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Prayer for the Fortieth Day of Lent 2014 · 19 April 2014

Hi God,

So we made it to the end.
As the Lord said yesterday,
   “It is finished”,
our Lenten adventure together, that is.
I thank You for that.
I’m rather glad to be done.
For one thing, it will be nice
to have earlier bed times.

This year didn’t bug me
so much as some previous years,
but it felt rather empty.
I don’t feel we ever connected.
One of today’s verses from Job
seemed rather apropos to this experiment,
   “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
   No one can.”
But we might just as well ask,
   who can draw water from an empty vessel?

So, I have no idea
what my prayer for today should be.
Perhaps I can ask You,
to help me feel less isolated
from Your creation in the weeks to come.

I also ask You, please,
to have mercy on my soul,
disconnected sinner though I be.

Amen

Scripture reference:
Job 14: 1–14

— lgpiper

Comment

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Prayer for the Thirty-ninth Day of Lent 2014 · 18 April 2014

Hi God,

So, it’s Good Friday,
and we finish up the suffering servant songs.
We took yesterday off, it seems,
because we contemplated
the service of the foot washing
at the Last Supper. Or something.

It seems kind of ironic to me
that in our modern culture
we view service primarily
in the light of guys killing each other,
i.e. being in the military is service,
everything else doesn’t much count.
So today, we contemplate the guy
who told us to stop killing.
Perhaps he accepted his being killed
as a lesson to the rest of us that
IT’S TIME TO STOP!!
But that doesn’t seem
to have helped much, huh?

So, I guess my prayer today
is to ask You, once again,
to help us learn
ways to interact with people who are different
without having killing them be under consideration.
I realize this might mean
we’d have to wash their feet,
or perhaps allow them to have
medical care and food,
while we have to go without
new phones every two years.
Or something.

Also, I ask You, please,
to have mercy on my soul,
self-absorbed sinner though I be.

Amen

Scripture references:
Isaiah 52: 13–53:12
John 18:1–19:42

— lgpiper

Comment

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Prayer for the Thirty-eighth Day of Lent 2014 · 17 April 2014

Hi God,

Well, we’ve made it to Maundy Thursday,
the day we’re supposed to remember
Jesus’ last supper with his buds,
also remember his new commandment:

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you,
you also should love one another.
By this everyone will know
that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.

One could take this as exclusive,
i.e. we only have to worry
about loving our fellow believers,
and that everyone else
can safely be ignored.
That seems dangerous to me
because we have a problem
that our judgments tend
to be tinged by our self interest.
But if it’s an inclusive commandment,
i.e. love one’s fellow humans,
then how does that differ from
“Love your neighbor as yourself”,
a statement Jesus tells us (Matthew 22)
sums up all the Law and the prophets?
So, until You tell me differently,
I’ll assume the inclusive interpretation,
which creates problems for many of us,
in that we find or have been taught
that some people are tough to love,
either because they seem “disgusting”,
or because they seem “unworthy”,
whatever the hell those two words mean .

So, my prayer today,
is to ask You to help us,
learn to see all people with compassionate eyes,
eyes that can see through people’s inherent flaws,
so that we can learn to deal with them
in the same way we would wish them
to deal with us.
A simple concept
with difficult execution.

Also, I ask You, please,
to have mercy on my soul,
indifferent sinner though I be.

Amen

Scripture reference:
John 13: 1–17, 31–35

— lgpiper

Comment

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Prayer for the Thirty-seventh Day of Lent 2014 · 16 April 2014

Hi God,

Yup, suffering servant week;
this time we’ve made it to song 3.
We also have selected bits of Psalm 69,
but not my favorite part
which goes sort of like:
   those who sit in the gate gossip about me,
   and the drunkards make songs about me.
How depressed is that
to think drunkards
are composing ribald songs
so as to torment one?
Alternatively, perhaps they are,
in which case, the psalmist is likely
a reasonable object of derision,
say a nitwit bigot like Fred Phelps.
But I doubt that’s what’s wanted.

Anyway, back to suffering servanthood.
The part I liked especially goes:
   The Lord GOD has given me
   a well-trained tongue,
   That I might know how to speak to the weary
   a word that will rouse them.
   Morning after morning
   he opens my ear that I may hear;…
How cool would that be
to be able to hear You clearly every morning
and then be able to speak clearly
to perk up and console the downtrodden?

So, I’ll make that my prayer today,
that You find ways to communicate through us
so that we can indeed perk up and console
those we meet each day
who aren’t having such a hot time of things.
For example some words
that could help console my friend, Janet,
whose daughter was just murdered in Nicaragua,
would be quite helpful right about now.

Also, I ask You, please,
to have mercy on my soul,
tongue-tied sinner though I be.

Amen

Scripture references:
Isaiah 50: 4–9
Psalm 69

— lgpiper

Comment

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Prayer for the Thirty-sixth Day of Lent 2014 · 15 April 2014

Hi God,

Well, I guess it’s suffering-servant week:
yesterday, song one; today song two.
I realize they’re considered to be
foreshadowing the role of Jesus.
I wonder, how much of this foreshadowing
is merely making stuff up so as
to make sense of things after the fact.
I do that a lot, pick things to do
and then find ways to rationalize them
so that they seem somehow relevant
to the situation in which they’re used.

So, anyway, the verse I liked today:

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
Yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.

Which is sort of like
what I would like to say
in my prayer for this day.
I ask You to help us stay focused
on doing what we know to be right
whether or not there seems
to be anything in it for us,
and that You help us realize
that the process of doing right
can be reward in itself.
One hopes, of course,
that You will show
the value of our efforts
in Your good time,
but that’s up to You.
Being guided by Your will
and being able to enjoy the process
is all I’m asking.

Also, I ask You, please,
to have mercy on my soul,
mercenary sinner though I be.

Amen

Scripture reference:
Isaiah 49: 1–6

— lgpiper

Comment

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