My battery is dying, so this will be a quick one. I just wanted to post this prayer for the election.
We come into your presence on our knees,
And we acknowledge our sins and the sins of this nation – the things we have done and the things we have failed to do.
We ask for your mercy Father, for your Great Name’s sake.
Have mercy on this land and this people.
Restore us to yourself.
May your will be done in this election.
May we not get the government that we deserve, but the government that will bring glory to your name and heal this land.
In the name and for the sake of Jesus we pray,
(c) Shoshana Sharon Tootill, 2015
This prayer was at the end of the book “The Grace Outpouring” and I hope it’s ok to quote it here in its entirety.
“I felt I had to share it as it seems so appropriate, it could have been written just for me:
“Father, I acknowledge the reality of who I am. I acknowledge the weakness, the sin, the mess in my life and I ask you to come and have mercy on me, just as I am, because of who Jesus is.
So with your help I take my sin, my weakness, my pain, my grief and place it all on the cross where Jesus died, so that he can carry it away and then forget it forever. I let go of these things now.
With your help I choose to let go of grudges and bitterness, and forgive all who have wounded me.
Father, would you please put the Spirit of Jesus deeply within me and begin to shape and refine me? Will you begin to do what I cannot do? Will you begin to produce within me the person you’ve always wanted me to be? Will you please begin to lead me in the paths you’ve always planned for me?
I ask this in Jesus’ name.”
The last three years have been a painful process of letting go of past wounds that seemed to refuse to heal over. But I feel as though I have finally turned a corner and can move on now, able to bless those who wounded me instead of cursing them.
I really hadn’t planned for this blog to be so deeply religious, at all, but that seems to be the way that life is flowing for me right now, and instead of fighting it (inner control freak), I’m going with the flow.
This week’s choice is a book that my mother bought me last year and which has been sitting on the shelf for several months, unread.
“The Grace Outpouring: Becoming a People of Blessing” by Roy Godwin and Dave Roberts is another inspirational book documenting the incredible spiritual power being unleashed at Ffald-y-Brenin, a Christian Retreat Centre in Wales that has become a “missional house of prayer” which blesses individuals, groups, building locations, communities and whole localities (not only their own).
Like Catherine Booth’s book last week, there is a kind of infectious passion contained herein which has made me want to change the way I speak, the way I think and the way I behave. Instead of criticising and complaining, I am challenged to bless and invoke God’s blessing.
On the other hand, it could be extremely depressing to read about all the amazing, supernatural workings of God when one’s own experience of faith has not included anything like this. My own background is a mixture of Pentecostal and Cessationist. I have seen some strange and possibly dodgy things in church (and emotional manipulation by means of music to create a fake atmosphere is a pet hate of mine), but I have also been present in rare meetings where the presence of God has been so thick and heavy and beautiful it has been almost tangible.
My Cessationist background (via Baptist Midmissions – American missionaries who ran the church I grew up in) tells me to beware of ‘Strange Fire’ – and I haven’t wanted to look too deeply at the recent controversy because I think that on balance it’s not terribly helpful. Yes, be discerning and ‘test the spirits’. But I admire the Pentecostal earnestness and enthusiasm, and I wouldn’t want to dismiss as ‘demonic’ or ‘Satanic’ what might be a real move of God.