KOH2RVA: Day 177

prayer_hands_goldAt the close of every staff meeting at Richmond’s First Baptist Church we stand, join hands, and pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in Richmond, as it is in heaven…” It’s a way of reminding ourselves of our mission, and for nearly five years it has served that purpose well.

But last night I attended worship at Richmond Hill, where people have been praying for this city and the surrounding region since 1866. Here are some excerpts from last night’s prayer—astonishing for its depth and breadth—led by a woman named Deborah who said:

Please join me in prayer for Metropolitan Richmond. When I say, “Hear us, O God,” please respond by saying, “Lord, hear our prayer.”

O LORD, we pray for Metropolitan Richmond, for the welfare of all of our fellow citizens, for the establishment of your order in our community, and for peace. Hear us, O God.

Lord, hear our prayer.

For the city of Richmond; for the counties of Henrico, Hanover, and Chesterfield; Charles City, Powhatan, Goochland, and New Kent; for the cities and towns of Ashland, Hopewell, Colonial Heights, and Petersburg; for Dwight Jones, the Mayor of Richmond, and all the members of the City Council; for all the Boards of Supervisors and Town and City Councils of metropolitan Richmond; for all the City, County, and Town managers of our metropolitan city. Hear us, O God.

Lord, hear our prayer.

For our schools; for all teachers, students, and staff; for all young people in our metropolitan city; for all day care centers; for our universities, community colleges, and technical schools. Hear us, O God.

Lord, hear our prayer.

For an end to racism and racial prejudice in metropolitan Richmond; for the dismantling of inequalities and healing of distress established by our racial history. Hear us, O God.

Lord, hear our prayer.

For all of our businesses and business people; for all who are employed and all who are unemployed; for our economy, for healthy work and distribution of wealth among all our people. Hear us, O God.

Lord, hear our prayer.

For our hospitals and nursing homes, and all who work in them; for our jails and prisons, all inmates and staff; for our probation officers; for all shelters, feeding programs, and social service institutions in metropolitan Richmond. Hear us, O God.

Lord, hear our prayer.

For all our churches, seminaries, and religious institutions; for all our clergy and church leaders; for all religious communities; for the Sisters of the Visitation of Monte Maria.* Hear us, O God.

Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who work in public service; for all those who work for local and state government here; for Bob McDonnell the Governor of Virginia, for Bill Bolling the Lieutenant Governor, for Ken Cuccinelli the Attorney General, and for all members of the General Assembly. Hear us, O God.

Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who are sick, for victims of abuse, for victims of violence, for the dying, the grieving, for those who are in poverty, for those who are alone, and for those who are in need of friendship. Hear us, O God.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Please ask your prayers silently or out loud for those persons who are on your heart, and for whom your prayers are asked. (After a period of silence) Hear us, O God.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Grant, O Lord, that your Kingdom may come here in this city of metropolitan Richmond, as it is in heaven. Help us to be a part of its coming; help us to minister to others in the Spirit and to accept your ministry for ourselves. We pray in Jesus’ Name. Hear us, O God.

Lord, hear our prayer.

When it was over I felt as if we had showered metropolitan Richmond with the love of God. I could almost see every wilting leaf in the city lifting itself toward that gentle rain. If the work of prayer is real work (and it is), may this be the kind of work that will help bring the Kingdom of Heaven to metropolitan Richmond.

Lord, hear our prayer!

——————————
*the nuns who started praying for Richmond in 1866

One thought on “KOH2RVA: Day 177

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s