Aloha Friday Message – January 18, 2013 – A Righteous Man’s Prayer

1303AFC011113 – The Prayer of a Righteous Man

Read it online here, please.

James 5:16 – “Confess your offenses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.” {WEB}

1 Peter 3:9-17 – “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” {NIV}

Today we have a “guest author,” The Reverend Doctor Peter Marshall who emigrated to America from Scotland in 1927. Here indeed was a righteous man, though he often protested against such a name or title for himself. Dr. Marshall was the Chaplain of the United States Senate from January 4, 1947 until his sudden death at age 46 on January 4, 1949. In that short time, he delivered sermons and prayers that stirred the hearts of not only Capitol Hill, but the whole nation, and even in places around the world his words evoked deepened faith and firmer resolve.

Today I am not going to add much in commentary. The scriptures above and Dr. Marshall’s own prayers speak well enough for themselves; the links supplied will give additional elucidation. You may wish to read through these prayers and then set them aside and to return to them later; these prayers are older than many of us but hold enduring value and truth. You can find more here, and also here. You’ll get the gist of this here.

“For the President of the United States”

We Pray, Lord Jesus, for our President. We are deeply concerned that he may know the will of God, and that he may have the spiritual courage and grace to follow it.

Deliver him, we pray, from all selfish considerations.

Lift him above the claims of politics.

Fill him with the Spirit of God that shall make him fearless to seek, to know, to do the right.

Save him from the friends who, in the name of politics or even friendship, would persuade him from that holy path.

Strengthen and empower his advisers. Bring them, too, to their knees in prayer. May their example and their influence spread, that we, in these United States, may yet have a government of men who know Thee, the Almighty God, as their Friend, and who place Thy will first in their lives as well as in their prayers.

Hear and answer, we pray Thee, forgiving us all our unworthiness; cleansing us from every ignoble thought and unworthy ambition that we may be renewed in spirit and mind and heart, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

“America Confesses”

Our Father, bring to the remembrance of Thy people Thine ancient time-honored promise: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

We – this company of Thy people assembled – would begin now to meet the conditions that will enable Thee to fulfill Thy promise.

May all of America come to understand that right-living alone exalteth a nation, that only in Thy will can peace and joy be found. But, Lord, this land cannot be righteous unless her people are righteous, and we, here gathered, are part of America. We know that the world cannot be changed until the hearts of man are changed. Our hearts need to be changed.

We therefore confess to Thee that:

Wrong ideals and sinful living have cut us off from Thee.

We have been greedy.

We have sought to hide behind barricades of selfishness; shackles have imprisoned the great heart of America.

We have tried to isolate ourselves from the bleeding wounds of a blundering world.

In our self-sufficiency we have sought not Thy help.

We have held conferences and ignored Thee completely.

We have disguised selfishness as patriotism; our arrogance has masqueraded as pride.

We have fritted away time and opportunities while the world bled.

Our ambitions have blinded us to opportunities.

We have bickered in factory and business, and sought to solve our differences only through self-interest.

Lord God of Hosts, forgive us! O God, by Thy guidance and Thy power may our beloved land once again become God’s one country, a nation contrite in heart, confessing her sins; a nation keenly sensitive to all the unresolved injustice and wrong still in our midst.

Hear this our prayer and grant that we may confidently expect to see it answered in our time, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

“For the Leaders of Our Nation”

Our Father, bless, we pray Thee, the leaders of this nation. Strengthen the courage of the representatives in Congress assembled – sincere men and women who want to do the right, if only they can be sure what is right. Make it plain to them, O Lord. And then wilt Thou start them out on the right way, for Thou knowest that we are hard to turn.

Forgive them for the blunders they have committed, the compromises they have made. Give to them the courage to admit mistakes. Take away from us as a nation and as individuals that stubborn pride which, followed by conceit, imagines itself to be above and beyond criticism.

Save our leaders, O God, from themselves and from their friends – even as Thou hast saved them from their enemies.

Let no personal ambition blind them to their opportunities.

Help them to give battle to hypocrisy wherever they find it.

Give them divine common sense and a selflessness that shall make them think of service and not of gain.

May they have the courage to lead the people of this Republic, considering unworthy the expediency of following the people.

Save them from the folly of man-made schemes and plans. Give to them the faith and the courage together to seek God’s inspired plan and, finding it, to propose it, knowing that when it is God-inspired, Thou wilt open the way for it through all obstacles.

As Thou hast made and preserved us a nation, so now mold us into a people more worthy of a great heritage. In Thy strong name we make these prayers. Amen.

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I urge you to use these, and your own prayers, often. Only then can you know that “Peace which surpasses all understanding.” Let us at once admit that we have done wrong, individually and as a nation, and therefore let us offer sincere and effective repentance, individually and as a nation, in the blessed hope that God will see our contrition, and once again rest his hand upon us as a people called to be his own.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved.

 

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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