Lord Jesus, I bring myself and ______________________ before your throne. I ask that by the work of your Holy Spirit in us we may avoid the sins of the Pharisees of your day. Purify us, so that we may not be like whitewashed tombs, beautiful on the outside but inside full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. We do not want to appear to people as righteous on the outside and yet inside be full of hypocrisy and wickedness. We do not want to clean only the outside of the cup and dish, and inside be full of greed and self-indulgence. Help us first to clean the inside of the cup and dish, knowing that as we do, the outside will also be clean. I pray that in our obedience to you we will not neglect the more important matters, the weightier matters of your word. Protect us from legalism in spiritual matters so that we may give ourselves to the practice of justice, mercy, and faithfulness. Help us to see when we have lost sight of the more important issues in life so that we do not strain out gnats and yet swallow camels. We pray for our spiritual leaders. Please grant us leaders who are free of hypocrisy and are clean on the inside as well as the outside. In their teaching, may they focus our attention on the weightier matters of your word, things like justice, mercy, and faithfulness, without causing us to lose sight of the smaller things. I pray for our political leaders, who so often seem to be caught up in the minutiae of legal regulations while at the same time they tolerate injustice on a massive scale. I pray that you will so purify them both inside and out that they will focus their efforts on the major issues of justice and faithfulness to your abiding moral standards. I pray for my city and nation. I know that you long to gather us together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, so that our land may prosper and not be left to us desolate. Make us willing to take refuge in you by praising you as the one who comes in the name of the Lord. These things I ask in your name, amen.