Yesterday, a number of pastors and Christian leaders gathered at the state capitol in Columbus, Ohio to pray for our state and nation. There was a great turnout of believers to pray together. Pastors JC Church and Tim Throckmorton, who work with the Family Research Council, did an outstanding job planning this important prayer event. It was the second annual prayer gathering of Ohio 714, after the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14. Next year’s event is scheduled for June 5, 2018.
Each leader was assigned a specific need to pray for. I am thankful for the insightful planning of Pastors JC Church and Tim Throckmorton which included my assigned task to pray for God’s forgiveness for sinful failures in our churches. I’ve included the written text of my prayer below in hopes you will see what this prayer caused me to see.
I sought help for this prayer from Revelation 2-3 (and a bit from James 4 and Psalm 51) where Jesus actually speaks to His churches calling them to repent. No original thoughts from my mind can top the thoughts of Jesus. So I guided us in a prayer with these thoughts in mind. I was struck by Jesus’ focus on the sexual impurity of His churches as well as His warnings of what He will do if churches don’t heed His words. May God continue calling us all to be true to Him. And may we listen to Him.
Lord, Jesus, King of Kings, who purchased the church with Your own blood, You are worthy of complete holiness and devotion in all Your churches. You demand holiness because You are holy. Yet your churches have sinned against you in many ways. You walk among your churches and see and hear everything. You have spoken us calling us to a life of repentance and seeking You in wholehearted devotion. So today we confess our sins to you and seek your forgiveness.
You said that you have some things against your churches: many have abandoned their first love for You and have loved many other things instead. Christians worship idols instead of You. Many are sexually unclean. Those who say they believe You tolerate false teachers who condone sexual sin and perversion leading people astray. Your churches have a reputation for being alive but many are actually dead. Your people have soiled their garments with impurity and have not completed the works You commanded for us in this world. Many of your people are neither hot nor cold. They are lukewarm. You want to spit them out of your mouth.
Please confess your sins and ask for forgiveness now…
You have warned us that if we will not repent you will come and remove the lampstand of the gospel from Your churches and war against us with the sword of Your mouth. You will throw us into suffering and affliction. You will come against us like a thief and there will be many whose names will not be confessed before the Father and His angels. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Please ask God for His mercy on us…
Lord, God, we plead with you to soften the hearts of Your people so that we will break up the fallow ground of our hearts, listen to Your words and return to You, our first love. Enable us, your people, to submit ourselves fully to you, resist the devil, and draw near to You so that you will draw near to us. Enable us to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts, mourn and weep over our sins against You. You promise in Your word that if we humble ourselves before You, Lord, then you will lift us up.
Lord, forgive us. Make us clean. Restore a right heart in us to love you and serve you above all other things. Thank you for your forgiveness purchased for us by the Precious Lamb of God. Those who persevere faithfully holding to Your word will eat from the tree of life with You in paradise, their names will never be taken from the book of life, and You will grant to them to sit on Jesus’ throne with Him in the new heaven and new earth ruling over all things with You.
Now thank Him for His forgiveness…