As the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) begins, the delegates and commissioners there who’ll be voting about important matters in the future of the church are in desperate need of our prayers. As a former YAD at GA in Richmond, I know how exhausting all the politicking, arguing, and debating can be, and I can also tell you that it usually happens with very little worship or prayer actually happening at the Assembly. People on both sides of every issue come in with predetermined ideas about what’s best for the church and rarely take the time to listen to each other, much less listen to God.
In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to pray for God’s concerns for this world before our own. In saying, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” we are praying for three specific things to happen: 1) We pray that God would be revered as holy by all people (that “every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord”), 2) We pray that the Kingdom of God in all its facets (physical, social, spiritual) will continue to extend throughout our world, and 3) We pray that God’s will and desires will be actualized in this world.
Whichever side of whichever issue you take, please pray those three things for General Assembly this year, namely God will be glorified, that God’s will may be done, and that God’s Kingdom will be made manifest in the actions of the General Assembly. When we pray for our own opinions, we’re bound to see more hatred and division within the church, but if we would all pray solely for God’s glory and will for the PC(USA), and actually listen to God’s leading in Scripture and the Holy Spirit, then there may be hope for a new peace and faithfulness at this General Assembly.