God's word in today's world

A sinner’s prayer for you!


Sometimes I feel stress threatening to overwhelm me as I think about the state of our country and its people. We disappoint one another; we no longer trust one another; we can no longer look up to one another or be role models to one another.

Some time ago I had to pay in dollars for my books that were being printed in India. For weeks I watched the movement of the Rand every day. I hurried along those doing the paper work. I was stressed out, my heart beating in my mouth, because pay day was fast approaching. Eventually everything was ready and I gave the instruction for the books to be paid.

And the next week the Rand improved by 50 cents …

These are two simple stories from my own life that keep me up at night and drive up my blood pressure. There are many more; most probably in your life as well. Worse stories.

Once again, I realise that we weren’t made to carry this heavy burden of life. We need one another. We need God. Otherwise …

That is why Paul prayed this prayer for the young Christians of Thessalonica: 17May Jesus himself and God our Father … put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.

We need God to calm our hearts, otherwise our blood boils. And when our blood boils, we say and do things that are not so nice. I can list many examples here, but I’d rather not. Too ashamed, maybe.

I suspect you too.

I need God to calm my heart so that I don’t lose my bearings.

I need God to help me not lose my faith along the way and for me not lose the way.

I need God to put a few guards before my mouth, because I truly realise how big a ship’s rudder is.

And yes, I need God to help me with everything I do, because mine is too thin, simply too little and too crooked.

I suspect you might need his help too.

I want to pray for you and Michael W Smith’s song about healing rain comes to mind. Not so much about the rain, but because he prays his sinner’s prayer for us:

Healing rain is coming down
It’s coming closer to the lost and found
Tears of joy and tears of shame
Are washed forever in Jesus’ name

Healing rain, it comes with fire
So let it fall and take us higher
The healing rain I’m not afraid
To be washed in heaven’s rain

So, I give to you my sinner’s prayer in the words of the apostle Paul: 17May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech. (And Lord, we’ll appreciate the rain too.) Amen.

Scripture

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

Reflection

How strong is your heart and faith?

What are your mouth, hands and feet doing?

How can the Holy Spirit help you?

Prayer

May He calm your hearts and strengthen your faith. And may He help you to say and do the right thing all the time. Amen.

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