I know that many of you in the GodspaceLight Community do not live in the States. Having friends around the world during this pandemic has helped me greatly! This gives me hope because the world is BIG and God is BIGGER! I’ve appreciated hearing from friends across the pond this week as America has faced an attack on our democracy… a domestic terrorist attack. I began praying and the words “STAND IN THE GAP” kept coming to mind. Back in my college days, it was a phrase we used a lot when talking about praying for one another when we couldn’t pray for ourselves. I honestly hadn’t read the verse in Ezekiel 22 in many years…
I looked for someone to stand up for me against all this, to repair the defenses of the city, to take a stand for me and stand in the gap to protect this land so I wouldn’t have to destroy it. I couldn’t find anyone. Not one. (Ezekiel 22:30 The Message)
When I read this verse in context, the entire chapter is very convicting for our day. It led me to write this prayer/poem:
How do I stand in the Gap for America?
How can we stand in the Gap for this country when it’s ripping itself apart?
We are foolish adolescents who think we know everything
We have allowed fear and lies to take hostage our better angels
We’ve seen each other as the OTHER, us verses them
Not WE the people
Not fellow citizens
But OTHER which has equaled evil and bad.
We’ve not loved our neighbors as ourselves
We have not loved God with our whole hearts
We’ve loved power and prestige and status and privilege and position.
We’ve neglected the poor
We’ve taken food from the hungry
We’ve made orphans and widows
We’ve made the lives of single parents worse, not better
We’ve helped the rich get richer and the poor, poorer
We’ve turned a blind eye to brutality
And created systems that keep people down, especially people of color.
We’ve not paid attention
We’ve chosen to be blind
We’ve only tweeted and liked,
rather than making sacrifices and taken action.
We must confess, I MUST confess that I have not loved you, God, with my whole heart
We’ve not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We’ve loved power and prestige and status and privilege and our position.
We’ve loved ourselves, not you, Jesus.
We’ve sinned against you God, in thought word and deed.
By what we have done and by so many things we have left undone…..
Today, I humbly bow my heart and repent
I say, Jesus, I am sorry
I am sorry for my complicity
I stand in the gap for my fellow christians who’ve been led astray by nationalism and fear
Who have followed leaders who haven’t followed you.
Today, I stand in the gap for America
I stand in the gap against the violence that is brewing
I don’t like conflict
I don’t like fighting
I don’t even believe in owning a gun.
I believe in peacemaking
I believe that LOVE HEALS all things
And Love triumphs over hate every time….
But I also know that evil is real
I know people have been lied to and they’ve been poisoned with fear. They believe that they are right and they want to fight…
They want war not peace.
We saw that on Wednesday….
People with rebel flags and a noose and carrying their bibles.
People with t-shirts and hoodies advertising the Civil War starts Jan. 6, 2021. Shirts advertising the desire to kill more Jewish people too. 6 million not enough. People chanting to kill the vice president.
And terrorists storming the capitol thinking they were doing right.
Today, I stand in the Gap
Today, I pray for peace
Today, I ask for the Holy Spirit to intervene
I ask Jesus to forgive me, to forgive us!
To change me, to change us!
I pray for better angels to prevail
I pray against the spirit of evil that is flowing through this land
I pray against the desire for blood
I pray for people to stop and breathe
To look at themselves
To look at their neighbors
They are our neighbors, just like us
trying to make it day by day.
We don’t know their pain or problems unless we take time to ask.
We don’t know what their lives are like unless we are present.
If we stay buried in our phones and on our screens we miss humanity! We miss beauty!
We miss each other.
And beauty helps us heal.
I pray against the spirit of genocide
I pray against the spirit of war
I pray against the sprit of hatred and division
IN THE NAME OF JESUS I pray against racism, Fascisim, Nationalism
I pray we would melt our guns into plowshares. LORD, IN YOUR MERCY
Hear our prayer.
We would claim the mind of Christ not the spirit of fear! Lord, deliver us from ourselves
From evil and selfishness and bad beliefs.
From conspiracy theories and terrorism… please deliver us. Help us to love not hate
Help us, Jesus, to love as you love
To love with extravagance!
Even our enemies…
you’ve called us to pray for and to love! We cannot do this alone.
We need you, Jesus!
I STAND IN THE GAP…
Please STAND with me and PRAY!