February 5, 2023
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we thank you for the numerous and unnoticed ways that you protect and provide for your children. Most of us here have an abundance of food and warm clothes, but there are others in neighboring cities that are homeless, and some in our very own cities and school districts whose best meals come from school lunch programs. Some are poor due to their own calamity, but some are poor because they are oppressed or taken advantage of. They do not enjoy the wealth and riches that others do. This Psalm is loaded with wise guidance, “Blessed are those who fear the Lord and find great delight in his commands.” But many people reject this as foolishness. Jesus calls these people blind. “They are ever seeing, but not perceiving, ever hearing but not understanding, their hearts have become calloused.” (Isiah 6) Lord we pray for the scales to fall off their eyes and their hearts to be become softened to hear your truth and wisdom. Make our pathways collide with those people and give us boldness to share your good news with them. Give us the words to say that bring light into the darkness. Protect us in those situations and show us your faithfulness in those situations.
We also pray for the oppressed and taken advantage of. Move our hearts to do good in our situations and not evil. Rend our hearts for the evil we see and help us to confess our sins of selfishness and reject the devils lies of what would make our hearts happy. We are blessed when we not just obey, but find great delight in your commands. Your commands guide us to true happiness. “Blessed are those who deal generously and lend, and conducts their affairs with justice. The righteous are not afraid of bad news, their hearts are firm, trusting in the Lord.” (Psalm 112)
Lord we pray for local and global leaders in our world to fear and delight in your commands. We pray for laws that establish justice for all people. We pray that justice is carried out in ways that honor you. We mourn the violations of human rights that we see in the media every day. We pray for the victims and survivors and the grief that they bear. Help our culture to properly mourn the tragedy that we see and experience. Help our hearts to forgive and not blame or respond in inappropriate ways. Protect our hearts from bitterness and pride. We all fall short and are equally desperate at the foot of the cross. We need you Jesus, to take our sin on the cross and grant us forgiveness. Help us to ask for and accept your forgiveness and leave all the junk at the foot of the cross. We praise you as our Lord and Savior. When we eat bread and drink from the cup, we remember your body and blood poured out for our sins. It is was 100% sufficient for all of our sins. Thank you Jesus. Amen.