August 7, 2023 | www.barbarawilliams-skinner.com
Almighty, amazing, and awesome God, we bow our hearts before your majestic presence, grateful for your mercy and grace. Thank you, God, for blessing our great nation with relative stability, security, and richness. Forgive us today for repaying your lovingkindness and tender mercy with stony-hearted violence, brazen bigotry, heartless neglect of the vulnerable, and shameless re-writing of our nation’s history of racial oppression. Forgive us, O God, for our declining reverence for the Holy and increasing acceptance of hate, fear, violence, and bigotry as invincible national norms.
Lord, you came from heaven to earth to show us the way of love across every earthly barrier. Help us to avoid needless self-destruction by embracing your promise echoed by the prophet Ezekiel, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NKJV).
Today, we claim your promise of new hearts and spirits, not only for ourselves but for leaders at every level. Turn stony hearts, O Lord, into hearts of flesh, so that love, forgiveness, generosity, and compassion would abound. Put your spirit into leaders over every mountain of influence in America---government, politics, religion, education, science, cultural arts, sports, military, public safety, business, law, and medicine. Lead them to care for the least, the lost, and the left behind in innovative new ways that will make your heart glad. Cause them today to walk in your statues and ways for our nation's sake, to sustain our fragile democratic way of life. In your mighty and matchless name, we pray, Lord God. Amen.