2609 Larch Way Lynnwood, WA 98036 | Sunday Services at 10am

2020 – A Prayer for Mercy

2020 continues to be a year that surprises many of us, and not in a positive way. A heavy weight of illness across the world rocked us in ways unprecedented in our generation, and now a weighty injustice has ripped open deep wounds with exponential severity. As a church, we took time to seek the Lord in prayer: James 1:19-20 tells us “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” And we have seen, sadly, rippling across our neighborhoods and around the world this year, much the opposite of this God-given admonition.

Lord have mercy.

As we listened, we were blessed by someone who articulated our collective anguish and outcry, in the form of a prayer. We can’t think of any better way to express it and instead of crafting our own statement, stand in unity with brothers and sisters in Christ bowing heads, lifting hands, listening and looking for the God-given wisdom and opportunities we will have in the road ahead. Thanks to Kevin DeYoung and The Gospel Coalition for their wisdom and resource in these troubled times.

The following is a copy of the transcript of the prayer offered by Kevin DeYoung: the video and original transcript can be found here.

O great God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who created all things, the God above all gods, the God who was, and is, and is to come, the God who never changes, the God who never slumbers nor sleeps, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon us.

We are in the midst of a global pandemic. More than 100,000 lives lost in this country alone. We hear of new cases, new hospitalizations, new deaths each day.

Lord have mercy.

In the last three months 40 million Americans have entered the ranks of the unemployed. Many who still have a job are scared. Others are anxious, depressed.

Lord have mercy.

As states re-open some cities and neighborhoods, even some families and churches, are sniping at each other over “masks or no masks, re-open quickly or re-open slowly, COVID is worse than you think or this has been a massive over-reaction.

Lord have mercy.

As Christians, we have grieved to be separated from the people we love and care for. We have been forced to give up meeting together for a time. So much about ministry seems harder, more uncertain, less fulfilling. We don’t fully know when normal will return, or what normal will look like, or what to do in the meantime.

Lord have mercy.

On Monday, a white police officer in Minneapolis put his knee on the neck of George Floyd for eight minutes, murdering a black man made in the image of God, while three other officers did nothing to stop the injustice.

Lord have mercy.

The anger and fear and pain felt in the black community isn’t prompted by this one incident alone. It comes out of the legacy of slavery, and Jim Crow, and too many times where power and force were used against them in ways that are evil and unjust.

Lord have mercy.

Every time we witness another tragedy like this we know it makes the difficult and honorable job of law enforcement almost impossible. Many police officers–risking their lives to serve and protect–will suffer unfairly because of actions done a thousand miles away, actions they condemn, actions outside their control.

Lord have mercy.

And now we see dozens and dozens of our great cities are torn apart by senseless destruction and violence. Businesses have been burnt down. Grocery stories destroyed. Neighborhoods ruined. Lives threatened or lost.

Lord have mercy.

You have our attention. O God, give us ears to hear. What do you want to say to us in your Word? What should we do? What needs to change? How can we help?

Let us do as our own catechism instructs us and obey the sixth commandment by preserving the life of ourselves and others, but resisting all thoughts and purposes, subduing all passions, and avoiding all occasions, temptations, and practices which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any. Let our lives be marked by charitable thoughts, love, compassion, meekness, gentleness, kindness, peaceable, mild, and courteous speeches and behavior. Let us forbear with others and demonstrate a readiness to be reconciled, and a patient enduring and forgiving of injuries. Let us comfort the distressed and protect and defend the innocent (WLC 135).

We pray for justice for the murder of George Floyd. We pray for those living in utter chaos and darkness in Minneapolis and St. Paul, or facing the loss of property or loss of life in Atlanta, Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, Louisville, for facing rising tensions in Oakland, San Jose, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York City, and here in Charlotte. We pray for repentance for those who sinned against George Floyd, those who have responded in sin, and those of us—perhaps all of us—who have harbored sin in our hearts toward those who seem to be on the other side, part of the other team, those who vote for the other party.

We pray for whatever necessary reforms might give hope and healing and and dignity and the feeling of safety for our black brothers and sisters, especially here in our church. We pray for bravery and safety, and fortitude for our law enforcement officers, especially here in our church… Give them wisdom, strength, integrity, grace as they lead through these difficult days.

We pray for our political, religious, and civic leaders. May they be humble, honest, measured, principled, open to good ideas wherever they come form, self-sacrificing, disciplined, courageous, and compassionate. Where we have such leaders may we listen to them and follow them. Where our leaders do not exhibit these qualities, help them to change and repent. We seek the peace of our city and all the cities of this great country.

We weep. We lament. We mourn. But not as those who have no hope.

May gospel beauty rise from these smoldering, literal ashes. May truth triumph over lies and grace conquer lawlessness. May your people be one as you, O Father, and your Son are one. May the church—the body of Christ, the bride of Christ—rise up as an example of love and with a message of salvation for a weary and war-torn world. Give us grace to serve you, O God, and, if necessary, grace to suffer for what is right. Give us the peace and health and safety we do not deserve. Give us the reformation and revival we need.

Lord have mercy.

2020-06-05T15:08:54-08:00