fill my eyes and my mind with purity.
All around me is beauty—
sometimes apparent, sometimes masked,
sometimes budding, sometimes latent.
But the sacred is visible everywhere
when seen with a godly, seeking heart.
let me perceive goodness even in what is corrupt;
let me discern righteous possibilities even in what is foul;
let me recognize the potential for holiness even in what is evil.
Nothing is beyond your transforming power.
Surely the cross proves that.
Earthly Image of the Eternal God,
we know we are supposed to live a model life—
shaped by you, shaping others.
Our lives tell the world what we believe.
There’s power in our words,
And we really would like to and we usually try.
But we get tired or lazy or stale or something
and we want to take a break from godliness.
Compromises, concessions, settling, giving in.
It’s not so bad, is it—
as long as we act right around other people,
as long as they think we are good?
If a Christian falls and there’s no one around,
does it make a sound?
I suppose even asking the question
shows the difference
between a cheap imitation
and the real thing.
Living God, you’ve still got a lot of converting to do.
So immerse us in your mercy,
making us diligent in your doctrines,
consistent with your character,
sure in your salvation.
And don’t stop until we are complete—
a perfect reproduction.
forgive us for making your words banal,
for using your teachings divisively,
for turning your way into joyless drudge,
for receiving your riches but living penuriously.
How could we?
For your good news is poetry in motion
and we have a gospel that must be sung.
For your kingdom is harmony embodied
and where you lead we must follow in dance.
So let hymns and psalms and spiritual songs resound through your church.
Let thankfulness ring as your people sing and
praise echo through eternity.
Lover of a fallen people,
Paul knew there were some preachers who shared the good news
for the sake of the kingdom and
others for their own gain.
But he didn’t get hung up on their aim, whether truth or pretense.
He was just glad Jesus Christ was being proclaimed.
I am not that charitable.
I am always trying to judge motives as much as actions.
And I am quick to condemn those who don’t measure up.
Forgive me for presuming upon your authority, Lord.
Only you can look into the hearts and minds of people.
So you already know that my motives aren’t pure:
when I tear people down it is to make me feel higher and mightier.
The way of Jesus is just the opposite.
He humbled himself and lifted others up.
He became poor so others could become rich.
He died so we could live.
Through sacrifice came exaltation.
Now his name is above all names.
Lord, humble me and cleanse me.
And when it comes to the rest of the world,
set my focus only what is good and lovely and loving and
I’ll leave everything else for you to sort out.
your statutes are your desire for us,
your ways are your best for us,
your precepts are your light for us,
your decrees are your heart revealed for us,
your commands are your path of salvation for us,
your promise is your hope for us,
your word is your love for us.
Thank you for speaking to us through this holy Bible.
What a gift you have placed in our hands
for us to hide in our hearts
so it can be published in our lives.
to leave the old me behind I have to learn to live with the new we.
To experience the renewing of my mind and to be remade in your likeness
you say I have to practice fellowship, community, unity.
Do you know what you are asking?
“No lies or pretense.”
What about when I do that to protect people’s feelings?
Or is that to protect my reputation or
“Be angry but do not sin.”
What about when they deserve what they get?
Or am I not capable of making that wise judgments?
“Don’t use foul or abusive language.”
What about when it really helps make a point or
get a laugh?
Or are you saying it is never acceptable
to diminish another person?
“Get rid of vengeful or destructive habits.”
But I’m only human, right?
Or am I something more
because of the presence of Christ and
the work of the Spirit?
“Be kind and sensitive and forgiving.”
I will if they will.
Or is that, I will because you have?
Seriously, Lord, have you seen these people?
Do you know how hard what you are asking is?
Looking at the cross, yea, I guess you do.
All I can say is that you’ve got your work cut out in me.
And because we includes me, you’ve got your work cut out there, too.
On behalf of all of us, thanks for keeping at it.
we pray for all government leaders,
recognizing that they have a holy duty
for their power is conferred only by you.
And you have given them the responsibility
of limiting evil and promoting good.
Our mission is to hearten them and
hold them accountable to your standards.
So give us attitudes of respect,
words of encouragement,
prayers of intercession,
gentle wisdom, and
for the leaders of our community,
our nation, and
all the world.