God of the heavens, who decided a long time ago to make your home among us, we are grateful for your presence. As you are well aware, today in our city we have visitors who are not new to our city representing attitudes that have created large walls separating the good citizens of our city. Well intended Christian people have been praying since they heard about the rally, and they have been seeking your council and guidance as we all figure out a proper response that brings glory to your name. Good Christians have focused their efforts on these hours that are about to close, the rally is about to cease. Father of black and white, of citizen and immigrant, the one who offers salvation to the prisoners and the law abiding, to all those who are caught in the grip of sin, including me. Hear my prayer this afternoon as we move from this time of protest and counter-protest into the dawning of a new day.
Father, tomorrow your people will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the victory of your kingdom over all other kingdoms, the victory of your people over all evil. And as was our prayer this morning as we woke up, as the KKK came into town and set up to misrepresent you and your purposes in the world - I pray that I am not misrepresenting you. I want you to be honored, I want Jesus' resurrection to mean something in the community life of this city, not just in our church buildings. I want to pray that Memphis Christians become the answers to our own prayers.
Father, as we enter our church communities in which we are surrounded by folks who think like us and act like us and probably look like us - remind us that our risen savior is one who doesn't think like us or act like us or look like us. May we learn to love our neighbors like Jesus taught us to and did.
Father, I want to pray the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. that we do not judge by the color of skin (or anything skin deep), but by the content of character . For King there was a standard by which we distinguish good people from those overcome with evil. In a city like Memphis we need standards, we need to distinguish good from evil. I pray for strong character in our city. I pray for fathers across our city and for mothers. I pray for teens in the suburbs and for the teens in some of the poorest zip codes in the country. I pray for every student and young adult in college, working, or searching for a job. I ask you to teach us all strong character that flows from the mighty river of Jesus.
Father, I want resurrection for Memphis. As we look back to the moments in which Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended to your right hand side, as we look forward to the time when your people gather around that throne where Jesus sits at your side, give us the boldness to pursue the same story right now. In the wake of the rally, in the middle of the rainy spring, let us push up from the soil and grow into the strong trees of right living that we want to see in our city.
Father, thank you for hearing my prayer and so many others on this weekend. And please give all people who seek after it an experience of the resurrection tomorrow, but more than that, I pray that your people rise up out of the graves of apathy, moral superiority, racial superiority, greed, hypocrisy, competition, just to name a few - to live new lives empowered the Holy Spirit.
To you be glory now and forever more. In the Name of Jesus I pray - AMEN.
I want to share thoughts, insights, and scriptures that lead us in the direction of Christ.