Welcome to the daily prayer guide for the month of September! Today is Friday, Sept. 23.
Yesterday, as I prayed the morning prayer from Daniel, I was struck by one line in particular: “Show your favor to your desolate sanctuary for the Lord’s sake.” Daniel was praying this in a particular situation. The Chosen People of God had been scattered or captured by invaders, an event we are to understand as punishment for their unfaithfulness.
Most of our churches are not desolate, but as we watch decline in church participation happening in so many places, we can become fearful about future desolation. Fear not; let’s pray. If you don’t participate in a local church, pray for the people who await your spiritual gifts to be in their midst.
“Lord, I pray for the churches today, and in particular, I pray for my local congregation. Forgive us for the many ways we have failed you. Return us to our core mission, helping us to tell others of the joy of walking with Jesus Christ. Make us deeper disciples, Lord; give us a desire for your holy word and draw us toward prayer so we may know your will in every circumstance. Amen.”
Remember to make your personal confessions, and lift up your requests for yourself and others.
Turn to your Bible today for images of the early church full of the Holy Spirit: Acts 2:41-47; Acts 4:32-37. Prayerfully ask God, “How much of this can we recover?”
Remember the Lord’s Prayer, and I offer you this prayer to raise, too:
Lord, how am I doing? Has your will been done? Help me to walk with you through the remainder of the day. As I hear your voice at the center of my soul, let me move according to your will. Amen.
We continue with meditative prayer. Again, it may be useful to write down or record in some way the impressions you receive.
Here’s a prayer you can speak out loud, too:
“Lord, help me search the day that is ending, enabling me to better spot the grace you have offered me throughout. Forgive me for the moments I turned away or even ran away. May my rest tonight prepare me for a glorious day with you tomorrow. Amen.”
Sleep deeply, dreaming of the church to come.