Deliver Us From Evil

Special for September 11, 2002
by Rubel Shelly

Our Father in heaven, may your name be held in reverence! In the name of your Holy Son, Jesus Christ, and in the power of your Spirit-presence among your people, we come to your throne to plead for mercy and grace in our time of need.

One year ago this week, we began to grieve for the thousands who were murdered on our nation's soil by scheming enemies whose hearts are still given over to dreams of destruction and chaos. And we continue to pray . . .
for those who mourn their dead,
for those whose lives have suffered irreparable disruption,
for those whose fear will not allow restful, healing sleep,
and for those who do not know You as their Sustainer and Hope.
On this anniversary of such evil events with such far-reaching consequences, we plead the prayer language of Jesus and ask that you "deliver us from evil" in this difficult and confused time. Deliver us, Holy Father . . .
from evil plotters and conspirators who wish to wreak greater harm still,
from evil deeds at the hands of dupes who follow such wicked leaders,
from evil motives in our responses that would compromise a just cause, and
from evil outcomes that will only sow the seed of strife yet to come.
With men and women from this nation's armed forces deployed at such great distances from their homes and in situations that have their lives at risk, we pray for them. We plead that you would be gracious, Dear God . . .
to guard them from death, injury, and dismemberment
to give their families and closest friends comfort in their absence,
to grant them a sense of noble duty in their tasks, and
to guide their hearts to yours for spiritual comfort they need.
With so many decisions yet to be made in the months and years to come, we plead for you to provide Sovereign Guidance for all the nations of the world. Take war from this planet, and teach us to love peace. We pray, O Holy One . . .
that leaders of nations will seek wise counsel and pursue peace,
that all people will see the pointless folly of hatred and murder,
that little children will be spared such events in their generation, and
that You would draw every heart toward Your Loving Presence.
Father, we confess that we do not even know how to pray as we should in these times of distress. Holy Spirit, turn our tongue-tied laments into powerful pleas. Blessed Christ, be our confidence through every hour and in every situation. Amen.

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