Help me, Lord, to stand for the Kingdom

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Mosaic from St Peter’s chapel in the crypt of Westminster CathedralLawrence OP / Flickr

O Lord, here we stand. We’ve heard the experience of Peter and John and then we’ve heard the experience of that John who was on the Isle of Patmos.  We see the handwriting on the wall.  Times are going to get tough.  Lord, we’ve committed ourselves to the Kingdom.  Tonight we want to rededicate.  We want to rededicate, and say, Lord, “Here I am, send me.”  Some folks may not like me.  I may lose my job.  I may be called first one thing and another.  But Lord, help me to know how to be wise.  Don’t make a fool out of me unless you let me be a fool for Christ’s name.

Lord, teach us how to bear witness.  Teach us how to be sensitive.  Teach us where we are to stop.  We can’t be everywhere.  Take us by the hand, and lead us to the temples that you’d like us to stop by.  Let us see the lame men and women that you would want us to help.  Then give us the strength to get up on our feet.  Enable us to declare with all that is within us that the Kingdoms of this world must become the Kingdoms of Jesus Christ.

Lord, help us,  Help us, Lord.  Help me, Lord.  Help me in my post of duty.  I’m a teacher, Lord; help me as a teacher.  Lord, I’m a preacher.  Sometimes the powers that urge me to compromise are very strong.  But help me, Lord, to stand up for the Kingdom.

Lord, there are pastors here who are trying to serve, who are trying to love, who are not about anything radical.  But in our day, Lord, just to be a Christian encourages others to view them in a negative light.  Lord, be with them.  Be with them as they return with a dedication to your cause.  While we wait here, Lord, I don’t know how you are going to be with us in these days.  Some people have their own notions of how you anoint your people.  Some want outward demonstrations.  Some want inward demonstrations.  But, Lord, it matters not to me how you are going to be with us.  I just want you to come and be with us.

Lord, fill us with the inward light.  Give us, like you gave many Quakers, the powers of the spirit to bear witness in trying times.  Lord, give us a Pentecostal power to somehow clean out the carbon in our hearts so that we might run with joy and enthusiasm.  Lord, any way you want to bless us, bless us.  Bless us in the midst of quietness.  Bless us in the midst of noise.  Bless us with an inward penetration, or an outward demonstration, of your presence.  But however you do it, Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on each one of us.  Lord, break up our kingdom.  Melt down the fragments, then mold us, Lord; and then fill us with the Spirit of the living God.  Fall afresh upon us while we stand right here in this chapel tonight, do something for us.  Do something for us that makes us know that you are still real.  Do something for us that lets us know we are not alone.  Do something for us, Lord, that sends us on our way fully confident that the power of God is more than a match for the enemy.

Lord, sustain us, lead us, and guide us.  And when we get low, lift us, and when we get strong, correct us.  And when we go out on the deep end, give us a life raft to bring us back to the shore.  But Lord, be with us and stand by us.  And your name which is worthy to be above all other names shall have all the praise.  We ask for these blessings in the name of the One whose Kingdom shall have no end.  Amen.

James Alexander Forbes, Jr., 1935 – , American Pastor in New York City

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“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

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