Prayer: Following God by Faith into the Unknown (Hebrews 11:8-10; Genesis 12:1-7)

Sovereign Lord, like Abraham, you have called us to follow you into a future world and mission filled with danger and uncertainty. We know that the evils we see so quickly and frequently are not new, but they feel new to us, closer to us, and more overwhelming to us than ever before. Lord, please fill us with your Holy Spirit’s supernatural presence and power that casts out all fear. Fill us with your supernatural life and love that empowers us to live by your promises and to love others boldly as you have loved us. Please make us compassionate and not callous toward those who suffer.

We pray for the cities of Orlando, Baton Rouge, Minneapolis, and Dallas, whose grief is still fresh. Please draw near to all who grieve with your comfort and hope. And we ask you to comfort and protect the people of Nice and the people of Turkey, from those who would do further violence. Use our sister churches in those places to wrap strong arms of support around those who grieve.

But Lord, we are weary with grief and so tired of oppression. You are the Just Judge of all the earth, so how long must the weak and the innocent suffer at the hands of the violent? Please come to deliver the oppressed with mercy and bring justice to your world. We thank you for the violence you have prevented, but we ask boldly for so much more: restrain and break the power of those who do great evil; lead them to repent, and to find forgiveness and eternal life in the Lord Jesus, and to surrender their heart and bow their knee to you as their King.

And in the midst of it all, help the leaders of our nation, state, and city, and above all us, your people, to follow you into hard places and hard relationships as servants of true peace and reconciliation and truth. Please forgive us and keep us from being part of the unending cycles of anger and revenge and accusation, on social media and wherever we engage others with whom we disagree. Please give us courage and care to seek out knowledge and to dispel ignorance and prejudice and delusions with truth that sets us free to see injustice clearly, that considers all sides of a story with empathy, and that moves us to compassion and relentless action toward unity and justice for all people.

Where there are bombs, and shootings, and wars, please help us, your church, our sisters and brothers everywhere, to follow you faithfully in the way of the cross, no matter the cost. Help us to be islands of your safety in an ocean of unrest, to be an oasis of your mercy in places dying with anger, and to be a ray of your hope for people who walk in darkness, to be a people who boldly pursue justice and share freely the good news of Jesus Christ where wickedness prevails. Please give us courage and compassion to weep with those who weep, to provide supplies and work for those in need, and be compassionate witnesses of the only true hope for the world in the empty tomb, the occupied throne, and the return of King Jesus in the flesh. Come, Lord Jesus! Make all things new.

Lord, we pray for the coming of your kingdom in all its fullness using the words that you taught us, saying, “Our Father…

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