The Voice of the Church in the Public Square

Editor’s Note:  The following was Pr. Chris Thoma’s prayer at the Michigan State Senate.

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Almighty and most merciful God, You have made the promise by Your holy Word that You are near to all who call upon You in truth. Draw near to us this day and give ear to those who call upon you in faith.

Help us, we pray. The storm clouds of besetting sin are rolling through the stratosphere of this State and Nation. There is much evil being called good and much good being called evil.

We are plagued by the irreverent disregard for much that is simply and objectively true. We behold our own populace drowning in the high-tide of radical individualism. Self-worship is our idolatrous trade, and arrogant contempt for your natural law is our creed.

Behold, we confess that Your perfect and Holy design of male and female is being given over to the borderlands of confusion.

See for Yourself, O God, that we are complacent in the face of atrocity, that we have crossed over into the black waters of hell as we wittingly allow for the grinding into bits the most vulnerable – the unborn child. Regard with Your own eyes, O God, as we dehumanize these helpless ones – ever so prideful, and blindly gratified by our defense of the “right” to choose even as the tiniest of human hearts beats toward its last in the palm of our hand.

Where are you, Lord? Do you not hear us? The Christian Church, Your body of the redeemed throughout this nation and world, is even now being persecuted and criminalized. Here in our own cities and towns are we being forced to obey unjust laws and penalized for steadfast Christian conviction. And just beyond our nation’s borders, believers set by an unearthly courage in Jesus, are crucified or beheaded simply because they will not recant and trade their confession of Christ for Islam.

How long, O Lord? Are we all but lost? Has the course of this State and this Nation been run?

And yet, the Christian soul is steady, for you have declared, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you…” Hear our cries this day, for with You there is hope; with You there is mercy. Do not turn us away in judgement. Remember Your promises and be gracious to us, for you are slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love. You heal the brokenhearted. You bind up their wounds. Your thoughtfulness is beyond measure and You lift up the humble. Look upon us and heal us. Purify and enlighten us that we would not dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death, but would dwell in the righteous light of your love given perfectly and completely through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Your Son, and the only way of eternal life.

By this Gospel, give strength to our backs and vigor in our stride. Empower and convert the hearts and minds of all who serve in this place, that any efforts found straying from what is good and true would be discovered and stripped clean from the agenda. Cause the servants here to know and to do Your will, that in wisdom they would serve faithfully in the offices entrusted to them by the citizens of this great State. And through their service, establish and ordain for this government to be called “good.”

By and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, do we lift our heads and go forth in confidence knowing that all we have petitioned this day, You have heard, and all that is according to your Holy Will, indeed, will take root, sprout, and grow to the benefit of the citizens of the State of Michigan and to the glory of Your Holy name.

All of this we pray in the name of Jesus, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Amen.

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