Congregational Prayer: Psalm 99

Here is a pastoral prayer based on Psalm 99.  It was written by Isaac, a Mennonite pastor, and posted on his Rusty Parts blog.

Congregational Prayer
(inspired by Psalm 99)

“The Lord reigns,” says Psalm 99. “Let the nations tremble; God sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake.”

Let the nations tremble… God, why should the nations tremble? They tremble, the Psalmist says, because you love justice. In a world of injustice, in a world where peace and forgiveness are scarce, we pray for your merciful justice to reign. Across the earth there are places that desperately need your justice. I’ll lift up a few of them that are in the newspapers today: May your peace settle on the land of Afghanistan; may your peace settle on the land of Iraq; may your peace settle on the people of Palestine; and may your peace come to this country where we live.

Your peace is not of this world; your peace makes the nations tremble because they are permeated by violence—even their justice depends on violence. So God, we pray for your Spirit to come with power: to bring good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, liberation for the oppressed, the year of the Lord’s favor. Come Lord Jesus, shake the foundations of worldly powers with your justice, establish your kingdom of sacrificial love on earth as it is in heaven.

God, may our lives also tremble with your righteousness. Transform us into servants of your justice. May your mercy flow through our lives. In a world of greed, may we display your generosity, your gracious giving. In a world of deception, may we be truthful people—even when it’s inconvenient. In a world of quick fixes and cheap hope, may we be people of patience. In a world where everyone is quick to point fingers, may we be people who confess our sins and ask for forgiveness.

This world of self-destruction is the same world that resounds with your grace. Give us eyes to see the mysterious movements of your grace. And give us the strength we need to join in your work of redemption. This evening, give us new life. Save us from our sins. Set us free from our selfishness. May your Holy Spirit lead us in the way of Jesus, so that we may be good news for our friends and neighbors and the strangers we meet along the way. For we are servants of your kingdom, ministers of your grace.

~ written by Isaac, a Mennonite pastor.  Posted on his blog, Rusty Parts.