He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven.
He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles’ feathers
and his nails were like birds’ claws.
“After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven.
My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High
and honored the one who lives forever.
His rule is everlasting, and his kingdom is eternal. All the people of the earth are nothing compared to him. He does as he pleases among the angels of heaven and among the people of the earth. No one can stop him or say to him, ‘What do you mean by doing these things?’
“When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom.
My advisers and nobles sought me out,
and I was restored as head of my kingdom,
with even greater honor than before.
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven.
All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.”
Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice. Each will be like a hiding place from the wind, a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place, like the shade of a great rock in a weary land. Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will give attention. The heart of the hasty will understand and know, and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly. The fool will no more be called noble, nor the scoundrel said to be honorable. For the fool speaks folly, and his heart is busy with iniquity, to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the Lord, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink. As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil; he plans wicked schemes to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right. But he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands.
Lord, we lament the divisions between us as people in our nation that we cannot seem to resolve.
Lord, we lament the pain, confusion, hatred, and violence that seems to reign in our personal and national life.
Lord, we lament the lack of leadership in our government that has in many ways led to the state of affairs in which we now find ourselves.
Lord, we lament the darkness in our own hearts that contributes to this situation.
Lord, we pray for those who perpetrated the attacks on the Capitol, and the broader attacks on our democracy, to be brought to justice and ultimately to repentance.
Lord, we pray for truth to reign in our national conversations and our communities, as well as in our church.
Lord we pray for President Trump, during the final days of his administration, that he will fulfill his duties responsibly.
Lord, we pray for President-elect Biden, that he will have wisdom as he prepares to assume office on January 20.
Lord, we pray for all our elected officials in the Senate and House of Representatives to be led by Your grace and wisdom, whether they want to be or not.
Lord, we pray for protection of our nation from any adversaries who would seek to harm us during this perilous transitional period.
Lord, we remember that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12), so we pray that You would protect us from all spiritual evil that seeks to bring devastation upon us.
Lord, we pray for healing of relationships between Americans who are deeply divided by partisanship, that they will seek to resolve their differences peacefully and cooperate where possible for the common good.
Lord, we pray for protection of those in other countries suffering persecution, who have seen the United States as a model of democracy, who may now be endangered as dictators are emboldened to commit further abuses.
Lord, we pray for all who follow the Prince of Peace, that we will humble ourselves before God and allow the light of Christ to shine through us into our dark and broken world.
And Lord, we pray for our own church that we might stand in Your truth, be filled with Your grace, live as one through Christ, and might boldly walk forward as witnesses to You and Your Kingdom, individually and corporately.
All this we pray through Jesus Christ, who with You and the Holy Spirit, are one God, both now and forever. Amen.
Matt Erickson, pastor serving in Milwaukee, WI, blogging at Renovate
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.