Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Prayer

Father,

How good for us to know that You are the God who is always with us. Wherever we go, Your comforting presence is right there with us. You have made this clear in Your Word when David wrote,
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? ​If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. Psalm 139.7,10
Immanuel, God with us. And it is You, the God who is so for us, whose presence we enjoy.

Father, we really need to know You are always near. Life is filled with surprises that hurt. We have no idea what any day holds as we wake up. And yet, in a sense it doesn't matter what a day might hold. We will be able to deal with whatever it holds with You near to us. You will walk with us. You will care for us. For this we are so grateful.

We know that our ancient foe still roams this earth looking for whom he can devour. His rage at us is great. And it is obvious that, left to ourselves, he would conquer us in a moment. And he does not want us to be comforted by the knowledge of Your presence. So, he tries all sorts of things to distract us, to overwhelm us, to cause us to doubt. So, we look to You, Father. Protect us from his schemes. Grow in us a lively faith, Father, a faith that trusts You in every situation, that overcomes doubts, that will not be distracted.

We ask for this not merely for our own benefit. We know that You want our lives to be a picture of what You can do in this evil world. If we are undone by what happens to us what does that say about You to those around us? So, build us up in our most holy faith so that other believers will be encouraged as they also face the the evil one, and so that those who do not know You would see what they are missing. Build us up Father so that we would fulfill our calling to proclaim Your Gospel to all the peoples of this world that they may also worship You, the living and true God. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.