An Honest Prayer

I’m not really sure why I’m sharing this. I wrote this out because it was how I needed to process the recent events in our world but am hesitant to post it. These issues are so heated. Entwined with so many opinions and so much passion. I get it. It’s big, life and death stuff. I guess I’m posting  to show I don’t have it all figured out. I’m struggling. I  don’t understand what is going on in the world around us. But, I have faith in the one who has WON this battle, and every battle. He reigns.

Here’s a little bit of my honest conversation tonight and what God tells me in response to my fears, worries, and concerns. God doesn’t only listen to our prayers, he answers them. I wrote this in the style that my church body prays, with the petition and then the response “Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.” I actually started out writing first with the response of Lord in your mercy hear MY prayer, but 2 things: 1 – I think a lot of people have these same thoughts and prayers, whether or not they vocalize them, and 2 – The fact that there are others that are in the same boat as me with these petitions is a gift from God in and of itself. He provides us with a family of believers so that we don’t have to go through this alone.

 

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Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

It’s so scary God, what’s going on in our world. Especially for a news junkie like me. It hurts to watch, almost bringing me to tears every time, but I can’t turn away – trying to imagine the hurt and pain and always wondering what will be next. Why? Will it be here? Will it be someone I know? So much sin. So much hurt. So much sadness.

17 And to Adam he said,“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you,‘You shall not eat of it,’cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Genesis 3:17

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

You promise us though, time and time again, YOU are good. YOU are faithful. YOU keep your promises. YOU will take care of your people, even in the midst of unimaginable evil and pain.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, my heart is breaking for all those that are suffering. Families ripped apart in the middle of normal everyday life. Why them and not me? I see the images of pain, heartache, lives cut too short, fear. I don’t really understand, and I’m not sure I want to. But you do. You gave your Son. You feel their agony. Comfort them. Assure them of your presence. Give them peace.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:18-23

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

I’m worried, God, so worried about the future. I wonder often if it is selfish of us to bring an innocent child into this world. The anxiety sometimes is almost too much. Help me to trust God, that you love my son more than I do. The promises that you give to me you gave to him too through his baptism. You can use him, and his friends, in the future to be a great light in this dark world. Help me to raise him up to be a faithful servant.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

There’s so much turmoil, God. I’m blessed by the education you have given me through multiple degrees, especially in the areas of theology and religion, but I just feel clueless and scared so often. I still feel like I don’t know enough to support decisions made by our leaders, or to make a real difference in this world. Lord, I want to live like you, be like you, love like you. You call us to live by faith, not by sight, and you call us to love the lowly and the needy. This refugee situation, gosh, God, I want to BE you to the people who need it most, but it’s so scary.

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:31-40

Open my eyes to see like you. Open my heart to love like you. Help me to trust you fully and completely. You promise you’re there.

6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 2 Cor. 5:6-10

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Guide our leaders, Lord, to not just think about right political moves, but to make decisions that are honoring to you. I can’t imagine the pressure they have, but help them to be faithful. Protect those who protect us. Keep their eyes and hearts focused on you in the midst of the difficult situations they are in. Be with their families.

My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. 4 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

2 Samuel 22:3-4

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, this part is hard. Really hard. But I pray for those who are persecuting so many. Who hate you. Who hate us. I don’t want to love them. They are your children, too, even if their hearts are hardened to the truth. Help them to turn from their evil ways to you, dear Jesus. To know your love and grace. To believe that there is nothing that they must do to earn an eternal reward other than trusting in the one true God.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43:-48

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

Lord, our lives are in your hands. May everything I say and I everything I do be to your glory.

Amen.

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