tried to hoard what should have been shared.
"It’s not too late for us to return to You and to put You first. Teach us to be grateful for what we have and not spoiled brats, always seeking for more. Let us not be ashamed to share our faith. Let us be filled with Your love, so that we can spill it on to those who don’t yet believe in You.
"Let us walk the belief we talk. Let us not be so holier than thou that we don’t take the time to embrace all those you bring across our paths. Even those who don’t look like us or talk like us or believe like us.
"I want to lift You up, Jesus, change the world through me, beginning right here, in Cape May County.
"We don’t know where this is going, Lord, but we do know You hold the future and our story will not end in defeat. Don’t let us abandon ship unless You want us to walk on the water.
"Open our eyes to see You everywhere. Open our hearts to receive You anywhere. Open our mouths to speak a truth that will set others free.
"I know whom I have believed in, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep all that we have committed to Him for the day when only what matters most will remain. I pray this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen."
ED. NOTE: The author is the senior pastor of The Lighthouse Church, 1248 Route 9 South, Court House.