first seek

first seek

DAY 09 . THE CRY


A Liturgy for Those Crying Out for Justice

O merciful Father, our Author of justice,

the innocent blood of those slain

cries out to you from the ground,

open-mouthed, warm, ever-red.

Come down, O God, and see what has been done!

Our politics of fear and anger have

enslaved, abused, neglected, erased, excluded, dismissed;

we confer second-class citizenship;

we legitimize the making of victims,

whom you have called your Beloved.

Don the sackcloth, sprinkle the ashes!

Bitter-weeping, we refuse to be comforted,

for there are those of us who are no more.

Will you forget us forever, O Lord?

How long until, with our own eyes, we see your justice done?

O Christ, we confess that we have looked away.

Walk with us to the margins of our world,

where you have always been,

and abide in proximity with those who are not forgotten.

Though the discomfort may break us,

O Healer, meet us where we lack and repair us with gold.

We crave an easy way, but strengthen us to rise above, 

taking on each other’s burdens as our own,

learning that we are inextricably tied with our fellow image-bearers,

and we need each other on our march upward toward Zion.

Son of God, born in a manger,

you came among us, where the lowly tread.

You identify with the oppressed,

and as we do to them, we do to you.

For you, the Lord, love justice; you require mercy.

Move now, in and through us, Holy Spirit.

Search the corners of our hearts for prejudice.

Break the spirit of racism and racial superiority.

Give us a powerful hope, so that we may speak as those who do not shrink back.

Move on behalf of those who cry out to you.

We appeal to your throne of righteousness.

From the confines of our traditions, we the Church

repent of our long history of failure,

a system of sin, always before us.

Jesus Christ, alive in your people, the heart and truth of our faith,

clear the way now, in us, to be a source of hope.

May we be a witness of Kingdom community.

With each new tragedy, despair seeps into our bones.

Renew in us, O God, a hopeful kindling, fanned into flame, for the work ahead.

Create in us the imagination for a new humanity:

our multitude too numerous to count, standing at your throne;

a mosaic of every nation, tribe, people, and language, none left out;

reconciled and singing free before the Lamb.

Amen.

Take a few minutes to write out a simple prayer for our streets this morning.

Scripture referenced in this liturgy:

Genesis 4:10
Genesis 18:21
1 John 4:7
Esther 4:1
Matthew 26:38
Jeremiah 31:15
Psalm 13:1
Exodus 3:7
Proverbs 14:31

Proverbs 19:17
Isaiah 61:8
Micah 6:8
Proverbs 31:8
Revelation 7:9
Hebrews 10:39
Isaiah 35:10
Psalm 51:3

first seek

DAY 3 . FOR


ACTS 11:20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

In this passage the people becoming Jesus followers in Antioch were deeply pagan people – some of the least likely to accept Jesus as Lord. The same grace that had touched the likely had touched the outsider. Though Revival is primarily about the church coming back to life, a sign of God’s accelerated work is that outsiders are being drawn to Jesus.

When we are in tune with God, content with his daily bread, and saturated in God’s presence and power – we radiate the love and beauty of God to all people. 

REVIVAL STORY, The Hebrides, Scotland
One who came into saving and covenant relationship with Jesus Christ spoke on the following evening to a young man. Suddenly conviction grips him, and he begins to tremble and try to shake it off; he goes to the town of Stornoway and enters the tavern to get away from this overwhelming sense of the presence of God, and when he enters the tavern he finds there men speaking about their lost and ruined state. He says, “This is no place for a man anxious to shake this off; I will go to a dance.” That night he went to a dance, and was not in the hall five minutes when a young woman came to him and said, “Oh, where would Eternity find us if God struck us dead now?” The sense of God was everywhere. That evening that young man found the Savior; he could not escape God.

1 THESSALONIANS 1:4-5 For we know, brothers and sisters  loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.


May we seek God’s hand, God’s power that “a great number” in our city would turn to the way of life.

PRAY
“Give us this day our daily bread”

– In seeking God’s hand for “daily bread” – for all that we need today – we can rest in his provision and operate in a strength that is not our own.
– Where do you sense that you need to trust God’s hand?
– Look to the scriptures – where are you out of line with the things of God?
– Take 10min to pray and journal.

first seek

DAY 2 . NOW


And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:18

All of history’s great revivals have one attribute in common – people fervently prayed for them. In November 1949 in the Hebrides Islands, two elderly women in their 80’s were troubled at the state of their parish – not one young person attended church. These two women were moved to action and decided to pray about it. They met twice a week and prayed from 10pm – 3am. The women invited the church leaders and elders to pray with them.

A few weeks later Scottish preacher Duncan Campbell visited the island to preach. These women had a clear vision that he was supposed to stay and lead. During his time on Lewis Island, revival broke out and hundreds of people came to know Christ. On the first day of the revival, 122 young people were saved.

PRAY
“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Karl Barth said “To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.” Where is the disorder y(our) world?
– Take 10min+ to name it and pray into it.
– Pray for the hurting, lonely, and oppressed.

first seek

DAY 1 . PRESENT


Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  – Psalm 90:12

If we are honest, most of us will admit that we have experienced seasons when the moments, days and weeks seemed to slip away without us noticing. Perhaps we were absorbed by the busyness of everyday routines, or by a difficult season when mere survival was challenge enough. Regardless, we often look back on these seasons with a sense of regret and the feeling that moments were ‘wasted.’

The book of Psalms (always a great place to start when facing the shortfalls of our humanity and refocusing on God) gives expression to this tendency in a prayer by Moses. He asks God to arrest his impulse to drift through the days, saying:

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

Easy to learn, this verse has been the prayer of countless Christians wanting to awaken to each moment they have been graced with. Perhaps today, it can become your prayer, too.

As we begin two weeks of prayer, fasting, and worship, let’s resolve to be aware of what God is doing. From the outset, let us number the days, tune our ear heavenward and determine that this season will not slip away. That we might have our eyes wide open to see that the Lord is present and active.

PRAY
– “Our father in in heaven, holy is your name.”
– Take 10 minutes to praise, worship and give thanks. Use a journal.
– Ask God in worship to make you more aware of his presence throughout the day.