Catholicism is strong in New Orleans. But while there are many of Jesus’ faithful ones in the Catholic Church, many people are “cultural catholics” who don’t know Jesus at all. Unfortunately, this is also true among many protestant denominations, where the principality and power of religious formalism holds sway. People go through the motions and pay their religious dues—going to mass on Sundays, attending church on Easter and Christmas, and so on. But they have not received Jesus at the heart level; they have not accepted his grace, but have instead tried to earn his favor.
PRAYER: Father, show us our empty religious works, our “damnable good works.” Show us where we are trying to earn our salvation from you. Show us where we think we’re deserving of your favor and grace. And, Father, free this city from this trap. Let the fool’s gold of religiosity be abandoned by those church-goers who don’t really know you. Bring them into a true relationship with you through the grace of Jesus Christ. Open their eyes to their waywardness and humble them to receive the true grace of God. Amen.