Far from Helpless

My place as a pastor affords me the awareness of those in our church family who are struggling or suffering beneath the weight of life. I made a list of the experiences people in our church family are facing as I write this morning.  Significant health issues. Financial concerns. Marriages in trouble. Relational conflict. Fractured friendships. Life-altering consequences of poor decisions . Costly implications of courageous decisions. Faith crushing disappointments. Addiction. Grieving. Loss of hope. Of course, bring together hundreds of lives and stories like these will be always present.  But as a person (and pastor) who loves people deeply my sense of helplessness can feel overwhelming.

So I pray - pray for each story as I learn of it.  Even though the words of my prayers often feel shallow and small I can hold people before God and trust God's provision for them and with them. Far from helpless prayer is the most helpful role we can play. Prayer shifts the burden we feel from our heart to God's ... from our hands to His ... from our desired outcomes to His ... and from our timing to His.  Prayer frees us to then love and support our hurting friends without our anxiety getting in the way.

A couple of Sunday's ago I prayed for our church family during the worship service. A number of you asked me to post the prayer on my blog.

Father complete the work you have begun in us.

Release to us a flow of mercy and gentleness that will bring water where there is desert, healing where there is hurt, peace where there is conflict, beauty where there is ugliness, understanding where is confusion, strength where their weakness, hope where there is hopelessness, and beginnings where there are dead-ends.

Awaken in us gratitude, peace, joy and a courageous resolve to remain faithful to you and our calling as your people.

May we find our rest in you FatherFor our hope comes from you. You are our rock and refuge. So we will not be shaken. Our well-being depends upon you. So we will trust in you at all times and in all circumstances. 

Father you are the faithful keeper of promises. You are composer of mercy and grace.

Grant us gladness in our souls, trust at our core, songs for our journey, and a sense of our place in your Kingdom story.

So let's stand firm together!

Deeply Rooted,

Gary