Weeping with those who weep: A prayer of lament

We join a chorus of voices expressing our shock, grief, sadness, and anger at the evil we all witnessed at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021. We condemn every act of violence, and the many lies that gave fuel to such a dangerous and destructive mob.

Even as we lament over the deep brokenness of our nation, we also look inward. According to Jesus’ own words in Luke 13, the violence and evil we see others commit is also a call for each of us to consider our own proclivities to malice, anger, and violence, and to repent.

In a spirit of contrition for our country, we offer this prayer of personal and corporate repentance:

Lord, we weep today. Forgive our corruption in high places and the hidden places of our hearts. Forgive our anger that destroys pure affection and sullies our actions. Forgive our winking at evil, wherever it is found. Forgive our self-righteous selectivity concerning what is good, forgetting that your ways are eternal.

Forgive our idolatry as we cozy up to power, regardless of party. Forgive our immorality as we defy your Word concerning the marginal and vulnerable, from conception to coronation, from every culture and country. Forgive our injustice as we have failed too often to make a way for all to flourish.

We weep for those ensnared in ideologies antithetical to true freedom. We weep over the passivity of so many while shrill voices dominate public discourse. Forgive us, merciful Lord. Forgive our fatalism and hubris, our cynicism and hedonism.

Our happiness is not your first concern, but a consequence of a life lived for your glory and the good of others. Forgive the privileged for abusing their opportunities to serve.

Your kingdom is established through love and humility, peacemaking and reconciliation, hospitality and holiness. Too often we have taken your place as the arbiters of others’ souls and failed to let your Spirit do surgery in us and the systems we live in. We weep today.

Lord, you raise up and bring down nations and empires, and our beautiful and broken land is not exempt from your scrutinizing sovereignty. Have mercy on our land. We do not deserve your mercies, but please hear the unseen prayers of the humble and extend your grace, offering a season for repentance and righteousness, renewal and reform.

Have mercy. Christ have mercy. Amen.

Topics: Corruption, Current Events, Prayer

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