When Nations Pray :: Worldwide Prayer

Psalm 45.17
I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;
   therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.

Reflection: When Nations Pray :: Worldwide Prayer
By John Tillman

God hears all prayers, no matter how quiet, even our inner thoughts. And even one faithful individual’s prayer can change the course of the world. But when nations pray, humbling themselves before him, great moves of God are more than possible—they are likely.

Religious leaders, communities, and individuals across the United States today participate together in a National Day of Prayer. May it be one in which we humble rather than exalt ourselves. Rather than puffing ourselves up as a great nation, may we bow heads and hearts meekly in confession of our failings before the only ruler who is worthy of our trust, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings.

Being in a country where people can be free to pray openly, much more be called to pray openly, according to our faiths and our consciences, by our government is a great and precious freedom that is worthy of recognition and honor.

May this day of prayer be one in which many people have ears to hear what the Spirit of God would say to them today, and the daring to act.

We join in prayer today with this prayer from the USA

Prayer of Intercession from the USA
All praise and thanksgiving to you, our loving and liberating Lord God. We desire to worship you in Spirit and in Truth, most intimately through your Son Jesus Christ.

May your Holy Spirit empower us to serve as your ambassadors wherever we go, beginning at home, then reaching to the outer limits of our sphere of influence.

Help us to incarnate a gospel that evangelizes and emancipates those in need as a real and relevant demonstration of our living Christ.

Grant our aim to glorify you as we worship and work for you in the Name of our crucified and resurrected Savior.

Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Know this: The Lord himself is God; he himself has made us, and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. — Psalm 100.2

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Numbers 9 (Listen – 3:20) 
Psalm 45 (Listen – 2:17)

Thank You!
Thank you for reading and a huge thank you to those who donate to our ministry, keeping The Park Forum ad-free and enabling us to continue to produce fresh content. Every year our donors help us produce over 100,000 words of free devotionals. Follow this link to support our readers.

Read more about Good and Pleasant Unity? A Prayer for Election Week
Change our hearts, Lord. Arouse our compassion. Help us abandon anger. Lead us to be for our cities, not against them. May we be united in humility, in confession, and in service to those around us.

Read more about Who is Your King?
Whatever kings and princes we wake up to today, one thing Christians can be assured of—they will not save us. The more we grasp at their power, hoping for protection and salvation, the further we lurch away from Christ’s example.

A Generational Lament

Psalm 44.25-26
We are brought down to the dust;
   our bodies cling to the ground.
Rise up and help us;
   rescue us because of your unfailing love.

Reflection: A Generational Lament
By John Tillman

Psalm 44, attributed to the Sons of Korah, seems to be written by a generation who knows the tales of the miracles of God but hasn’t experienced them. The bright and inspiring victories of the previous generation have faded into stories. In their world there is no prosperity. In their world there is little security. In their world they experience only danger and disappointment.

Young Christians today can identify with the crisis of faith portrayed in this pleading psalm. For many Millennials and those in Gen Z, prior generations of prosperity and ease have melted into a constant fear of scarcity. They are threatened by things no one wants to address. They experience dangers that they didn’t create which threaten their lives and livelihoods.

Mike Rutherford and B.A. Robertson wrote poignantly in 1989 that, “Every generation blames the one before,” but then as now, blame is hurled at every generation by every generation. Old and young scoff at each other’s sufferings, separating into camps of division and bias.

Instead of dividing, Christians can choose to unite in lament for our various sufferings. Those who take their complaints to the Lord in faith will not be turned away or scoffed at by our God. God accepts the prayer of the despairing and the cries of the frustrated and broken more quickly than the prayers of the proud and the self-assured requests of those who think themselves worthy.

Prayers of lament and complaint are a healthy and fulfilling spiritual practice that can be entered into by individuals and communities. Lament is more than complaining. It is an act of faith undertaken in the belief that God will hear and God will act.

We can see the fruit of faithful, complaining prayer in the other psalms of the Sons of Korah. Later in Psalm 48, the Sons of Korah will proclaim that they have both heard and seen good things from the Lord:

As we have heard,
   so we have seen
in the city of the Lord Almighty,
   in the city of our God:
God makes her secure
   Forever.
Within your temple, O God,
   we meditate on your unfailing love…
For this God is our God for ever and ever;
   he will be our guide even to the end.
 — Psalm 48.8-9, 14

Lamenting together for our sufferings lifts us into the presence of God and acknowledges that those we share this world with matter to God and to us.

Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous stumble. — Psalm 55.24

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Numbers 8 (Listen – 3:27) 
Psalm 44 (Listen – 2:44)

Thank You!
Thank you for reading and a huge thank you to those who donate to our ministry, keeping The Park Forum ad-free and enabling us to continue to produce fresh content. Every year our donors help us produce over 100,000 words of free devotionals. Follow this link to support our readers.

Read more about Lamenting Materialism :: A Guided Prayer
We confess that we equate security and safety with the accumulation of wealth. We store up for many years and say to ourselves, “I am secure.”

Read more about Lamenting Our Detestable Things
Just as ancients made idols from their environment—the sun in the sky, a stone from the ground, a tree from the forest—we make idols from our environment. Ours are less likely to be made of durable goods.

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