Friday, October 24, 2014

A Prayer for Friday, October 24, 2014

Grateful

O God,

We confess and affirm that we are not worthy of, entitled to, nor the source of the great blessings that come to us in this life.

We confess and affirm that the greatest blessings of this life are gifts that come to us only by your grace, through your love, and in your power.

Forgive us for when we take those great gifts for granted, for when we think of them as routine, or when we fail to trace them back to you.

We are grateful.

Help us to become more grateful.

Amen.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Prayer for Thursday, October 23, 2014

Everything

O God,

Thank you for being with me in everything.
Help me always to remember that you are.

Thank you that somehow everything fits together.
Help me always to remember that it does.

Thank you that I can’t understand everything.
Help me always to remember that you do.

Thank you that I don’t have to fix everything.
Help me always to remember that you will.

Amen.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Prayer for Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Knowledge

O God,

We never know what’s coming;
we never know what the day will bring;
we never know what’s going on inside us;
we never know what’s going on inside others; and
we never know what our place in the big picture is.

For all of our knowledge, there’s a lot
more that we don’t know than we do know.

Still, there are things that we need to know.

We need to know that you are there;
we need to know that you are always with us;
we need to know that you love us;
we need to know that we love you; and
we need to know that our lives mean something.

Thank you that our knowledge can grow every day and
thank you that we are spared the burden of knowing everything.

Give us humility to accept what we can’t know;
give us faith to accept what we must know.

Thank you for your grace that makes it possible for us to know
that which it would seem most impossible for us to know.

Thank you for your grace that makes it possible for us to know you.

Amen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Prayer for Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Deny

O God,

Jesus tells me to deny myself. What does that mean? How do I do that?

After all, I can’t help but be me; me is who I am. I can’t believe that you would by your grace allow me to be born into this world as the genetic result of the unions of so many particular people before me and then tell me to deny that I am who I am. I can’t believe that you would by your grace cause me to be born into this particular historical period, into this particular social milieu, into my particular family, and with my particular gifts and then tell me to deny that I am who I am.

Yet there it is in your Book: Jesus says that I am to deny myself, to take up my cross, and to follow him.

How can I deny myself and still be myself?

Does it have to do with the limiting influence of all of the factors that go into making me who I am? As blessed as I am to have been born to the people to whom I was born, in the time that I was born, and in the setting in which I was born, those blessings also serve to limit my worldview and my perspective. My default setting is to see myself and to see the world as “my people” and as “my culture” do. Maybe to deny myself is to live beyond the limits that naturally characterize my life.

Does it have to do with my pride? It is a very short step from self-awareness to self-absorption; I am all too prone to think way more highly of myself than I ought to think and to value my life above the lives of all others. Since Jesus was determined to give himself away, even if it meant his death, maybe to deny myself means to value the lives of others at least as highly as I value my own—and maybe even to move toward valuing their lives more than I value mine.

Does it come down to learning to look to you for the ultimate meaning of my life? After all, my life is your gift and only you know what my life could and should mean if I would live it as fully as you intend for me to live it. Perhaps so long as I insist on living my life my way I choose to accept unnecessary limitations on it. Perhaps if I can somehow learn to see my life the way you see it and to let you take my life wherever you want it to go I will learn that the less I think about me and the less I act on my own behalf the more alive I will become.

O God, your Son Jesus tells me to deny myself; I want to obey. Please show me how …

Amen.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Prayer for Monday, October 20, 2014

This

O God,

As we go through this week, help us

to live fully in this day,
to make the most of this moment,
to pay close attention to this task,
to listen carefully to this person, and
to experience gratefully this life.

Don’t let us become distracted
by all of the “thats”
that compete for our attention …

Amen.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Prayer for Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Lord’s Day

O God,

“God is love,” your Book tells us.

Since you are love, let our worship of you today be motivated by our love for you that is our response to your love for us. Let your love for us, the reality and nature of which are seen most clearly in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, inspire us to praise you in worship today and to praise you through our service to others during the coming week.

We praise you today because the fact that you are love means that you love us.

We praise you today because the fact that you are love means that we can love you.

We praise you today because the fact that you are love means that we can love each other.

We praise you today because the fact that you are love means that we can love those who don’t love us.

We praise you today because the fact that you are love means that we can show our love for others in the way that you showed your love for us—by giving ourselves away in radically sacrificial ways.

Amen.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Prayer for Saturday, October 18, 2014

Connections

O God,

Frankly, the vast majority of the time life seems pretty random and chaotic.

Every once in a while, though, life happens in such a way that we catch a glimpse of how it might just all fit together after all. We glimpse connections between the various times of our lives, the various people of our lives, and the various events of our lives and we say, with great insight, “Huh! How about that!”

Thank you for those glimpses of those connections.

Help us to keep our eyes open for the connections and to believe that they exist even when we can’t see them.

Amen.