[From Frederick’s National Day of Prayer]
Let’s start with this, you might know this one, feel free to join me and pray along:
Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For YOURS is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen.
Lord, most everyone in the room has known that prayer for a long time. Lord, I knew that as a little kid, long before I was a believer or even knew you. But Lord, how much did I, how much do we all, pray that prayer as a collection of words, but not really believe or live it.
Lord, you and I both know, probably most people in this room know, that I’m no theologian, but in my simple mind, I simply can’t believe that you would give us a prayer that won’t work. So I stand today and declare, and I ask everyone here to join me in believing, it is time. It is time for your Kingdom to come, and your will to be done – right here in Frederick, across our state, across this nation, just as it is in Heaven. That it is time to see the manifest reality of that prayer. That it is time to see the increase of your government and of your peace, and to see it increase without end. That it is time to see the knowledge of the glory of the Lord cover this town, and this county and this nation as the waters cover the sea.
We know from your words and your example, Lord, that your Kingdom isn’t meant to be locked up inside the walls of our church buildings, so Lord, we pray our workers, employees, business leaders across this county would have encounters with you, where you would show them the destiny, purpose of their vocational work; that you’d give them a vision how they can use all that to make their sphere of influence in the workplace everyday look more like your Kingdom and less like the wrong one. That you would cleanse our workers, business leaders from any shame or guilt they’re feeling for not serving INSIDE the church building, and that they would rightfully see their work as worship, and instead would be encouraged in the ministry and feel the joy of your presence as they partner with you to bring your Kingdom into their workplace on Tuesday. Not by doing church stuff at work, but in doing the work they do everyday – writing code or fixing cars or cleaning buildings or making sandwiches or selling retail or teaching kids or whatever you called them to, that they would do it in a way that glorifies you and extends your Kingdom. That you would give our workers dreams and visions and ideas and breakthroughs that clearly demonstrate to those around them your goodness and your favor, and there is no choice but for others to say, “wow, that was clearly the hand of God.”
We pray our business leaders/owners would get off the fence – that they would choose this day whom they would serve. O Lord, in your great mercy forgive us all for partnering with the ways of the little k kingdom in our work, and calling the substandard, the mediocre, the manipulative, the selfish, and sometimes outright evil things good. Things work differently in your Kingdom, Lord, and we pray that in your great grace, you’d open our hearts to see those places where we’ve knowingly or unknowingly partnered with the enemy in our business practices and processes and policies instead of you. Where we’ve done things the worlds way instead of Your way, and even called them best practices. That you’d instead, you’d give us a vision for how we can partner with you to make those things we do at work everyday function more like Your Kingdom and destroy the works of darkness in the process. That we’d truly trust you for our daily bread; that our businesses and areas of influence would reflect that.
Finally, Lord, we pray our churches would no longer be focused solely on drawing people in, but would be fully engaged in equipping our saints to go out. That we would no longer draw the salt and light out for community for the sake of building little c church kingdoms. But instead as the capital C Church, our pastors would equip Kingdom carriers, apostles really, that carry your Kingdom out of Sunday and into Tuesdays all across this county. Lord, that you’d equip us all to represent you well, to give our non-believing friends a little taste and experience of your Kingdom, that our coworkers and associates and bosses and friends could see your goodness, and it would lead to repentance all across this county.
You’re a good good Father. We welcome your Kingdom right here, right now, in Frederick and across this nation. In the mighty name of Jesus, who already paid for every last bit of this. Amen.