This morning the theme of chapel was ‘disobedience’. I offered the following public prayer which is based upon the prayer of Daniel for restoration after exile and from an unknown puritan.
All of us here have had moments when we have disobeyed God, for some even today you are being disobedience. The Lord calls us all to forsake sin and cling to him.
Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5 we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. 6 We have not listened to nyour servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7 tTo the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him 10 and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11 All of us have transgressed your law and turned aside, vrefusing to obey your voice.
Lord our corporate sin, our greed and consumerism have blinded us from living lives of justice and mercy. We, O Lord, live in our paneled houses while the temple of your people in Haiti lies in ruins, we accept O Lord that if we had acted as a nation, as a church and as individuals to see Haiti out of poverty then this disaster would not have led to such significant loss of life. We O Lord have too often bowed our knee to the zeitgeist of consumerism and greed by failing in times past to proclaim justice, we have blood on our hands!
We deserve O Lord, as a nation, as a church, as individuals the full force of your covenant curse to come upon us. Yet we thank thee that thou hast set your love upon us, though we have lived as rebels in darkness, we have received the light of thy son.
We praise you O Lord for thy son Jesus, he is our prophet, our priest and our king, he is the judge who was judged in our place, we praise you that he became a curse for us, we thank you that he crushes Satan’s head and that sin and death have lost their power.
We thank you that you, as with the women caught in adultery, lift us up, have mercy, and say ‘Go and Sin no more;
Holy Lord, we have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in our daily lives. Our transgressions and short-comings present us with a list of accusations, but we bless Thee that they will not stand against us, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue our corruptions, and grant us grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring our spirits into subjection, but do Thou rule over us in liberty and power.
We thank Thee that many of our prayers have been refused. We have asked amiss and do not have, we have prayed from lusts and been rejected, we have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering ‘no’ to our wrongful prayers, and fitting us to accept it. Purge us from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule. I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which we ares subject, for sometimes putting us into the furnace to refine our gold and remove our dross.
No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If Thou shouldst give us a choice to live in pleasure and keep our sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give us sanctified affliction. Deliver us from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in us, everything that prevents us taking delight in Thee. Then we shall bless Thee, Lord God, for helping us to be upright.
To you O Lord, be all praise and glory for ever and ever.
Sola Deo Gloria! Amen