Friday, January 29, 2010

Prayer for Haiti

Dear God, I make much in these prayers of your glory revealed in nature, but nature turned on Haiti. Our heart aches for the people of Port-au-Prince. Our head aches for understanding.

My theology doesn’t smoothly accommodate acts of God, and the faith is wounded by religious pundits who claim to know the mind of God.

I pray that your Spirit will fill my chasm of knowing with more trusting…and some doing: stroke a check, volunteer, pray consistently.

I’m sure Haitians - who know severe suffering and loss up close - are clinging to their faith. I can keep a tighter grip on mine.

Yes, Father, you are revealed in nature. When that view is obscured, we find you elsewhere - in rescue workers and care givers, in relief workers and generous givers. There are things I can’t fully grasp, but your presence is never in doubt.

Lord Christ, may the people of Haiti find healing and restoration at your merciful hand. Amen.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lead Me to the Rock

Curecanti NeedleColorado Rocky Mountains

Words of praise from the 61st Psalm:
Dear God, you are my...


My wings
Eagle’s wings that shield me
Eagle’s wings that lift me up

Proverbs declares: Whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. (29:25b)

So, why am I so inclined to measure my security at the bank, or the office, or even at home?

You, Father, are my first line of defense. My security is in your abiding presence - through your love, through Jesus’ forgiveness, through the Spirit’s power.

As King David prayed: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge. Amen.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Better than OnStar

My wife will tell you that I hesitate (or refuse) to ask for directions. Technology has helped, though. My Blackberry has a GPS enabled navigator app.

Writing for Scripture Union, Dr. Elaine Storkey* makes an important point about spiritual navigation: “When we don’t let the Bible lead us to God, we turn from the great road map God has given us.” I’ve borrowed a few of her words for this prayer.

Dear God,

Considering my reluctance to ask for directions, I thank you for the Bible. It’s my road map.

And I pray for a measure of your Holy Spirit. It’s my GPS.

My confession: I don’t make time to recharge my GPS, and I sometimes lay the map aside.

…but still, Father, you patiently offer turn-by-turn directions.

My destination: An encounter with the Living God.

Speak to me from the pages of your Word. May I be drawn into your presence.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

* - Scripture Union USA, Encounter with God, 1/12/2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Reverent & Jubilant

Sunrise at Sunset Beach, NC

Again, I turn to Max Lucado for a challenging thought. In his book And the Angels Were Silent Lucado warns against our tendency to “replace the Living God with the puny achievements of man.” The Psalms are an antidote:

Words of praise, Lord, from Psalm 24...

Words of praise, Father, from Psalm 89...

Dear God, do we really see or sense your splendor? Maybe our view is inadequate? Improve our vision.

Is our worship anemic? Does it capture your majesty? Infuse us with your spirit.

Surrounded by your presence, we are both reverent before our sovereign, all-powerful, creator God…and jubilant at your grandeur, blessing and love.

Thanks be to God. Amen.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The New Year - An Epiphany

Journey of the Magi ~ Tissot ~ 1894

Lord, I discovered a metaphor (is that the correct term?) in the "Twelfth Night" story. In Matthew 2:12, we’re told of the Magi’s visit with the baby Jesus:

And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Having seen Christ they were advised by the angels to take another road.

That’s appropriate advice for us after celebrating Jesus’ birth. Having seen Him, we should consider "another road."

Matthew gives us a new map three chapters later. Christ’s
Beatitudes in chapter five. We should take the road of the meek, the merciful, the seekers of righteousness, the pure of heart, the peacemakers.

As a New Year begins, Father, make us ever mindful of that road you call us to travel - alongside Jesus - and empowered by your Holy Spirit.