I guess I've almost been writing a post a month over here, so I'll try to keep it up.
I'm just going to type out some scriptures next to each other. I hope this is not an inappropriate use of scripture, picking portions and looking at them together. In the process, I'm leaving some sections out, but not because I am am trying to ignore or subvert them, only because I want to focus attention on the parts I am putting down here.
Here we go:
For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened . . .
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness . . .
slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
(From Romans 1:21, 28-29a, 30-31 and 2 Timothy 2:24-26, all from the ESV)
Highlights that I pray from the Lord's Prayer (I pray the whole prayer, but I linger on these):
Hallowed be Your Name
May all of us, including the rebellious, recognize who You are and revere you -- Psalm 33:8, "Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere Him." (NIV)
Your will be done.
Do your will. Lead lost souls to repentance. Illuminate truth. Reveal the futility of sin and the wonder of Your grace and glory. Tear down idols, and replace hearts of stone with hearts of flesh. Subjugate the enemy. Do whatever it takes to bring Your victory into the hearts of men.
Deliver us from evil.
You are the Great Deliverer. Our battle is against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Deliver us, Lord, for You are our only hope, and our hope is in You alone. May Your unfailing love triumph in the hearts of our lost loved ones. You have told us to take heart, for You have overcome the world. Oh, God of peace, crush Satan under our feet (Romans 16:20). Grant the repentance that leads to freedom from sin. Oh please, deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Power.
Your power created the heavens and the earth. Your power raised Jesus--after He was crushed by the cumulative sins of all humanity--raised Him from the dead and seated Him in heaven on the throne. Your power is at work in believers through your gift of the Holy Spirit. Your power purifies. It can undo the effects of sin and death. You are the only one who was able to touch a leper and heal him, instead of being infected by him. Your power can do all things, and Your power can raise a sinner up from the miry clay, set him on a solid rock, and give him a new song to sing. You are Lord. You are God. You are in me. Give me courage and confidence to go forth in Your power, without fear, and bring Your light to dark places, Your truth to the deceived, and Your salvation to the perishing.
Thank you that You forgive. Thank you that You are patient to wait for people to come to repentance.
Thank you for Your goodness and faithfulness. Thank you, Jesus.