Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Prayer

Father,

You know us. You are not like all the others who only know what we let them know. You know everything about us. You know us inside and out. You actually know us better than we know ourselves.

That means that You know not just the good but also the bad, all of the bad.

Father, at first blush, that's a frightening thought. There are things about ourselves that we hide from everyone. We don't want anyone to know them. And we do that because we are afraid. What if they knew those secrets? What would they think about us then? Would they reject us?

But we don't need to be afraid that You know all of that. You know all about us, and yet You haven't rejected us. We would understand if You did, but You haven't. You refuse to reject us because of Jesus.

You have made it clear, in an abundance of ways, that we are dear to You. You actually like us. And You want to spend forever with us. Unlike others we have encountered, You know us and still love us.

And as we come to know ourselves better, as we come to understand how bad the bad within us really is, we are amazed at You. You know us and still love us. How do You do that?

Father, we are so grateful that these things are true. There is great freedom for us here. Who could have guessed: it is possible for us to be known, fully known, and still be loved. This is another astounding fruit of the Gospel.

We want to ask something of You now, Father. The love that You have for us is so amazing, and there are so many who need to experience it, who need to be freed from their fears of being known. And so, we ask that You would help us imitate You. Help us to love the others here like You do and to continue to love them, even as we get to know each other better, even as we get to know the bad things that we each hide. Help us, Father, to really love.

The key to our really loving others is for us to grasp that this is exactly what You do with us. You know us and love us. Help us to believe in Your love and thus to imitate it in our relationships with each other. Grant us the grace to do this so that the world will know what kind of God You really are.
Psalm 139

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