Friday, July 1, 2011

Hope when our problems seem too big ...

Sometimes there are situations in our lives that .. may... feel hopeless. It may be financial or a marriage that is unstable or perhaps a long established habit of sin. Our first inclination as sinners is that we must pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps to make things right and while we do have a responsibility to obey God's Word... we must learn that we have no resource.. no strength...outside of our great God! Pastor Smith is right.. it's not 'fun' to come to the end of ourselves but that is where we find help in the time of need. I hope this prayer blesses you as much as it blessed me!

Prayer for Hoping in God’s Steadfast Love
The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love. Ps. 33:16–18

Dear heavenly Father, though it’s not fun, it’s a good thing to come to the end of ourselves—to be in situations where all of our resources, all of our “goodness” and all of our idols begin to fail us. Indeed, it’s a gospel thing to feel the pain of knowing whatever worked in the past is not working in the present; to feel the confusion of not knowing what to do next; to feel the helplessness of being out of control. It hurts, but it hurts real good and for our good.

For only in those moments do we abandon ourselves to the God who alone can part Red Seas when our enemies are pursuing us; serve fresh quail in the wilderness to his hungry thankless children (Exodus 16); overthrow whole Midianite armies with three hundred gun-less soldiers (Judges 7); take down Goliaths by young shepherds armed with pebbles (1 Samuel 17); deliver his people from the fire or through the fire (Daniel 3); feed multitudes with a few fish and pieces of bread (Matthew 14); raise a dead man for the salvation of his people and the transformation of the cosmos.
Lord Jesus, you are that dead man who now lives and we abandon ourselves to you today. You are the One who is redeeming his bride and making all things new. It is your steadfast love that we can and must hope in today. There is no other supply sufficient to the need. There is no other strength sufficient for the task. There is no other balm sufficient for the pain. There is no other rest sufficient for the exhaustion. There is no other hope sufficient for our cries and crises. Hoping in you alone holds the promise of the end of all disappointment and shame (Romans 5:1-5 ESV), for you were shamed for us on the cross, and raised for our salvation and deliverance (Hebrews 12:1-3).
So we bring our wounded and broken hearts to you. We bring our struggling marriages to you. We bring our jobless families to you. We bring our chronic pain to you. We bring our divided churches to you. We bring our ever besetting sins and addictions to you. We bring our conflicted relationships to you. We bring our wayward children to you. We bring our unbelieving friends to you. We bring the needs of our community to you. We bring it all to you, Jesus. We will trust in you and your steadfast love. Where else can we go? Astonish us by bringing much glory to yourself in the coming hours, days and months. So very Amen we pray, in your merciful and mighty name.

Scotty Smith