praying the prophets
I believe in bananas, but haven’t eaten a raw bite in over forty years. Delicious in muffins and bread, the texture and fresh smell repulse me. I support public transportation. For others and with others. Alone, I prefer the convenience of a car. T-shirts with words are fun to read, but I personally avoid wearing them. Except at the gym, where I hope no one asks me anything.
I also believe in prayer, though I don’t really understand it. I do pray, though I wouldn’t list it on my résumé as one of my top skills. I especially appreciate folks whose gift is prayer. I seek them out when I need someone to put in a word for me. I know that corporate prayer, united in spirit, is powerful.
My request today is unusual, for me. I am asking you to pray a particular passage with me. During our leadership team meeting last night, it felt clear that this is what the Lord is offering: the opportunity to pray these scriptures together, to ask for them to come to pass for us. Among us. For our fellowship, our cities, people we love, and friends we don’t yet know.
Will you pray Zechariah 8:1-9 with me?
Oh Lord of heavenly forces, I ask that you would ignite us with your passion for your people. That your heart would become our heart. That you would settle in our midst and make us your dwelling place.
Our cities need you. There is suffering and violence. We pray for your presence. We pray that ours would become cities of truth, justice, and peace.
The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims: Old men and old women will again dwell in the plazas of Jerusalem. Each of them will have a staff in their hand because of their great age. The city will be full of boys and girls playing in its plazas. Zech 8:4-5 (CEB)
Oh, Lord, may it be so. In Jerusalem, in Champaign-Urbana, in New Covenant Fellowship. Sustain our elders and give them health. Protect our children, that they might play safely in our streets. Renew us by your strength; grant us the joy of youth and long life.
We weary of this pandemic. We are isolated from group gatherings and corporate worship. In our separation, this vision can seem impossible. You, O Lord, are the God of the possible.
Even though it may seem to be a miracle for the few remaining among this people in these days, should it seem to be a miracle for me? says the Lord of heavenly forces. Zech 8:6b (CEB)
Finally, Lord, we pray for your deliverance. That you would bring your people back to you, back to full fellowship together that we may worship you in truth and righteousness. Strengthen us as we read the words of your prophets. Be near to us as we call out to you.
Lord, hear our prayer. -Renée