her in Heaven, we need Thy mercy. We are easily deceived and we so often deceive ourselves. We fall into traps that we never saw. We believe things we should never believe. We so easily excuse and justify ourselves. We sin and call it weakness. We transgress Thy law and call it failure. We steal and call it mercy. We commit adultery and call it love. We covet and call it being unfulfilled. We pursue revenge and call it fairness. We waste time and call it rest. We complain and call it expressing our opinion. We rebel and call it a matter of conscience. We kill babies in the womb and call it the right to choose. We condone sodomy and call it an alternative life style. We lack commitment and call it pondering and being judicious. We wait when we should act and we call it caution. We do not keep our vows to the Church and call it good enough. Someone else will take care of it. We are proud and even worse, we are proud that we are proud. We stand tall when we should be on our knees. We talk about ourselves too much and think of others too little. We covet the praise of others when we should be giving encouragement to our brothers in Christ. Oh Lord, we are good. We are really good at fooling ourselves.
But no one fools God. You know everything. You know the words of our mouths before we ever speak them. You know the thoughts of our minds before we ever think them. How can we even think that we can fool God. We may fool ourselves, but we will never fool Thee. Search us Lord, and know us. See if there be any wickedness in us and cast it from us. When we deceive ourselves, turn our laughing into mourning and our joy into tears. Cause us to be contrite. Cause us to be full of sorrow. Better is sadness with honesty than joy with duplicity. Cause us to repent and to bring forth the fruit of repentance. Repentance without fruit is worthless. It is worse than worthless. It is ugly. It is repulsive. We indeed make ourselves and enemy of God. Remind us that he who is a friend of the world is an enemy of God.
Lord, without the Holy Spirit using the means of grace, we would fall into the ditch. We are like children who need a wise Father. We are like sheep who stray away. Lord, save us from self-deception. Save us from ourselves. Not only do we need forgiveness, but we need the wisdom to judge ourselves rightly.
Our Father, help us to recover the old paths. Forgive us for being evolutionists in spirit when we think that everything new must be better. Forgive us of our pride when we think we have nothing to learn of the great Christian men of the past. We have not been tested as they were. We have not suffered loss as they did. We have lived a life of luxury and yet we are so proud that we need not study history and learn from the old sages who passed the test and were truly more than conquerors.
Lord, remind us that we contributed nothing to our salvation. We certainly did not contribute faith. All we contributed was rebellion, sin, and hostility toward God. That was our only contribution.
Lord, remind us that You do sit on the throne. You are sovereign and nothing happens apart from Thy holy will. We see the state becoming a leviathan and we worry. We see salvation by debt and we cringe. We see the distribution of wealth by those who have no wealth. Oh, how pleasant it is to spend other people's money. Yet, Lord, help us not to become obsessed with these things. You are in control. If we face judgment, then judgment is what we need. If we face hardship, then hardship is what we need. If we face a major correction, then a major correction is what we need. You will give us what we need and what we want. The State gives us what we want and not what we need. Lord, You love us much more than man on earth. You love us more than any system, any agency, or any institution on earth.
Lord, grant your blessings upon our children. They have been raised in the Church. There are the heirs of the covenant. Keep them from rebellion. Keep them from slothfulness in their religious duties. Keep them from being indifferent. Remind them that if they do not keep the covenant with God, then they will be rejected. God can raise up covenant keepers out of the rocks of the ground. Hanging in there half the time simply will not do. Giving a glance toward God with a smile simply will not do. Be gracious unto our children and regenerate their hearts. Cause them to love Thee before all other gods.
Lord, hear our pleas. Hear our prayers. In Christ's Name we pray. Amen.