Lord, hear this our prayer and declaration. The time has come. We are taking back the territory! It has belonged to the enemy too long. We are turning on the lights in the bell towers of our churches. No longer will they shine just on our own congregations, but Lord we declare, as a body, to unite and become beacons of light to the community … a city on a hill. We will hide our lights under a bushel no longer!
We declare that we will not compete with one another but defend one another and reach out together to help those around us. Lord, in Matthew 25, You have commanded us to reach out to the hungry, the naked, the sick, those in prison … Lord, You said that when we are doing any of these things to the least of these, we are doing them to/for You.
How can we stand by and see our neighbors hungry, the homeless shivering, the sick dying, and the world falling apart while we praise You and thank You for our many blessings!
We Need to Repent
Lord, we repent. Together we ask Your forgiveness. We ask You to direct us in assuming our duties, not assigning them to others. We are heading out of our prayer closets and sanctuaries into the community. We vow to take back the territory You gave us but through neglect and apathy we lost to others. No longer will we see helping others as the government’s job. No longer will we watch as they fail in this process because You have commanded Your Church, not the government, to do this work.
Lord, we want to become leaders in meeting the needs of our community. Help us to organize, coordinate, prioritize. You have given us the gifts, the talents, the resources. In our midst, You have planted those with desires to meet those needs. Gather us together. Make us one for Your purposes and plan. ‘
Most importantly, You have given us the power and presence of your Holy Spirit. You came to set the captives free. We thank you for setting us free, for loving us, for giving us eternal life through the shed blood of Jesus. It is time we passed on these gifts. But the hungry won’t hear us if their bellies are growling. The homeless won’t hear us if they are cold and need shelter. Prisoners, especially Christian brothers and sisters, won’t believe us if no one greets them at the prison door and welcomes them into the church and community.
Help Us Hear Their Cries
Open our hearts to hear their cries. Help us to be Your emissaries in reaching out to others. We desire to do these things to glorify You, to lift you up in our community, to raise your cross above our City. And as we lift You up, you will draw all men unto You. We look forward to the day when we can declare that Portland is Your City, a city transformed by God! And we especially look forward someday to hearing You say, “Well done, good and faithful servants.” Lord, hear our fervent prayer!
DLH – February 15, 2002
Portland Pastors’ Association’s Day of Fasting & Prayer
Free Methodist Church, Portland, ME