My Election Prayer

tdy_steve_election_161107

If the current presidential election season has produced anything positive, it might be the increase in political conversations that have been happening at grocery stores, coffee houses and many other spaces where people gather.

I have read some amazing posts and articles whose aim was to soothe an irritated voter base, and perhaps swing them towards peace as they enter the voting booth. I facilitated two forums called “Politicked” where I too sought to bring  balance and levity to our current tension, as well as create a safe space for people with differing views to voice what was on their heart concerning the process, the candidates, and the current state of American political affairs. In my opinion, it was a positive encounter where we learned to hear each other and commit to love regardless of differences.

I have read the many prayers that have been issued forth by pastors who played a partisan card.

I have been discouraged by the way spiritual and theological leaders have sought to anoint one candidate or the other.

I have listened to everyone under the sun explain why they are right and everyone else is wrong.

I have often felt like Solomon when he said, All is vanity…

However, during a short conversation I had with Leonard Sweet this weekend, my prayer focus for this election has shifted. In one way, I feel like my eyes have been lifted from earth and been refocused on God’s sovereign spiritual realm which is grander, more beautiful, and the real kingdom I belong to.

If I were to be honest, most of the prayers I have heard recently have actually been focused upon what the pray-er wants, or what the pray-er thinks is the right divine response to our POTUS vote.

Have you ever noticed that very often even our “holiest” prayers are myopic, selfish and self-serving?

We long for the presidential pick that works in our favor…and if we believe in God then we assume that our favor becomes His favor which ultimately means my/our thoughts on the issues are the right thought and therefore God’s thoughts. Right?

So, back to my conversation with Len…

We were discussing my particular denominational tribe’s emphasis on healing prayer. We see healing as part of what has been provided for followers of Jesus through his substitutional sacrifice (This means that Jesus substitutes his life for our life on the cross. Our sins are paid for by the sinnless Jesus. The chasm of disconnection between us and God is bridged by His offering. Jesus died so that we could live and this results in God declaring us forgiven based on what Christ has done, not on how well we perform.)

Healing, however, is so much more than God fixing the broken arm while we live in a broken world. Healing is a beautiful holistic life of shalom which the ancient rabbis tell us means living in complete peace.

Shalom is how God intended we live, but sin disrupted that vision of life. Jesus removes the sin issue so that we can be fully human, fully alive, and living a transformed life. The healing provided by Jesus extends to my emotional health, physical health and of course my spiritual health.

When we experience healing like this, we then become healing agents in the world so that God’s vision of shalom for everyone is seen, felt and experienced.

As we discussed healing prayer and intercessory prayer, we wondered why our current election prayers were more about candidates winning and losing, and less about healing.

Are you following me?

Why are we not praying that the two primary candidates running for POTUS experience divine healing?

So then, my prayer tonight, on the eve of this unique election is for healing.

Healing for two people who have embarrassed a nation in their pursuit of the highest and most powerful office in the world.

When the ballots are all counted, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will hold the office of POTUS…that is a reality.

So why are we not praying for the healing of these two people?

Between the two candidates there are issues of:

  1. Moral failure
  2. Ethical failure
  3. Character deficiencies
  4. Betrayed marriage vows
  5. Broken marriage vows
  6. Slandering tongues
  7. Self-centeredness on steroids
  8. Inabilities to forgive
  9. Performance issues reaching into the past
  10. Narcissism
  11. Insecurities disguised as bravado
  12. Extreme control issues
  13. Lack of faith in God
  14. Self absorption
  15. The list goes on and on…

I am praying for two people to experience a deep healing of the broken spaces and places in their souls. Both candidates are in great need of healing because they will lead from their wounds and that is not good for any of us.

But remember that with God, bitter wounds can become sacred wounds.

Sacred wounds heal others…
Sacred wounds can mend the nations…
Sacred wounds can make right so many wrongs…
Sacred wounds can transform the broken into the hopeful…

I am praying for both candidates, because one of them will be POTUS.

Intercessory prayer is when we passionately bring someone before Jesus through prayer, seeking their restoration, salvation, healing and transformation. Praying for their over-all good as experienced in shalom (holistic peace).

Maybe tonight the better prayer would be for healing rather than winning.

Wasted Wounds or Sacred Wounds

Check out my newest podcast “Wasted Wounds or Sacred Wounds”

Everybody has wounds. The difference between those who find joy, meaning and healing in life, and those who are discouraged, depressed and bitter has much to do with how we deal with the wounds of life.  In this episode, Monty begins a conversation from his book Sacred Space about the process of turning bitter wounds into in sacred wounds…without transformation, all our wounds will be wasted…but with God, they can be transformative.

Click on the link below to listen to my latest Naked Faith Podcast.

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/pksy9-554ef6/initByJs/1/auto/1

Naked Faith

What’s Not In Heaven

wheelchair

In Revelation 21-22 the apostle John is trying to describe the day that heaven and earth combine…when God once again becomes a permanent resident with humanity; A renewal of the Edenic reality, but even better. How do you describe that which you have never seen or known? When language exhausts her best expressions and you still haven’t even begun to reveal your experience, a new tactic is needed. This is what John does as he tries to describe the new heavenly reality. Instead of telling us what is there, he focuses more on what is not there. “No more tears, no more death, no more pain, etc.”  Here is my A-Z list of what won’t be in heaven to help us grasp the beauty of what will be there. Obviously my list is finite, incomplete, borrowed and missing items. That is where you come in. What else won’t be there that I have missed.  Continue this story in the comments…

What Won’t Be In Heaven

In Heaven there will be no more:

Acne, aches, addiction, anxiety, anxiety meds, amber alerts, amputations

Bad breath, body odor, broken hearts, broken homes, break ups, bills, bill collectors, bi-polar, bullying, battles

Cancer, coughs, catastrophes, conflict, crash diets, CPS, concussions, court rooms, corruption, crutches, casts, child abuse, chemo therapy, crosses along the side of the road, cutting,

Deception, depression, divorce, drama, doctors, disease, double chins, disco

Evil, erosion, embarrassing moments, enemies, elections, evictions, earth quakes

Fighting, fruitcake, foreclosures, flu-shots, fear, funeral homes, funerals,

Gossip, guilt, greed, graves,

Hospitals, hurricanes, hate, homelessness, hormones, human trafficking

Injustice, infertility, infidelity, insecurity, infomercials, inoperable tumors,

Junk mail, jealousy,

Kooks, k(c)anker sores, kombucha (that stuff is nasty), killjoys,

Legalism, life-support, lawyers, loneliness, labor camps, lines for the lady’s room, love handles,

Motionless ultra sounds, metal detectors, MRI’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Middle of the night phone calls, miscarriages, misunderstandings,

Neurosis, night sweats, nursing homes, negativity, needles,

Operations, orphanages, oppression , Obama Care

Pretending, plastic surgery, politicians, pacemakers, persecution, pain, prejudice, poverty, pink slips, potlucks

Quitting, queasiness, qualifying,

Racism, rejection, road rage, rape, revenge, radiation

Special weigh-loss plans, spanks, saddle bags, sox without a match , security systems, sleepless nights, slums, suicides, suicide bombers, school shootings, sadness, spandex, slander,

Treatment centers, tear stained divorce papers, tissue boxes, tornado, tsunamis, typhoons, trafficking, tiny caskets, taxes

Unibombers, unwanted, unloved,

Victims, violence, vindictiveness, vaccinations, vice

Waiting rooms, wheel chairs, waxing, wounds,

X-rays, Yelling, Zoos, Zero (because everything will have value)

Jesus says, “Look!, I am making everything new!”

Healing Through Music: The View Down Here

shutterstock_100626745

The most powerful songs find pain as their muse. My son Liam just posted a song he had been working on dealing with the loss of some people close to us. How do you express the pain you enter into when suicide has stolen a life?  How do you work through the loss of a life that has shaped you? Music has a way of helping us weave our way through the emotional journey. When Liam posted his song I took a listen and loved it. But what hit me more was the place in his soul where the song came from. Here is what he said about the song:

Written to commemorate those we have lost unexpectedly, and have impacted my life in radical ways. Rest in peace to Bill Bedell, Tyler Bushmiller, and Paul Lee. I miss you all so much.

Also to everyone else that I have lost under similar circumstances, but did not directly influence the creation of this song. Far from forgotten. Cody Botten, Berkely Repp, Josh Fisher, Don and Jean Shultz, Kirk Lewis, and oh so many more. Thank you all, for everything.

Take a listen…

Verse 1:
Somber melodies have brought me here,
And ones of hope have been unable
To lift me from this low
I think I’m alone,
The streets became wide,
And I’m stuck under this water, under this tide

Chorus:
Loneliness tastes like metal in my mouth,
And I constantly try to wash it out,
Ever since your one way ticket to the fields I don’t know
I’ve grown a bit older, but it’s colder below


Verse 2: 
Little did I know
That your presence everyday
Quietly meant everything
The day you were lost,
I learned the evils of Earth,
Fairness was a thing of our dreams
Chorus:
Loneliness tastes like metal in my mouth,
And I constantly try to wash it out,
Ever since your one way ticket to the fields I don’t know
I’ve grown a bit older, But it’s colder below
To say I miss you, To say that I missed a lot
To Say I miss you, To say that I missed a lot
(My opportunity slipped through my hands, like grains of sand)
2013 © Liam Wright Music
All Rights Reserved

credits

released 04 August 2014