For those of you who have also taken it on the chin recently, as my family has, I offer up this prayer for all of us:
Dear Heavenly Father, for the grace to live and love another day, thank you. For the trials and hardships, the tragedies, the challenges, and even the daily inconveniences...thank you. Chisel our hard hearts through these troubles, burn away the impurities that we regularly insist on collecting, and transform us into loving, serving, tenderhearted, trusting, patient, and absolutely courageous warriors.
For those of us who have been beaten so low that every breath seems a labor, that just starting the day seems a mile-high climb, that every darkness seems a fearful horror, every face seems full of scorn, and every tick of the clock leads to more loneliness…Father, bring comfort. Shelter us under your mighty wings and defend us. You are our Rock, our Shield, our Deliverer. Please, help us to abide in you and you in us.
Lord God, you also are our Sword. We ask, God, that you would go to war for your namesake. The enemy would seek to show the world that he is your equal, but we know he is NOT. With a thought, you destroy the enemy's plans. We ask, Lord, that you would bend your thought toward the enemy and his followers. That you would wreck them, that you would overwhelm them, and defeat them.
But, God, we confess that we have been traitors to you, Lord. We have praised your name while, in the anonymous darkness, we have left open a backdoor for the enemy. We have even laid foundations upon which the enemy has built stronghold after stronghold. For these selfish, foolish acts, we confess and apologize and repent. Father, you were right all along. Now please, clean up the mess we've made. Put forth your mighty hand and smack the living daylights out of the enemy. Batter him, smash the strongholds to rubble and sweep away the debris! Unleash the might of your name and leave no doubt that Jesus Christ is Lord of ALL.
In the Triumphant name of Jesus, Amen.