May 2, 2021. O Lord, we praise You this morning for Your constant love and faithfulness. It gives us such courage and joy to know that Your love is unchanging despite our failures and that You are true to Your promises despite our inconsistencies. You are enthroned on high; You are King; You are far greater than any powers or authorities on earth; and You have exalted above all things Your name and Your Word. And yet You delight to be with Your people. You came down to walk in our midst. You identify with the oppressed and afflicted. You draw near to those who are aware of their need for You. You are abundantly good.
This psalm warns us that the haughty You know only from afar. We know that it is no limit to Your knowledge or love, Father, but rather that our pride creates a wall. But we are also aware of our tendencies toward pride. We are so good at explaining away our faults and focusing on all that we’ve accomplished, as if it was by our own power and not by Your grace. Forgive us, Father. Help us to cultivate hearts and minds that are humble, teachable, compassionate, and grateful.
We pray today for the kings of the earth—and for our own president, congress, governor, and local authorities. There is so much chaos and hurt around us, from COVID and its implications, from racial injustices, from violence, from political division. We pray that You give our leaders discernment so that they can enact laws that are just and create a culture where good is praised and evil is punished, where people can live in peace and Your truth can go forth with power. We pray that these leaders might come to be among those who give You thanks and sing of Your ways because they have come to see Your glory.
We pray also for those who are walking in the midst of trouble today. We lift up Lindy and others we know who are hospitalized with COVID or otherwise suffering its effects, and we pray that You would be their Healer and Protector. We pray for those who are grieving the loss of someone close to them, and ask that they would know You as their Strength and Comforter. We pray for those whose work or income has been affected, and ask that You would show Yourself to be their Provider. We pray for those whose marriage or family struggles have been intensified by this past year, and we ask You to be their Hope and Help. And we pray for those who live in fear or anxiety, that You would be their Peace and the Strengthener of their souls.
Father, help us, as Your church, to see the needs and the pain around us and to walk toward it. Help us to bring Your love and faithfulness to the people we interact with, that they would know Your care and compassion through us, and that we would know more of Your heart through them.
We pray all of this in the name of Jesus, which is exalted above all. And God’s people said, Amen.