My Third #PrayerofChristmas

sky after rain in Geneva

This photo was taken in Geneva, Switzerland, Summer of 2019. This glimpse of the heavens appeared after it had been raining.

Gracious God,

Thank You for Your grace that sustains us and is sufficient for us. Thank You for not leaving us to our own devices but instead showing us again and again Your love for us. We recognize that it is not because of us but because of You that we have been given Your unmerited favor. We often say Your grace is amazing. The reality is it is indescribable! Language limits our ability to express how good You’ve been to us! In fact, when we think about it, when we reflect on all You’ve done for us, our souls cry out, Hallelujah!

Thank You, O God, that You did what You did for us! Thank You that because of who You are, I can trust that my last blessing isn’t the last blessing I will receive on this side of glory! Thank You for looking past my own foolishness and seeing my heart, my potential, my purpose. Thank You for Your grace!

Today, I lift up Your people to You. We need You in ways that we have not needed You before. We don’t all have the same needs but we all need You this very hour. There are those of us who are grieving and having a hard time adjusting to a new normal. There are those who are lost and need to find their way. There are those who are fearful and need a double dose of courage. There are those who are mean and cruel who need their hearts softened and their minds refocused. There are those who are discouraged and ready to throw in the towel. Help us, God! There are those who have weaponized our faith to denigrate others. There are those who need a second touch from You and those who need rest and restoration and those who need to be renewed. We need You, God, now, in ways, we have not needed You before!

We also must confess today that we have not shown up for one another the way You have asked. We have been self-involved. We have been pre-occupied. We have been indifferent. We have even been callous toward the needs of others while receiving Your grace with entitlement. Forgive us. Help us not to take Your grace for granted. Help us not to cheapen Your grace*. Help us to extend it to others in the same measure that You offer it to us. That’s a tall order, O God, but it seems like the least we can do.

We further confess that we have too often fallen short of how You’ve asked us to show up in this world — as Ambassadors, Reconcilers, Overcomers, Intercessors, Witnesses, Disciples. You asked us to pray for our enemies and we pray about them. You’ve asked us to be courageous and we’ve cowered in fear of losing temporary conveniences. You’ve asked us to stand and to stand up for others and yet, we’ve consistently been missing when the roll was called. Forgive us, O God.

Truly, we recognize today that if it wasn’t for Your grace! Where would we be?!

Transform us, strengthen us, fortify our souls. Cover us and keep us, we pray. Let Your amazing grace flow through us, touching the lives of others and manifesting itself in this world. Wrap us in Your love and present us to this dying world desperately in need of Good News! And, we will be mindful to give You the honor and praise that You alone are due.

It’s in the Name of Jesus, whose revolutionary grace turned the world upside down and forever changed us, we do pray. Amen.

* The concept of “cheap grace” comes from the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian. I encourage you to read one of his most famous works, The Cost of Discipleship, which explains cheap grace in detail.

This entry was posted in Christmas, Forgiveness, Giving Thanks, grace, Hope, Prayer, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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