A Patriot’s Prayer on September 11th

One Nation Under God (2)

 

September 11, 2001, 8:46 a.m.: The tick of time heard around the world. 2,976 people from 93 countries lost their lives in New York, at the Pentagon, and in a quiet field in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania. Filled with hate and committed to kill, Islamic terrorists used four airliners as deadly weapons, ripping apart families and decimating dreams.

 

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Lord,

So many lives were affected by the attacks of September 11, and though time does not actually heal all wounds, you can. Though years have passed, you remain faithful, and are close to the brokenhearted, and save those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). Wrap your arms of love around those who remember their lost loved ones on this day. May those who know and trust in you feel the sweet breath of your mercy and grace upon them. As you comfort those who have not put their trust in you, may they have such a quickening in their spirits that they will know, without any doubt, that you are drawing them with loving kindness (Jeremiah 31:3). God of forgiveness, bring light to those who wish us harm, and by your Spirit, enable your people to love and pray for those who hate us.

These acts of terror were designed and delivered with precision for a calculated effect. What the terrorists didn’t anticipate was the reawakening of tired patriotism and the rebirth of a dying national motto: In God We Trust. People began to value the freedoms they took for granted, seek the God they thought was a fairy tale, and treasure the family they still had.

In the blink of an eye, those who fought for themselves now fought for others. Those who needed love now gave love. Those who thought they didn’t have enough now understood they had it all. Those who presumed upon freedom’s unending providence without guard now stood as patriots in its defense.

 

Reagan

 

 

Father,

Thank you that what the enemy planned as evil against us, you made it turn for our good (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28). You are able to redeem destruction, beautify ugliness, sanctify unworthiness. Thank you that, as we fix our minds on you, you will keep us in the perfect peace that transcends understanding and mounts guard over us (Philippians 4:7; Is. 26:3). Thank you for the reawakening fires of revival and the renewal of right spirits within (Psalm 50:10). Continue to grow our knowledge of and faith in you. All honor, glory, might, and power belongs to you, Lord, our Rock and Redeemer!

With time, however, hearts turned once again. Twelve years after an attack that brought our country to its knees in grief and prayer, and to its feet in patriotism and victory, we have slipped into mediocrity, expecting the benefits of freedom without undergoing “the fatigues of supporting it.”

We no longer ask what we can do for our country, but what our country can do for us. We no longer look for what we can do for our fellow man, but for what our fellow man owes us. We no longer praise the Power that has made and preserved us a nation, but instead hail entitlements and handouts. We no longer work to make one out of many, but seek to divide and shame. We no longer uphold virtue and religion and morals, but instead squash them and call them intolerant and hateful.

 

A Nation Gone Under

 

 

Lord of all,

We call upon your name, and ask forgiveness for the wickedness of our land. We turn to you and ask your grace and mercy on our people. May it not take another tragedy to turn our eyes to you in humble repentance. Restore unto us the joy of your salvation (Psalm 51:12). May your church rise up once again to boldly proclaim your truth, in love, regardless of the cost. May we be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Matt. 10:16). Forgive us when we cower and refuse to confront sin, both within the church and without. Forgive us also when we refuse to grant the same mercy and grace to others as you have to us. May we stand on the truth of your Word and lay claim to your empowering grace to live and love in a manner pleasing to you. Give us passion for your purposes and may our hearts break for what breaks yours. May we be open and sensitive to your conviction and guidance. Surround us with your Spirit, love, and mercy.

It is time for us to remember and proclaim that we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all. It is time to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength (Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27). It is time to love our neighbor as we do ourselves (Luke 10:27). It is time we stand for truth, kneel in prayer, and lay down our lives for our friends (John 15:13). It is time.

 

Country

 

Sovereign God,

Draw near to us as we draw near to you. Do surgery on us and cut out the very root of all that is not of you. Replace those things with the fruit of your Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control (Galatians 5:22&23). Enable us to be courageous as we stand for you and for our country, and surround us with a hedge of protection. Faith, courage, and prayer birthed and guided our great nation – may we return to them and put our trust in you. Give our leaders discernment, understanding, and knowledge. Protect us from physical harm and spiritual attack, and daily grow us more into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Fill each home with your love, protection, and Presence. It’s in His name we ask, God, please bless the United States of America! Amen.

 

 

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Thanksgiving Thursday, Never Forget

Tuesday was the 11th commemoration of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States that cost nearly 3,000 people their lives. I saw a few personal, normal blessings come along on this anniversary: I was able to complete a project that intimidated me (#177), Wal-Mart is only three minutes away from our house when we need a late night run for coffee (#178), and we all had an early bed time (#179).

 

But the blessing I really saw that day was the great grace, wild hope, sweet peace, and passionate joy that flooded those who have experienced evil in this world, yet still know that “if evil is seeming evidence to eradicate God from our mental landscape, then doesn’t goodness…testify to the gospel truth of God?”*

 

I wonder… if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world…might actually become places to see. To see through to God. That which tears open our souls…may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.”*

 

We must never forget. Never forget 9/11. Never forget those who died, those who go on, and those who, though they never wanted the title of hero, wore it with dignity, honor, and humility, asking only to serve those around them. And never forget that God is always good and we are always loved.

 

 

My Thanksgiving List 9/13/12

 

173. God’s grace seen clearly in the hard eucharisteo

 

176. Friends who are friends because they didn’t get on Flight 93

 

175. Those willing to put their lives on the line to save others (John 15:13

 

169. The Broncos won their first regular season game

 

163. Smoked trout tacos

 

183. Boot season!

 

161. A day done

 

168. Being married to a fun debate partner

 

166. A baby girl, my mama, born 58 years ago this month 

 

167. A baby growing today in the womb (no, not mine!)

 

154. A good jogging stroller

 

182. The American spirit

 

160. Fully loaded hamburgers

 

146. Having my wood stove pipes cleaned by a handsome handyman

 

140. New possibilities

 

158. My baby’s smile

 

 

Please tell me, what blessings have you seen this week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*A Holy Experience, The Problem of Evil? The Greater Problem of Good

 *One Thousand Gifts, pg. 22

I Will Stand…In Christ Alone

Not long after my dad died, my mom told me a story. She told me how, when the twin towers crumbled in New York City on September 11th, 2001, the foundations of the buildings that surrounded the massive towers were irreparably moved, shaken, and weakened by the destructive fall. They could not stand.

She was telling me more than just a story, though. I had only been married four short years when my dad died; when my parents’ marriage and all that I had held dear shattered at my feet. My marriage’s foundation was shaken. She was talking about my future; she was talking about my choices.

So I went home, made my choice, stood before my husband, and told him the story. I told him the destruction stops here. We may be shaken, but we will not be moved, we will not be torn down, we will not be weakened. We will stand…in Christ alone.

I also made my choice before God. He knew the story of the towers and the foundations of the surrounding buildings, so I didn’t tell him. I just told him where my heart stood. I told him that the destruction stops here. I told him that I may be shaken, but I would not be moved, I would not be torn down, I would not be weakened. I will stand…in Christ alone.

Nearly eleven years later, I am very near another fall, one that has threatened my foundation. But the destruction stops here. I may be shaken, but I will not be moved, I will not be torn down, I will not be weakened. I will stand…in Christ alone.