Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Prayer

Father,

You have made it abundantly clear that You love us. That fact is scattered throughout the Scriptures. 'For God so loved the world…', 'Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us…', 'In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us…'

We thank You, Father, for this amazing love that You have for us. It is this love that makes living possible for us. Knowing that You are our loving Father gives us such a sense of security. We are loved by the God who rules over everything. What could possibly undo that? Father, we really don't know how it is that people live without experiencing and being able to depend on this gracious love of Yours.

And yet, Father, we need to confess that there are times when we falter. Something happens, in some way or other life takes a turn for the worse, and our own conviction that we are deeply loved is shaken. We doubt You. We doubt Your love. We become anxious. And it goes downhill from there. We know that there is no good reason for us to think in this way. But we do. So, we come to You.

First, of all, Father, we ask that You would forgive us this wicked sin. We have no excuse. It's not as if You change Your mind or show Yourself to be untrustworthy. The problem is completely on us. We admit our sin to You and ask for Your gracious forgiveness.

We also ask, Father, for your help. Help us to believe in Your love, to be sure about Your love, and that especially when life gets hard. Teach our hearts that Your love is a constant in our lives, never to be changed, always to be depended on.

Help us to see why life gets hard, why You make life get hard. Help us to see that these hard times are also expressions of Your love. You are loving others through what is happening with us. It's as the saints see us trusting You in those difficult moments that they will be encouraged to trust You more. And it is as the lost see us respond to You in faith when life gets hard that they are drawn to Jesus. In these situations we become a way for You to love others.

And it's also because You love us that You send difficulties our way. There are some important lessons about life that can only be learned in the midst of suffering.

So, we thank You, Father, for Your love. And we are depending on You to continue Your good work in us so that we will trust Your love more. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.