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Holy Father,

 

In the wake of school violence, much doubt has been cast upon the power of prayer. I’ve heard it said that prayer is insufficient to stop bullets from killing our school children. Thank You, Father that this is not true. You absolutely hear prayer (Psalm 65:2).

 

Granted, in and of ourselves, we are powerless to stop the spew of violence erupting against our children. No amount of regulated control can stop the overflow of bitterness pouring from a wounded heart. Indeed, it is “out of the heart (that) evil thoughts, murders…false witness and slanders come” (Matthew 15:19). But we are reminded that You are greater than our hearts (1 John 3:20). So we turn our eyes toward You and ask for Your intervention (2 Chronicles 20:12).

 

You promised to heal our land when we humble ourselves, pray, seek Your Face, and turn from our own disobedience (2 Chronicles 7:14). So, I begin here Father — doing my part, so that You are free to do Yours. What is within me, O Lord, that harbors offense and violence against my fellow man? Who am I angry towards? What gossip and slander have I propagated? Who have I withdrawn my patience and kindness from? Who do I need to forgive? What methods of violence and malice do I entertain within my own heart?

 

O Father, forgive me for taking offense. Forgive me for spreading a doubt of character onto the one who has hurt me. Forgive me for amusing myself with aggressive or gruesome entertainment. I recognize that each of these guide my heart toward the very violence I speak so strongly against. May I be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, after all my own anger can never achieve Your righteousness (James 1:19-20).

 

As each of us yields to Your Kingdom rule within us as individuals, Your peace will extend within our sphere of influence, including our schools. Your Kingdom will come on earth, just as it has already come in heaven (Matthew 6:10). May Your Light shine so brightly within each of us that You alone are glorified (Matthew 5:16). Overtake the darkness as Light shines out of Your people (John 1:5). Praise You for being the King who dwells in unapproachable light — to You be honor and eternal dominion. Amen (1 Timothy 6:15-16).

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Photography courtesy of Sara Jeng Grewar. Follow her on Instagram.

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Holy Father,

 

Thank You that You reign, high and lifted up, over all the nations (Psalm 47:8). You reign over both the nations here on earth as well as all spiritual principalities in the heavenlies. You even rule over those set up against acknowledging You (Ephesians 6:12). You, O Lord, are the Ancient of Days — the One Who is above all, with thousands upon thousands attending You and myriads upon myriads standing before You as their righteous, holy Judge (Daniel 7:9-10). Praise You for sending Your Son long ago to live our life and die our death that we might stand faultless before You, our Judge (Jude 1:24). With confidence, we enter within the veil by the blood of Jesus and speak out our requests (Hebrews 10:19-20).

 

Father, enlarge the influence that this tent of our body represents. Reveal what it means to lengthen our cords and strengthen our pegs (Isaiah 54:2). Surely this is not something we can do, but You alone can do this work (Philippians 2:13). Thank You that even now You are busy bringing it to pass (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

 

Place upon our “loins” (the inner depths of our emotions and desire – Psalm 51:6) Your belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14). May Your truth so electrify and purify us that we resemble Your Son, burning as with fire (Ezekiel 1:27). May this blazing passion for truth extend into our actions – affecting not only our intentions but also our feet (Philippians 2:13).

 

As You affect our outer man, may You also burn an intensity within us for prayer (Colossians 4:2). Like Your Son, may we have feet of fire (Revelation 1:15; Ezekiel 1:27) that we plant upon the very neck of our enemies (Joshua 10:24). While we love man, may we demolish all demonic forces that are raised up against knowing You (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). After all, our enemies are not flesh and blood, but spiritual forces of darkness (Ephesians 6:12) — the very prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2).

 

Since the battle is great, teach us to pray with boldness (Hebrews 4:16; 10:19). Teach us to pray with the authority that You freely give Your children (Luke 10:19)— the authority to take back that which man lost in the fall. You are our consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). Consume all within us that is not of You (Malachi 3:1-4). May our prayers — indeed our very lives — resemble Your brilliance, so that when people look at us, they glorify only You (Matthew 5:16).

 

Set our hearts and minds aglow with the very radiance of who You are (Ezekiel 8:2). Grant insight so clear that we begin to resemble the very brightness of heaven’s expanse (Daniel 12:3). May You, our Light, lead many to see that their own righteousness is sourced only and always in You (2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

Thank You for giving us the very mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Hallelujah. May we use it to comprehend Your Love and so be filled up to the fulness of God (Ephesians 3:19).

 

Grant us to be strengthened with power through Your Holy Spirit in our inner man (Ephesians 3:16), so that we may display strength and take action in the coming year (Daniel 11:32). May we be a source of understanding to many and never fear the repercussion of speaking truth (Daniel 11:33).

 

Thank You that Your Kingdom has come down to live within us (Luke 17:21; Colossians 1:27). Reveal to us how best to keep unlocking the heavenly doors onto earth (Matthew 16:19). May our prayers be powerful to see Your Kingdom increase upon the earth, just as Your Kingdom is, even now, divinely supreme in heaven (Matthew 6:10). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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