Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Prayer

Father,

There are times when life is good and things are moving along quite nicely. But then, there are times when life isn't working at all well, and it all becomes really overwhelming. We live most of our days somewhere in the middle of what is really good and what is really bad. And that makes sense. We are people who have been corrupted by sin, and we live in a world that has been corrupted by sin. And we feel that, sometimes more and sometimes less, every day.

But what makes the difference is You. You have recognized our plight. You could have left us in this mess. But You didn't. You have acted. Jesus has come to rescue us from all of this.

And He has promised us that the day will come when all of this sinful corruption, what is within us and around us, will be gone. And then, life will only be good, perfectly good. And we will be happy, so very happy. That is something we eagerly look forward to, Father.

But that day has not yet arrived. We are still here, still corrupted by sin and still living in a world that has been corrupted by sin. And we still feel that, sometimes more and sometimes less, every day. But what still makes the difference, Father, is You. You still act. We need You to act. We need You to grant to us more so that we can deal well with living as sin-corrupted people in a sin-corrupted world.

So, we ask, Father, that by Your Spirit You would give us more hope. You've made promises not just about later but about now. Give us what we need so that we will cling to those promises and be strong in hope for each day.

We ask that by Your Spirit You would give us more joy. You are still at work in this world, using even the evil of this world to bring about the good of Your kingdom. Give us what we need so that we will rejoice at what You are doing, even in those situations that can be so very painful.

We ask that by Your Spirit You would give us more wisdom. There is so much about living that we just don't understand. It all too often baffles us.  Give us what we need so that we will be able to have insight into life in this place, understanding You, others, ourselves and our situations.

We ask for these things, Father, not in some selfish attempt to make life easier for us. Life isn't supposed to be easy for us - at least not yet. Jesus told us that. We ask for these things so that we will be able to live well as Christians. Doing that open doors of opportunity to speak of Your Gospel to the many people all around us who are being swallowed up by evil because they do not know You. Bless us in this so that we can be a blessing to others and in this way, honor You, our great and good God.

And now, Father, we ask for Your blessing on the preaching of the Word. One way that You grant us things like more hope, more joy and more wisdom is through Your Word preached. Speak to us now so that we might grow in these and other traits. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

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