Subway Prophet

…and the words of the prophets were written on the subway walls…

A Forth of July Prayer

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Days such as these provide an easy temptation for many in the Church. As Americans we celebrate our national heritage, our independence as a nation, and the essential values on which it was founded. However, as Christians we recognize that our values as followers of Jesus Christ are distinctly different than those of our nation. St. Augustine described two cities. A City of God and a City of Man. We as Christians are dual citizens, but our primary allegiance needs to be to the God who is creator of all and in whom all powers find their source. There are many ways in which American culture arises out of a Judeo-Christian heritage, but there are also many ways in which it arises out of the 18th Century Enlightenment tradition. The Church has always flourished best when it works outside the political order as a prophetic voice for those who are powerless and weak, and those who are forgotten and ignored by the leaders of the City of Man. So, today I celebrate the Forth of July, I light fireworks, and eat barbecue, but I also pray this prayer which I wrote for worship on Sunday:

Sovereign God who created all people on earth and in whom all power is located we are thankful for our country. We are thankful for the ideals this country was founded on: liberty, justice and equality for all. But God, so often our country falls short of these ideals in pursuit of our own selfish ambition. For our complacency, as its citizens, in allowing these things to happen, we humbly repent and ask for your strength and courage to work towards making this country and all the other nations of the world places where justice rolls down like a river and justice like a never ending stream.

God you have given to all people certain inalienable rights including those of life, liberty and the ability to pursue a relationship with you, which is our true happiness. Be with those who, because of political oppression or economic injustice, are denied these rights. Help us work to through or in spite of our government to help all persons to achieve these rights

God, who is the King of kings and Lord of lords be with those who are in leadership of this nation and the other nations of the world. Give them wisdom to govern with integrity and with hearts for those who are weak and powerless. Give them ambitious hearts, not for their own ends, but for a more peaceful and prosperous world for all of your children. Let them rise above the short term needs of their party or their re-election and instead seek to serve you with every thing they do.

God, as we enter into another election cycle free us from the temptation to worship our political process. Remind us that our broken world cannot be fixed by an election or a political office, but that it is in you where we can find a hope for a better future. You are the one in whom our hope can rest assured and in you we find the solutions to our problems.

God, on this weekend where we celebrate our nation’s independence from foreign control, we recognize that we, ourselves, are still in need of freedom. Freedom from the tyranny of sin, addiction, greed, and selfishness which control our lives. God we also recognize that there are those in our lives and the life of the church who are under the controlling power of illness and pain. Free them from their suffering and give to them the life of health and wholeness which you so much desire for each and every one of us. Amen. 
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Author: subway prophet

I am a husband, father, and Provisional Elder in the United Methodist Church currently appointed to Memorial UMC in Fernandina Beach, FL. I am a proud graduate of Duke Divinity School and Florida Southern College as well as member of the Wesley Study Centre and St. Johns College in Durham, UK. All posts are my own opinions at the time they are posted and I reserve the ability to change my mind and opinions as I continue to listen to the Holy Spirit and read Scripture with those around me.

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