Monday, November 5, 2012

A Prayer for the 6th of November

I was reviewing the prayer in Isaiah 26 today, and found in it a prayer deeply relevant for the church awaiting the fate of their nation and feeling how little they can do.

            In the path of your judgments,
                        O LORD, we wait for you;
            your name and remembrance
                        are the desire of our soul.
          My soul yearns for you in the night;
                        my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
            For when your judgments are in the earth,
                        the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
            If favor is shown to the wicked,
                        he does not learn righteousness;
            in the land of uprightness he deals corruptly
                        and does not see the majesty of the LORD.

O Lord, we long, day and night, to see Your glory,
though we must stand amid Your judgments on our world..
How will the wicked know Your majesty if you allow them to prosper?
Come, and teach us Your righteousness.

            O LORD, your hand is lifted up,
                        but they do not see it.
            Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed.
                        Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.

We want the world to see Your faithfulness to us,
for we are Your people.
Oh that  all people would see Your glory.
Lord, open the blind eyes!

            O LORD, you will ordain peace for us,
                        for you have indeed done for us all our works.
            O LORD our God,
                        other lords besides you have ruled over us,
                        but your name alone we bring to remembrance.
You are our hope, sovereign Lord.
Our hope for peace
for righteousness
for salvation
Though men may rule over us
we look not to them, but to You.
            They are dead, they will not live;
                        they are shades, they will not arise;
            to that end you have visited them with destruction
                        and wiped out all remembrance of them.
We do not fear the wicked,
though they be the great rulers of earth.
They are shadows in your light,
passing breaths
When you arise to judge, they will be as nothing.
Oh forbid that we should fear the dust!
            But you have increased the nation, O LORD,
                        you have increased the nation; you are glorified;
                        you have enlarged all the borders of the land.
We are confident
Though the nations, even our nation and rulers, should perish
You will build your church, Your holy nation
As you have promised
The gates of Hell shall not prevail against her.
You will make her whole
You will make her holy
And You will be glorified
            O LORD, in distress they sought you;
                        they poured out a whispered prayer
                        when your discipline was upon them.
            Like a pregnant woman
                        who writhes and cries out in her pangs
                        when she is near to giving birth,
            so were we because of you, O LORD;
                        we were pregnant, we writhed,
                        but we have given birth to wind.
            We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth,
                        and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.

O Lord, though we be under Your discipline for our sin
and share in suffering for the sins of our nation,
Yet we will cry out to You for deliverance.
For we are still Your people.
You have shown us our utter helplessness
In the face of Your judgments
We cannot save our nation, our church, or our own souls
We need You.

            Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.
                        You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
            For your dew is a dew of light,
                        and the earth will give birth to the dead.
Here is our hope – that as You have promised
You will raise Your people from the dead
from spiritual death and mourning to songs of joy
from physical death to everlasting life
And we will live to praise You.
            Come, my people, enter your chambers,
                        and shut your doors behind you;
            hide yourselves for a little while
                        until the fury has passed by.
            For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place
                        to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,
            and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it,
                        and will no more cover its slain.
But at present, we must see sorrow and suffering
For we dwell in the midst of a vile people
Who have shed innocent blood
And we are not free from vileness or innocent ourselves
But we will hide in the wounds of our Savior, Jesus
We will take refuge in His promises of deliverance
While we wait for You.
In unshaken confidence that You alone will make all things right.

(Isaiah 26:3-21 ESV)

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