Dear Father, video footage has been released of a plane recently attempting to land in Salzburg, Austria in high winds. The plane was forced to take off and safely return to Berlin after briefly touching the wheels to the runway. Father, I thank You that there was no larger news story with this incident; no twisted meta l, no fire, no sirens, no press conferences, etc.,. Father, I thank You for the millions of passengers that fly each day without incident. Do we thank You for that? Do we make assumptions that tomorrow we will do this or that in another city? Do we ask You to protect us as we travel? Help us to remember You in all things and on all occasions. We need Your protection and deliverance. Father, there are tired pilots today. There are planes with malfunctions. There are overworked air traffic controllers. Father, we ask that You deliver passengers safely to their destinations, especially those who travel to do Your work. We thank You for the millions of times You have interveneed and carried passengers safely to the ground in planes that would not otherwise have made it. Amen.
Dear Father, a group of teens kicked and then punched a woman in the head on a Pittsburgh street back in September. She fell unconscious, her drink spilling on the sidewalk. The teens took the time to take photos of the stricken woman, proud of their accomplishment. Father, I ask for Your blessings on her today. May she feel Your grace, kindness, and love. May she completely recover from the incident, physically and emotionally. May she feel safe and secure going about her business each day. On the other hand, may those who committed the assault be convicted – in their conscience if not in the court of law. Lead them to remorse. Lead them to confession. Open their eyes to what is good and honorable behavior. May the person who struck the blow to her head one day become an amazing ambassador of the love of Jesus Christ. I ask that You prevent an innocent victim from being assaulted today. Amen.
Dear Father, the Episcopal Church in Alexandria, VA is going to remove a plaque on a pew that memorialized that George Washington, our first President, had worshipped in that spot. Father, there are many who are concerned about how the foundations of our country are under attack. While America has many blemishes, there has never been a more generous and compassionate nation on this earth. We have cared for the downtrodden and the needy in far away places. I thank You for all of the good things the citizens of this country have done in the world. I thank You for the institutions that have encouraged people to care for their neighbors in need. Father, I ask that You protect those institutions from attack. Defend what is good and honorable. Father, I am concerned for the character that our culture is grooming in millions of lives. Everyone is a victim. Everyone can’t handle adversity. Everyone needs to be protected from any emotional challenge. We are weak. We will be crushed if our feelings are hurt. Character qualities like courage, perseverance, sacrifice, and service are being tossed aside in favor of traits such as fear, surrender, defensiveness, and self-centeredness. Father, I do believe there is a larger agenda behind all of this – both politically and spiritually. A weak population is a population that can be controlled. Father, I pray this day that You will raise up men and women, boys and girls, across this nation who are strong in character. They will be willing to fight against injustice. They will be willing to defend the poor and the needy. They will be courageous and brave. They will embrace integrity and hardwork. They will be able to persevere. They will serve others. They will have moral convictions. They will defend their families and their values. They will laugh at the signs, symbols, and words that are supposed to offend them. They will know they are strong of heart and mind. Father, I thank You for the emotional and spiritual character strength of the men and women who founded this great nation. They persevered through a great deal of hardship and adversity to create the most powerful and influential nation in world history. Did they have imperfections? Certainly. Which one of us in 2017 can cast the first stone? Which one of us has nothing to be ashamed about in our own lives? May we not judge those who have been deceased for over 200 years. If we do, we may find people 200 years from now demeaning our character, values, and intentions, criticizing us even though they never knew us at all. “Don’t judge!” It is a command both conservatives and liberals need to practice obeying. Amen.