Words to Guide our Reflection and Prayers

I have no words today; just deep, deep sorrow. Time to be quiet and find the words of others in scripture and history. Pray for our nation, our leaders, and the citizenry to which we belong. We must do better. We must repent of our hateful rhetoric, pensions for violence, deceit and villainizing of one another. One plea as you live with these words: Do not read them at or toward others, but grapple with them in your own spirit.

“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare…Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit…” (Proverbs 13)

“Have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2)

“Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the LORD. Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace and seek to maintain it. The Lord hears his people when they call too him for help; he rescues them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34)

Portions of Senate Chaplain Rev. Barry Black’s prayer following the attack:
“Lord of our lives and sovereign of our beloved nation, we deplore the desecration of the United States Capitol building, the shedding of innocent blood, the loss of life, and the quagmire of dysfunction that threaten our democracy. These tragedies have reminded us that words matter and that the power of life and death is in the tongue. We have been warned that eternal vigilance continues to be freedom’s price. Lord, you have helped us remember that we need to see in each other a common humanity that reflects your image. Use us to bring healing and unity to our hurting and divided nation and world. Bless and keep us. Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to do your will and guide our feet on the path of peace.”

“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5)

“work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life…look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” (Hebrews 12)

Abraham Lincoln: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying, for jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic, for wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others.” (James 3)

“God opposes the proud and gives strength to the humble. So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Come close to God, and God will come close to you.Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief….confess your sins not each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 4)

“so get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech….I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage wars against your very souls.” (1 Peter 2)

You say “I am allowed to do anything”– but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”– but not everything is beneficial. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.” (1 Cor 10)

‘when you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissection, division…but the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…Let us not become conceited or provoke one another…(Galatians 6)

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.” (Rev 22)

Praying with You!

Peter Hawkinson

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