Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A prayer for Thanksgiving

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the harvest. I get to live in a plentiful land.
Thank you for family. I get to live with people I love, who love me.
Thank you for my church. I get to worship You without opposition.
Thank you for my country. I get to pursue anything I want.
Thank you for my faith. I get to grow in a relationship with You.
Thank you for everything. You made it all and shared it with me.

Amen.

image by Petr Kratochvil

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A prayer at work

Dear Lord,
Please get me through this work day.
I am tired.
I am uninterested in my work.
I'm grateful, yes, but I want to be done.
Thank you for providing me this opportunity,
but please help it end quickly.
Amen.

P.S. I really am thankful, but You remember "I'm dust," right?

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust." (Psalm 103:13-14)

image by Carlos Sardá


Friday, November 11, 2016

A prayer for veterans

Lord God of Mercy,

You know the pain of war and the inner workings of the human mind and emotions. I ask Your presence to fall upon the veterans of our countries today. Be Jehovah-Rapha, the God of healing to them.

Administer grace to the anguished. Lavish love on the lonely and forgotten. Help those of us to reach out to them, we who can't begin to understand the pain of participating in war or living with someone who's been traumatized by war.

Help us be a people who understands and appreciates the pain of others. Give us mercy and love for the marginalized. Let us not hate those who differ from us, but let us not also ignore and embrace sin because we are too afraid to reflect Your glory in our confused world.

We need Your wisdom, today and everyday. But I ask that today, above all days, uplift the hearts of servicemen and women, encouraging them in the power of God. Make Your Church a lighthouse to the wandering heart and the weary soul.

In Jesus' name,
Amen.


image by George Hodan

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Prayer after the election

Dear God of heaven and Lord of earth,

You already knew what would happen with this election.
You've known about every election, every coup, every hostile take-over in the history of the world,
Every peaceful transition, every glorious ascensions to power and privilege.
We want a servant leader.
Maybe that's just You.
You let flawed people succeed.
Sometimes the good; sometimes the bad.
Perhaps You are working on all our hearts,
probing and prodding and wooing everyone to Yourself,
giving all of us a chance to repent and believe
because You love evil people, and we are all evil, on some level.
You're never in a hurry.
You have a plan for us all.
Give me your grace, love, and mercy.

Amen.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cut Away

I thought God wanted to answer my prayers. It's why I pray "in Jesus' name." Perhaps I'm overlooking something.

"Anyone who has faith in me will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, SO THAT THE SON MAY BRING GLORY TO THE FATHER. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." (John 14:12-14)

Then why don't I get what I ask for?

"You want something, but you don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." (James 4:2-3)

Holy Spirit, You convict me.
I want You to do greater things in me, but only for the glory of God.
Change me, develop me, wreck me
if that will bring You glory.
I want Your glory. I do.
(I just struggle daily over the glory I crave for myself.
It wars against the glory You should have.)
This is my request: cut away the narcissism from my heart and mind.
Chop it up and make me useful to you.
Sever the selfishness in me, O God.
I know it will hurt, 
and I will question Your love and Your will while You're doing it,
while You're stacking up my issues, addressing them one by one.
So Holy Spirit, remind me what You're doing each day when I pray: 
You are killing my vanity so that Your Spirit can reign in me, unhindered.
Cut down my ambition
so that my spirit and life will bring glory to God.

Amen.

image by George Hodan