Thursday, February 18, 2010

Let Your Mercy Spill

It’s the second day of Lent, and I’m already struggling. I have committed to pray for those in my life, and I’m already wishing certain people were no longer in my life. I’ve had no problems praying for those in my inner circle – people in my community group, friends, family, coworkers, etc. It’s easy to pray for people who give something back in the relationship.

We all have those people who seem to only bring grief, struggle or at least major annoyance. Heck, I might be that person in your life. I found myself refusing to pray for those types of people in my life. I couldn’t even muster a simple, “Lord, please bless, John Doe.”

If I’m honest, it’s because I know that prayer will change me (to steal a line from C.S. Lewis). I am afraid that by praying for these people, I will gain either empathy or conviction. Either result forces me to reevaluate my relationship to them, and to admit that I have failed as someone who is supposed to live out the grace of Christ.

I hate being reminded of how pathetic I am when left to my own devices.

A Prayer For The Second Day Of Lent
Lord, we confess that we are imperfect servants who cannot be trusted.

When you ask us to stand for what is right, we run because we do not have faith that you will be there to fight with us.

When you ask us to extend grace to those we disagree with, we destroy friendships in order to prove our doctrinal integrity concerning trivial things.

When you ask us to love our neighbors as ourselves, we long for the day when our neighbors will be more like ourselves and thus easier to love.

And when you ask us to give everything we own to the poor and follow you, we remind you that the poor are in need of rehabilitation not charity.

We confess our pride, our sin, and our bullheaded stupidity. Please transform the desires of our heart to be the desires of your heart. Fill us with your spirit so that we might be a strong fighter, a gentle friend, a loving neighbor, and a charitable person. Show us your will and strengthen us to follow it.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.

-Ben Reed, February 18, 2010

“If It Be Your Will”
Leonard Cohen

If it be Your will
That I speak no more
Let my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I will abide until
I am spoken for
If it be Your will

If it be your will
That a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
From this broken hill
All Your praises they will sing
If it be Your will
To let me sing

If it be Your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill
On all these burning heats in hell
If it be Your will
To make us well
And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In rags of light
In our rags of light
All dressed to kill
And end this night
If it be Your will
If it be Your will

(C)1984 by Leonard Cohen Stranger Music, Inc. (BMI)

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