A Prayer for a Troubled World

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah said: " . . . seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." As Christians we're exiles as well. Our first citizenship is in heaven, but we pray for our neighborhoods, our nation, and our troubled world because we're also citizens of this world. I don't remember a time in my life when the events have been more chaotic -- more dangerous -- than they are today. That's why we've set aside this "BreakPoint" for prayer. Please join me. Gracious Heavenly Father, Your goodness to us as a people has been astounding. You have given us life and not only everything that sustains it, but everything in abundance. Yet it's precisely our abundance that gets in our way. We confess such a preoccupation with ourselves and our things that we don't see -- don't even want to see -- the needs and hurts of others. We haven't loved You with all our being, and we don't love our neighbors as ourselves -- our neighbor down the street or our neighbor on the other side of the globe. Father, forgive us for Jesus's sake and give us eyes to see, hearts to love, and faith to act in these perilous days. We pray for our nation and our leaders. We pray for the president and vice president, the cabinet departments and the military, for members of the House and Senate, and for justices and judges, governors, mayors, and legislators. Grant them wisdom, moral courage, sense of justice, and a saving knowledge of Christ. And we pray the same for our non-elected leaders. While we often criticize those in the academy, today we pray for them that You would break the stranglehold of postmodernism and bring Your truth into our colleges and universities. We pray that our business leaders would considered principle and people ahead of profit. We ask for a return of godly values in the marketplace. And we pray for our world. For 3,500 years the place we call the Holy Land has been under dispute. Israel and Palestine are engaged in a conflict of mutually exclusive claims, and events seem to have a life of their own. Protect us all from what could be a worldwide nuclear or biological catastrophe. Enable our president to calm the situation and empower Your church to engage the Palestinians, the Israelis, and others in the Middle East in a long-term, peaceful solution. We pray for events in Europe. Anti-Semitism has always brought Your judgment, and anti-Semitism is on the rise along with new xenophobic and neo-fascistic leaders. Renew Your church to head off what could be horrible consequences. We pray for those living with poverty, oppression, and disease in much of the world. We pray for the persecuted church in Asia and Africa. May believers find comfort in their faith and the strength to share their hope when faced with hopelessness. And we pray especially for prisoners and those in the margins of life -- every one precious in Your sight and made in Your image, ones You've especially told us to love. As members of Your church, we give You ourselves in these dangerous days. Make us fruitful, self-sacrificing servants who are willing to go as the Spirit of Jesus directs, for it's in His powerful name that we pray. Amen. For more information: National Day of Prayer website. Read President Bush's Proclamation.


Chuck Colson


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