Sunday, January 10, 2010
Offered by Joyce Shin, Associate Pastor
Lord, you know us each by name. Before we were born, you called us. Then you formed and created us. Throughout our lives you have upheld us, because you love us.
Help us, Lord, to grow rooted in the knowledge that our lives belong to you. Though we hear the prophet Isaiah tell of it, and though, through our baptisms, we are sealed with it, we still find ourselves hardly believing, and often forgetting, whose we are. It is hard to believe and hard to remember that before we ever did anything, accomplish or earn anything, we have been valued and esteemed by you.
What would we do differently, Lord, if we were mindful of belonging to you, of being called, formed, and upheld by you? Wouldn’t we, like the psalmist, awake each morning and sleep each night with praise and gladness on our tongues for the day which you made? Wouldn’t we encounter in the sights and sounds of our world signs of assurance that you are near and not far? Wouldn’t we take up the task of working not only for ourselves, but for the world that you love? Wouldn’t we have reason for confidence and hope that your will be done?
Do not let us rely on ourselves alone, Lord. For without you, our past failures and disappointments would dwarf us. The world’s mistakes would scar your creation. Our lives would be impoverished by despair instead of enriched by hope—a hope in the plans you have for us, plans that we, no matter what we do or do not do, cannot derail.
Lord, as we pray for the world and our lives, we pray that, just as you have always called us, made us, and upheld us, you will continue to be faithful to the plan you have for us—plans for our welfare, and not for our harm. In faith, we pray together the prayer your Son taught us to say, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church