Today is the National Day of Prayer. Christians are gathering all across the country to pray for their communities. Here in Cincinnati, we offer a noontime service on the steps of the county courthouse. I was invited to offer the invocation at the start of the service. Below is the text of that invocation:
Lord, we call upon you, the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We call out to you because from you and through you and to you are all things.
We call out to you because it is in you that we live and move and have our being.
We call out because our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.
We gather here today to publicly declare our trust in your mercy, our dependence on your grace, and our hope in your mighty arm. Through your prophet, Jeremiah, you instructed Israel in captivity in Babylon to seek the welfare of the city where they had been sent, to pray to you on behalf of that city. We gather in that spirit today.
As we join our hearts together in prayer, we ask that you would be with us. May the Holy Spirit be here now. May you hear the prayers spoken and unspoken and may you move in our world in response.
We pray that you would use these prayers to shape us as well. Lead us to offer our lives as living sacrifices for the glory of your kingdom. May you use us as instruments in your hands. May we be strengthened for service to you.
- Give us eyes that perceive the image of God that you have bestowed upon every human being, regardless of ethnicity, social class, age, or ability.
- Give us ears that hear the cries of the hurting, the lost, the broken, and the scared.
- Give us hands that are fit for service, doing the good work that you have prepared for us.
- Give us feet ready to carry us where you will lead us to service.
- Give us mouths that are ready to give account for the hope we have; ready to tell of Jesus and his love; ready to speak of truth and justice and mercy and grace.
- Give us hearts filled with the fruit of your spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Finally, we thank you for the organizers of this event. We thank you for the musicians who stir our hearts to praise you. We thank you for those who are giving voice to our prayers today. May you use our time together to bless Cincinnati and to grow you kingdom.
In the name of Christ we pray,