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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Prayer for a Nation

A Prayer for a Nation

Alas, O LORD, the great and awesome God,

We confess, and do admit, that we have sinned against Thee,
   not just in little things, but in great things,
   and we deserve Thy judgment.

As a nation, we have turned aside from Thy holy ways.

We have taken Thy most precious blessings,
   and ripped them from the sacred place,
   and brutally murdered them in the name
      of false gods named “choice” and “money”,
   and our judges have called it “right”.
Our land is stained with bloodguiltiness, O God;
   surely, the blood of the innocent must cry out to Thee.

And yet those who deserve punishment,
   those who steal and rape and murder,
   violent men who care not for others, but only love themselves,
   they, O LORD, are set free, or punished lightly.
The guilty have more rights than the innocent,
   and justice comes out perverted.

We have mismanaged Caesar’s coin, Lord God,
   spending what we have not,
   lusting after the things of the world,
   ignoring Thy principles for financial wisdom.
In our foolishness, we have created an unpayable debt,
   and burdened the backs of our children, and their children.
Shame belongs to our nation, O Most High,
  for we have squandered Thy great blessings.

Our nation, O God, has also promoted wickedness,
   that which is evil in Thy sight.
The sacredness of the marriage bed is thought laughable.
All types of immorality are not only tolerated,
   but joked about,
   and even encouraged.
That which is most utterly shameful and vile is promoted as normal,
   and Thy people are berated and even threatened for calling it sin.
Surely we deserve fire from heaven like Sodom,
   and destruction like Gomorrah.

We have called evil good, and good evil;
   we have substituted darkness for light, and light for darkness.
We are a people who constantly profane Thy holy name,
   and who have unclean lips,
   speaking forth that which comes from unclean hearts.
In your wrath, O LORD, remember mercy.

It is not just our national sins that make us deserve Thy judgment, O God,
   but our personal ones as well.

We have idolized the blessings of this world,
   delighting in things, instead of delighting in the Son.
We have served the god of money in place of Thee,
   being rich in things, but poor in soul.
We have gloried in digital electronics instead of divine election,
   in technology instead of obedience,
   and focused on outward appearance instead of the inward man.
We have entertained ourselves nearly to death,
   and have neglected Thy Holy Bible.
Our phones have become idols,
   our social interaction is on flat screens,
   and true Christian fellowship is increasingly rare.

Even our sacred assemblies are no longer holy.
The gathering of the saints to worship has descended to new lows.
   They are geared to coddle the lost, instead of to convict the lost,
      to diminish the fear of God, instead of promote the fear of God.
   The music is entertainment, sometimes sensual, often trite.
   Worship no longer emphasizes prayer,
      and Thy Word is barely even read.
   The preaching is man-centered,
      banal, insipid, full of self-help,
      tame, weak, pathetic,
      and does not point men to Christ and His glorious work.

Send us men, O LORD, courageous men, godly men,
   men like the prophets of old, who thundered,
      not words of their own vain imaginations,
      but the Word of the living God,
      not the foolish wisdom of the world,
      but the perfect wisdom from above,
      not pious platitudes,
      but “thus saith the LORD”!
   Give us, O Most High, intrepid men who proclaim
      the timeless truths of Thy Word,
      the whole counsel of God,
      the offense of the cross,
      the warnings of judgment and hell,
      Thy Law and Thy Gospel,
      both sin and salvation,
      the beauty and majesty of Christ,
      and the “Solas” of the Reformers.
   Give us men who are willing to stand, even unto death,
      for the Christ they love and boldly proclaim,
      even as men of old have stood and died for Thee.
   Give us true shepherds, O Christ,
      who will feed Thy sheep with true food,
      and lead them in the paths of righteousness.
   Raise up evangelists, O Holy Spirit,
      who will go where others will not:
      to the faraway nations,
      and to our own streets and highways and hedges,
      that the lost may be compelled to come
         to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Incline your ear and hear our prayer, O Great God.
We are wretched, weak, and needy.
Give us not what we deserve, O Sovereign King,
but according to your great mercy,
   and the love with which you have loved us,
   set our minds on heavenly things, where Christ is,
   and our affections on the Saviour.
Grant repentance and faith unto salvation;
   give life to those who are dead in their transgressions;
   bring revival and reformation to this wayward and sinful people.

For the glory of Thy Son,
   and for the eternal good of the elect,
   we humbly pray.


David J. Dunbar
November 6, 2012 (election day)

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