A Pastoral Prayer for Execution Day

Dear God,

I know You are a holy and just God;

a God full of grace, compassion, and mercy.

I praise You and give You all glory and honor.

Great is Your name in all the Earth.

You alone are sovereign, omniscient, omnipresent,

and all powerful

But, LORD, this morning my heart is heavy.

Today, in Tennessee, more violence will take place

that is supposed to teach us,

as a society,

that violence is wrong.

This makes no sense.

Forgive us, oh God, for our own sins.

Forgive me for the many ways I have failed You.

Grant us, as a people, the same grace and mercy

we are so unwilling to grant others.

Today, I pray for Paula Dyer and her family.

What happened to Paula should never happen to anyone,

especially a child.

I pray Your eternal presence will continue

to surround Paula with eternal love.

I pray for Paula’s family, especially her mother.

What she has had to endure for 30 years is unthinkable.

I pray You will grant her peace and closure.

Surround her with Your love, mercy, grace, and compassion.

Give her the strength she needs to live each day without her child.

And, LORD, I pray for Billy Ray Irick.

I pray he knows You and has received Your forgiveness.

I pray You will welcome him into Your presence with loving arms.

My prayer is that, as You said to the thief on the cross,

you will say to Billy,

“Today you will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

LORD, I pray for the Warden and for the guards

and for those who will administer the drugs

that will take another person’s life.

You have told us, “There is none righteous, not even one…

for all have sinned and fall short of (Your) glory…

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is

eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 3:10, 23, and 6:23).

Yet, You demonstrated Your love

for us in such a way that

“while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”

(Romans 5:8).

I pray for all the administration at

Riverbend Maximum Security Institution.

And God, I pray for all my friends on Death Row.

I pray Your Spirit will continue to be with them

and guide them

and protect them

and strengthen them

and encourage them.

Father, I pray for the abolishment of the death penalty

in my state and in my country.

LORD, I pray for my state and country.

I pray for revival, and I pray it begins with me.

And so, LORD, lastly, I pray for the Church in the United States.

We have lost our way.

We are in desperate need of corporate repentance.

Forgive us of our arrogance

our racism

our immorality

our compromise.

Restore to us our prophetic voice.

Give us the courage to speak out and stand up.

May we gladly give our lives in the

never-ending fight for justice.

I pray all these things in the wonderful name of Jesus,

who was executed on our behalf,

and whose state sponsored execution

should have been the final execution.

It is in His holy name I pray.

Amen.

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About Pastor Kevin

I am a husband, father, pastor, teacher, scuba diver, reader, bike rider...in that order.
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