Kiss of Righteousness and Peace—Guided Prayer

Scripture Focus: Psalm 85.10
Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.

Reflection: Kiss of Righteousness and Peace—Guided Prayer
By John Tillman

When love and faithfulness meet, righteousness and peace kiss each other. But before that happens in today’s psalm, there is confession and justice, mercy and redemption.

Today, we repeat this meditative prayer based on Psalm 85. Confession, justice, mercy, redemption, righteousness, and peace are just as vitally needed today as they were two years ago. 

Psalmists were familiar with sinful leaders and scandals. Like today, horrendous consequences were paid by the people for the poor leadership of kings and high officials. Sheep always suffer for the sins of shepherds, but yesterday’s passage was also clear that the sheep are not innocent and too often turn on each other.

May we bring righteousness and peace together in our lives and communities.

The Kiss of Righteousness and Peace
We cannot reach the kiss of righteousness and peace without passing through wrath and anger via forgiveness.
You, Lord, forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins.
You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.
We waste no energy on denial. We will not rise in anger when accused.
On our knees in humility, we thank you for your forgiveness.
Restore us again, God our Savior,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
Every generation blames others.
The old blame the young.
The young blame the old.
And young and old, turn together,
to blame those long dead and those not yet born.
By your watch, Lord, generations are meaningless.
A ticking of the second hand of God.
We will deny no longer the sins of the past.
We will decry no longer the sins of the future.
They are all ours. The blame is on us.
We confess now that there is no “other” generation to blame.
Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
We are like Lazarus, lain dead in the grave.
You let him die in his sickness,
So that he could be raised.
Raise us, Lord. Bring us back to life.
Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.
May we meet with you and you with us.
May our steps follow in your righteousness.
May we bring your kiss of peace to our world.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Come now and see the works of God, how wonderful he is in his doing toward all people. — Psalm 66.4

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle

Today’s Readings
Ezekiel 35  (Listen – 2:21) 
Psalm 85 (Listen – 1:25)

This Weekend’s Readings
Ezekiel 36  (Listen – 6:40), Psalm 86 (Listen – 1:39)
Ezekiel 37  (Listen – 5:07), Psalm 87-88 (Listen – 2:45)

Read More about Praising Christ’s Righteousness
We cannot save ourselves. Praise God. God specifically tells Ezekiel that not even the greatest, most righteous men he might trust in would be able to save the nation.

Read More about Battered with Love :: Worldwide Prayer
Oh Lord…You battered me with love, you assaulted me with mercy,
You pierced me through with compassion
and turned my sorrows into peace.

The Cultivating Life

Psalm 85.11-12
Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
   and righteousness looks down from heaven.
The Lord will indeed give what is good,
   and our land will yield its harvest.

Reflection: The Cultivating Life
By John Tillman

The Lord is seeking a harvest of faithfulness from the earth. When we partner with him and cultivate the soil of our hearts, we ensure that Christ’s power will take root in us and bring forth a harvest of the fruit of the spirit.

We have written before, “cultivation is supernatural,” but the simple actions of cultivating faith are not ethereal or fanciful. They are the practical, steady doings of the farmer.

Water the ground with prayer
Praying is like watering the soil of your heart so that it doesn’t become hard and dusty and so that the things God plants there can grow.

Jesus taught his followers to pray to God as our father. It is easy to forget to converse with God like a trusted friend or a parent. Praying is also listening, so when we pray, listen—the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us something.

The Good Seed of the Bible
The Bible, the Word of God, is the good seed that God plants in us, his fields.

It is a false dichotomy to attempt to set The Holy Spirit (or Jesus) against the Bible as if we could cancel the one with the other. If Satan’s kingdom would fall when divided against itself, how much more Christ’s?

The Bible is the writing of—the very breath of—the Holy Spirit, given to the men and women who wrote the Bible. So, to hear from the Holy Spirit, the most direct method is to pick up a Bible and read.

Nourish the soil and Pollinate through corporate Worship
Many plants growing near one another will share water and nutrients with one another. Other plants, when they detect a closely related plant will put out less extensive roots, so as not to soak up all the resources for themselves.

When we gather to worship we are helping others to experience the fruit of the Spirit and to share our physical and spiritual resources.

The cultivating life is not an out of the box, pre-prepared spiritual solution. But when we keep worshiping God with others and planting the right seeds of what we learn about the Bible, and we keep watering the soil of our hearts with prayer, “faithfulness will spring up from the earth,” and “our land will yield its harvest.”

Prayer: The Call to Prayer
Sing to the Lord and bless his Name; proclaim the good news of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations and his wonders among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; he is more to be feared than all gods. — Psalm 96.2-4

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

Today’s Readings
Deuteronomy 3 (Listen – 4:33) 
Psalm 85 (Listen – 1:25)

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Read more about Cultivation Is Supernatural
Truly abundant harvests aren’t accomplished by merely planting a seed. Harvest implies cultivation…Cultivation is not natural. It is supernatural.

Read more about For Sustainable Cultivation :: A Guided Prayer
A growing faith that produces a sustainable harvest is one that is cultivated. Faith that produces harvest is supernatural.

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