Sunday, July 8, 2018

A Prayer

Father,

You have created us as embodied souls, as bodies with spirits. And when we started out in that Garden everything was fine, beautiful, perfect. And that was so good. But then, sin entered the picture and ruined it all. Sin has affected our bodies, and it has affected our souls. And life hasn't been the same since. The soul of every person since – except for one – has been poisoned with hatred of You and Your ways. And the body of every person since, without exception, has been corrupted.

But Jesus, our Savior, has come. He has come, and He has dealt with our sin problem. Instead of hatred, there is now love in our souls, love for You and Your ways. You have made such dramatic changes in our souls already, and You continue to make changes. We can see that.

But the poison of sin affecting our bodies remains as it was. That has not changed. So now, we have bodies that are damaged, deeply damaged. And while those of us who are younger may not feel that so much, those of us who are older do.

Father, some of us are going around in bodies that are obviously far from perfect. We are walking through life with bodies that are failing. Bit by bit, they are fading. And one day these bodies will no longer function at all. One day our bodies will die. There are times when some of us think about these things, and it gives us pause.

Father, as our bodies do deteriorate, help us not to fear. Life will change as our bodies change. Life will get more difficult. And that can be frightening. But it need not be. Whether young or old, full of health or lacking it, this much is still true. You are our God. Your love never ceases. Your mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.

The people of the world do not know You. And so, they do not want to be reminded of failing bodies, of dying bodies. They are so afraid. Don't let us be like them, Father. Don't let us be like them. No, instead, teach us to face reality trusting You so that we will be able to live well and bring praise to Your name.

It just might be that You will call us to serve You with deeply broken bodies. Help us to do that fearlessly and joyfully. After all, we belong to You for You to make use of in any way You think best. Remind us that it’s when we submit to You in this way that life is worth living.

There is one more thing that we want to ask of You, Father. Would You please use our experiences of failing bodies to create in us a growing longing for the glorious resurrection of our bodies in the age to come? As we are less and less able to do what we once did effortlessly, stir our imaginations to picture what it will be like to have beautiful bodies that will work perfectly and that forever. Stir up our hope, Father, so that we will live wisely, even with faulty bodies, to the glory of Your name. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

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