A prayer for justice
We’ve been reading and praying through Scotty Smith’s Everyday Prayers. They’re basically personal prayers from Smith’s journal, sometimes very personal and explicitly relating to his context, but much of the time it’s things that we can pray as well. It turns out that he’s been blogging them (slightly edited) at TGC too. Here is yesterday’s wonderful prayer:
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Ps. 34:18
Dear Lord Jesus, I’m increasingly grateful for all the reasons the Father sent you into the world. When I look in the mirror of the Word, I’m thankful that you came to set me free from my imprisonment to sin and death and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. In the gospel I hear you singing these words over me: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). I have no righteousness apart from yours, Lord Jesus.
When I look at places like Haiti, Calcutta, and Darfur, I’m so thankful that you came to preach good news to the poor—not just good news concerning spiritual poverty but also the good news of a kingdom which provides food for the hungry, clean water for the thirsty, shelter for the homeless, advocacy for the marginalized, family for the orphan.
When I look at systemic evil in the world—human trafficking, the idolatry of greed, an ideology of terror, the pornography industry, to name a few—I’m so thankful that you’ve also come to proclaim the day of vengeance of our God. No one is a greater champion of justice than you, Lord Jesus. One day, all the pillaging weeds of unrighteousness will be replaced with mighty oaks of righteousness—”a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor” (Isa. 61:3).
Today, Lord Jesus, I’m also deeply grateful that you’re close to the brokenhearted and that you save those who are crushed in spirit. To your throne of grace, I bring friends who just miscarried their third baby; a single mom who recently discovered her cancer has returned; a pastor who finally snapped under the weight of too much criticism and stress in his church; friends whose son continues to act out so destructively; yet another wife who has discovered her husband’s affair. I cry out to you on behalf of all of these friends.
Lord Jesus, no one was broken in heart and body like you, no one was crushed in spirit like you, and you did it all for us. I praise you that you comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve—that you bear our burdens and give us more grace. Oh for the Day when we will forever be done with a spirit of despair and will only wear the garment of praise. So very Amen I pray, in your kindhearted and compassionate name.
So very Amen.