This Week's Prayers
(Meditation: Romans 5:1-5)
God, if I were a perfect Christian, would I be rejected by the world and crucified? Sometimes it worries me that I don't suffer. I don't WANT to suffer -- I don't even like to bring it up! But it bothers me. God, help me to stand up for justice here at work, and in my community. And help me to stand up for the gospel, whatever suffering may come. I ask this in the name of Him who suffered for me. Amen.
(Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Lord, my heart is full of gratitude today. I am grateful for my family . . . for my friends . . . for my work . . . for my life . . . even for its tensions, as well as its peace . . . even for its suffering, as well as its joy. Thank You for loving the world so much that You gave Your Son to suffer, to die, and to overcome suffering and death. God, thank You for redeeming ALL of life, the good AND the bad, and for giving meaning to ALL of life. Through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
(Meditation: II Corinthians 4:16-18)
God, my friend is dying. His cheeks are hollow and his eyes are sunk in dark pits. His thin skin seems stretched, barely covering the skeletal features of his face. But his smile is like the parting of curtains. His eyes still twinkle. "You know I'm dying," he said. "Yes," I said slowly, fighting back my own fear of death, accepting the one word I most wanted to avoid. I preferred to cheer him up. We both smiled. "Yes," he said again, "I will soon be with God forever." Thank you, God, for my friend whose faith lends dignity and peace to his dying, and whose courage is an inspiration. In Jesus' name. Amen.
(Meditation: Hebrews 4:14-16)
God, suffering comes from my selfish desires and repulsions. It comes from wanting my own way, and not Your way. Suffering starts when I fight You because I don't like the way things are in my life. And when I blame You and others, it only makes the suffering grow. But God, I am grateful that when I am yielded to Your timing, and to Your providence, suffering diminishes. When I drop my demands, my attachments, and my repulsions, suffering gives way to grace. God help me to face what IS . . . to accept Your providence . . . to accept Your timing . . . and to accept Your grace. Through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.
(Meditation: Colossians 3:15-17)
God, Jesus did not come to heal all the sick in every land, not even in the Galilee, though He could easily have done it. He didn't come to equalize all the wealth in Judah, though He could easily have done it. Jesus didn't come to empty every tomb in the world, or even in Jerusalem, though He could easily have done it. But He came to show what God is like -- One who will defeat death and raise people from the dead. -- One who will make us all one people in His good time. -- One who will heal all sickness and wounds in His good time. God, help me to do what Jesus did -- to show others that God is love by what I do, in Jesus' name.