Friday, August 12, 2005
Morning Prayer for a dark morning
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
-- 2 Corinthians 7:1 (NIV)
1 LORD, hear my prayer, and let my cry come before you;
hide not your face from me in the day of my trouble.
2 Incline your ear to me;
when I call, make haste to answer me,
3 For my days drift away like smoke,
and my bones are hot as burning coals.
4 My heart is smitten like grass and withered,
so that I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of the voice of my groaning
I am but skin and bones.
6 I have become like a vulture in the wilderness,
like an owl among the ruins.
7 I lie awake and groan;
I am like a sparrow, lonely on a house-top.
8 My enemies revile me all day long,
and those who scoff at me have taken an oath against me.
9 For I have eaten ashes for bread
and mingled my drink with weeping.
10 Because of your indignation and wrath
you have lifted me up and thrown me away.
11 My days pass away like a shadow,
and I wither like the grass.
12 But you, O LORD, endure for ever,
and your Name from age to age.
13 You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to have mercy upon her;
indeed, the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants love her very rubble,
and are moved to pity even for her dust.
Lord, when they came for you in the garden, you experienced the pain of the betrayer’s metaphorical knife in the back. Lord, he was someone you loved and I ask myself how could you bear it? Have mercy on me, even though what I experience is only a shadow of what you felt. Help me to forgive -- especially those who I love and are close to me. Keep me from participating in sin by giving me forbearance. Grant me the wisdom to find a way to repair or transcend the situation. Help me be a solution to the problem and not part of it.
Lord, I do not understand all the things that trouble me now. Therefore I thank you for these problems, because it has brought your will into sharp focus, it has brought me closer to you and to others, and it teaches me my need for you. I ask for your grace to persevere in faith as long as this stress in our lives shall last. I ask for wisdom to know when and how to be helpful to others -- and how to ask for help when I need it. I hand it over to you, so that your will be done. Thank you for you loving care, which I know endures forever. Amen.
Walking in sunlight all of our journey;
Over the mountains, through the deep vale;
Jesus has said, "I'll never forsake you,"
Promise divine that never can fail.