The neo-fundies at Slice of Laodecia (I should start being nicer to them ;) have provided a nice publican’s prayer (Luke 18:9-11) – they mean well, but I’d like to add my own prayer for the church.  And I mean it just as much as they.  I have reproduced their prayer next to mine so that you may compare them.  Perhaps we should pray them both.

Their Prayer My Prayer

Father, You are the Most High! You are Sovereign! You are Holy! You are Righteous! You are Just! You are Merciful! Oh my Heavenly Father, hallowed be thy name!

The body of Christ in America is poor, miserable, blind and naked all the while believing it is rich, satisfied, full of wisdom and in need of nothing. Our pulpits have been taken over by hirelings who care not for the flock. Heresy abounds while your truth is discounted. This is the fruit of decades of false teachings Lord. We are guilty of not speaking out as we should. We have not taken the stands as we should because it appeared costly to do so.

Oh Lord, have mercy on us. There is a Remnant who are blessed because you have opened their eyes to see and their ears to hear. O Let us take up our crosses and follow Christ whereever He leads. I pray that we will obey You in all things no matter how costly it appears to our fleshly eyes.

I pray for the Remnant to be separate from the World and its ways. I pray for personal Holiness to abound in the Body of Christ. I pray for The Word of God to become central and vital to it. Oh Lord, never stop convicting us of our sins. Never stop drawing us into Holy, separate lives.

In Jesus Name — Amen!

Oh Lord, you are awesome!  You know our hearts better than we do ourselves.  You are both Righteous Judge and Merciful Father!  You alone are fit to judge mankind, and to you alone we turn for mercy and help.

Father, the Church in America is haugty and self-righteous, lacking in compassion and humility, puffed up with your truth, all the while believing it is acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly. It rushes to judgment, not noting the mote in its own eyes.  It is quick to call out the sins of others while not recognizing the sins within its own ranks.  Rather than loving mercy and truth, it injures others with the truth while being too lazy and self-satisfied to stoop to wash the feet of others, and to correct them with all humility, speaking with grace and seasoning its speech with salt.

Our pulpits have been taken over by hirelings who care not for the flock. They burden believers with narrow theology that masquerades as your whole counsel.  They persecute your servants in the name of doctrinal purity, not realizing that each will have to give an account to You alone. 

This is the fruit of decades of unbalanced teachings, Lord.  Restore us to the whole counsel of God.  Raise up preachers and teachers who can heal with grace and balanced truth.  Humble the self-appointed watchmen who you have not appointed.   We are guilty of speaking in your name when you have not spoken.  We have narrowed our theology out of our own insecurities, and intellectual and spiritual laziness and fear.

God, save us from both the heretics AND the Pharisees in our midst.  Keep us from straying from the glorious gospel of your Son into legalism or liscence.  Help us to experience your love and truth in a way that transforms us into Your likeness.  May we be salt and light. 

May they know us by our love, not just our zeal for truth.  May we display the Your wisdom in our good conduct and meekness, rather than in mere declarations of truth.  May your truth live in our hearts, rather than just in our minds and mouths.  May we be transformed.  And may You recieve the glory.   Amen.