Thursday, February 22, 2018

For a Good and Faithful Servant

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!(Job 19:25-27)



For a Good and Faithful Servant

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father,
from whom we come and unto whom our spirits return:
we give thanks for the life and witness of Billy Graham.

We thank you for his strong character, his unwavering convictions, his humble spirit. We thank you for his undying love for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and for his steadfast commitment to share the message of your love with the world.

He was a vessel of clay, used mightily by you as he preached the gospel around the world. You used him to speak words of wisdom and guidance to world leaders. Through him you proclaimed the good news of forgiveness and eternal life
to hundreds of millions of people. 

His greatness was not in his fame, but in the humble, gentle spirit with which he shared the love of his Savior. He was a model of Christian integrity, a man who truly sought to live according to your word. Even more, he truly sought to model Jesus Christ in his life.

The hope that he proclaimed is now his reality. Once he saw you dimly, as in a mirror; now he sees you face to face. And surely he has heard you utter the words we all long to hear:
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Remind us each day of the hope of the resurrection, that we may be inspired to live in faithfulness to your good news
 and manifest in our own lives the love and grace you have shown to us.


Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Recycle Me

“Whoever is in Christ is a new creation; the old has gone, and the new has come!”(2 Corinthians 5:17)













The recycling department of the City of Clinton (North Carolina) is located a few blocks down the street from our house. On the wall facing the street there are three murals made of discarded plastic containers. This prayer is inspired by those murals.




Recycle Me

I offer my life to you, O Lord.
It's not much, I know. I got the sin in me.
I'm not exactly perfect. Not even close, really.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm any good at all.
Still, I offer myself to you. As a living sacrifice.
Take me, I pray, and use me for your glory.
You are the God who makes all things new.
You take us as we are, but you don't leave us that way.
Your specialty is transformation.
You take broken and sinful humans,
and you make us new creations.

Recycle me, Lord.
Re-use me.
Renew me.
Make me part of something beautiful.

I offer my life to you, O Lord.
Use me, for your glory.
Amen.





Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Make Me a Reflection

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Psalm 103:8)



Make Me a Reflection

Lord, make me a reflection.

Make me a reflection of you.

You have created me in your image. Show me how to live so that I accurately reflect your image. As I try to represent you in the world around me, I want people to see the kind of Lord you are:
  gracious
    compassionate
      patient
        kind
          faithful
            forgiving
              present

Lord, make me a reflection of you.

You care about the poor, the hungry, the homeless. Make me to care, too. Make me a reflection of you.

You care about justice, and righteousness, and truth. Make me to care, too. Make me a reflection of you.

You love unconditionally and eternally. Make me to love, too. Make me a reflection of you.

Lord, make me a reflection of you.




Monday, February 19, 2018

A Prayer for Monday

 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalm 139:23-24) 

Here am I; Send me! 
(Isaiah 6:8)


Kelvingrove Art Museum, Glasgow


A Prayer for Monday

Dear God,

I'm not a fan of Mondays. The weekend has been relaxing. I've enjoyed the down time. The sabbath rest was good. But now the week begins again. Back to work. I'm not a fan of Mondays.

But you know that. You know me through and through. You know I'm not a fan of Mondays.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Renew in my heart today the commitment to live into my great purpose in life – to glorify you, and to enjoy you forever. Send me into the world as an ambassador of Jesus Christ, faithfully administering the ministry of reconciliation. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, that I may offer myself as a living sacrifice to you.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

I'm not a fan of Mondays. But I do love you, and I want to be faithful to you today. And so I will make this day one in which I live a life worthy of the calling I have received.

I'm not a fan of Mondays. But, still, here I am. Send me.

Amen.

Kelvingrove Art Museum, Glasgow


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Psalm


Note: As the observance of Lent does not technically include Sundays, instead of a prayer I will offer verses from the Psalter. 




Psalm 121:1-2 
I lift up my eyes to the hills --
     from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
     who made heaven and earth.



Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Prayer for Those Who Wonder Where God Is

My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, “Where is your God?”    
(Psalm 42:3) 

“Where can I go from your spirit?    Where can I flee from your presence?”    (Psalm 139:7)




A Prayer for Those Who Wonder Where God Is



O God from whom no one can hide,
  no one can flee from your presence,
    no one can escape your loving attention:

Today I pray for those who wonder where you are.
   
The ones who feel all alone. Because nobody notices their suffering;
The ones who think you have betrayed them with the death of a loved one;
The ones who cry out with heart-rending anguish every day, but they cannot hear you answer them;
The ones who have done all the right things, but still bad things happen to them;
The ones who want to know why you have let them be ravaged by sickness.

Today I pray for those who wonder where you are.

Communicate your presence to them.Let them know that you are with them. Always. Let them know that you are for them. Always. Awaken their hearts with glimpses of your kindness.

Today I pray for those who wonder where you are.

As they awaken in the morning, give them hope. As they go to bed in the evening, let them look back on the day and see evidence of your goodness. Give them reasons to thank you for your love.

Today I pray for those who wonder where you are.

I offer myself as an instrument by which your presence can be made known. Help me to be an expression of your love. Help me to be a means by they will experience your grace. Help me to manifest your kindness.

Today I pray for those who wonder where you are.



Thursday, February 15, 2018

Let It Snow

“Come, now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow...” (Isaiah 1:18)



Let It Snow

Let it snow, O God.
I love the snow, 
   especially when I don't have to drive.
The snow is beautiful as it covers the ground, 
   the trees, 
      the bushes.
The pure whiteness of a freshly-fallen snow 
   stirs my heart with awe and wonder 
   at your majesty and glory.
The light of the sun is magnified tenfold 
   when the snow reflects it; 
   its brilliance is stunning.



Let it snow, O God.

Let it snow on my heart.
Cover my sins with a blanket of purity.
Make my heart beautiful as the freshly-fallen snow.
Take my life, 
   and make me into someone 
   who reflects your light to the world around me.
Let it snow on my heart.


Let it snow, O God.