A Lament for a Troubled Nation

A lament over our nation’s troubles offered on June 7, 2020 at Grace Bible Church in Escondido, CA.

Discouraged man

Our God and our Father, we look at our world and cry out, how long, O Lord? How long will sin and wickedness and injustice and suffering seem to win? We call out to you because you alone are our help. We have no other Helper. We have no other Savior. You are the God who made the heavens and the earth. You are the God who redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ. Hear us O God, as we pray right now.

How long will this nation suffer because of coronavirus? How long will men and woman die? How long will life as we’ve known it be shut down? How long will we not be able to gather as a church as we once did? Lord, restore us to worship. Restore us to work. Grant health and healing.

How long, O Lord, will black men and women live in fear? How long will they be dehumanized and devalued and oppressed? Grant mercy to our nation. You are the God who does as he pleases among the nations. Bring real change. Change in hearts. Bring about whatever reforms in our nation are necessary for our black neighbors to be able to live in safety and peace. Give justice to George Floyd, O Lord. Give justice to his family. Grant relief to these afflicted souls.

How long will those who are intent on destroying businesses and cities run rampant in our nation? How long will they mock the men and women in law enforcement seeking to protect and serve the people of this nation. Protect our police officers. Protect the members of the National Guard seeking to do good. You hate violence and destruction. Bring a swift end to the lawlessness, O Lord. Bring the criminals to justice. Don’t let them think that you do not see or care about their oppression. You are the God of peace. Grant peace to this nation.

How long, O Lord, will our political leaders spend more time on showmanship than statesmanship? Grant our leaders humility. Give them selflessness. Teach our president, governors, and mayors wisdom. Give them courage and compassion and discernment and resolve to serve the common good.

O God, how long will your church turn a deaf ear to the plight of our neighbors? Help us to be humble. To listen. To learn. To pray and to work for peace, for justice. Let us love our neighbors not only in word but in deed and truth. Let us bear bold witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ as the only true and lasting hope for enemies to be reconciled.

How long will the church of Jesus Christ argue and divide over coronavirus? Lord, do not let our differences tear us apart.Help us to hold our opinions humbly. Grant us a greater passion for Christ-centered unity than partisan pride.

Finally, may the gospel of our crucified, risen, and reigning Savior shine brightly through our lives and witness as a church and as individuals. May we be known as people of peace, as examples of sacrificial love. May we hold out to a broken and weary world, the hope and peace that comes through Jesus Christ, through the forgiveness of sins, through being reconciled with you by faith in Jesus; the hope of eternal life, the hope of a glorious new creation in which righteousness dwells.

We ask you to hear and answer us. We are your people, bought with the blood of your Son. You have told us to pray for our nation, for our leaders, for our churches. You have promised to answer us when we pray in Jesus’ name. So we ask you to keep your promise. We ask these things so that all the world would know you are a God of justice and peace. We ask these things so that the name of your Son would honored, praised, and magnified.

How long, O Lord? Do not delay. Act for the sake of your glory, the good of your image bearers, and the comfort of your church.