Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Prayer

Father,

We are grateful to You because You have blessed us greatly. We have been healed from more than just some skin disease. We have been healed from the evil of our sins. We don't yet fully grasp what that means, but we do grasp something about it. So, we thank You. And in the age to come, when we will grasp, even more, the wonder of what You have done, we will thank You, even more.

Father, we live in a nation that has also experienced great blessing from You. Even a brief look at our history will show how Your common grace has been showered upon us. And yet, we live among so many who refuse to acknowledge the source of those blessings.

So many refuse to honor You or give thanks to You. In pride, they pat themselves on the back for the many good things they enjoy. This is not just wrong; it is shameful. There is no excuse.

Father, it makes sense for You to be angry, very angry. People are using Your gifts but taking the credit for those gifts. It makes sense for you to curse them with foolish thinking that can only lead astray and darkened hearts that are unable to see truth. It is just.

And yet, these people are still included in the world that You so loved that You sent Your only Son, offering the life of eternity instead of the death that will never end. Though You have reached out many times and in many ways to this rebellious people, we ask that You would continue to do so, at least for a little longer.

Father, we ask that You would stir up Your Church in this land that we might again shine brightly with the Gospel. We ask that we would live in such a way that the contrast between the way of life and the way of death would be impossible to miss. Use Your saints so that many out there will want to know the reason for how we live. And then, give us the skill we need to be able to speak in such a way that many will come to entrust themselves to Jesus.

We know, Father, that  even as You grant this request, changing the lives of some, there will be others who will still reject You and who will still be cursed. And as some of them experience those curses, they will react and be angry. They will vent their rage at us. And they will do that because we are shining with Your Gospel.

Prepare us for that. And remind us that it's that shining that will be used to rescue others. So, help us shine and continue to shine. Through Christ our Lord, Amen. 

Romans 1.21

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