• on Sunday, May 17, 2020

God of Hope and Promise

    Sunday | May 17
    Rev. Darren Hensley

    God of Hope and Promise,

    What a joy to come to You in prayer! We offer praise and thanksgiving for another day and for all the blessings of life. As the current pandemic continues, many are beginning to understand that moving forward through late spring and into the summer, things are going to be different. This situation is going to take time. Left with our own thoughts, we wonder and worry: What will our lives look like for the next few months or even years? What will happen to our families, our communities, and our institutions? How will work and school, and even church, change? With the ground shifting so dramatically beneath our feet we ask, “Will the center hold?” Sometimes, O Lord, we even wonder where You are in all the uncertainty, fear, anxiety, and loss we are experiencing.

    We seek signs of hope—and looking around, there is much to behold. We give thanks for young people, for those who are graduating and pursuing their passion and dreams to the place where their gifts and graces meet the world’s needs. Bless them, we pray. Guide and protect them. Senior adults and mentors who have withstood challenging times in the past and give witness to Your providential care bring us assurance and comfort. We treasure the stories and prayers in Scripture—testament to the reality of life lived fully in Your embrace. The power of Your presence revealed in small, commonplace things offers hope in large measure.

    O God, with all the media competing for our attention, let us be intentional and vigilant to put wholesome things into our hearts and minds. Let us be gracious with family and friends. Interacting with the world, let us ever be mindful that You are at the center of our lives—may we freely share with others the love You so freely give to us, without thought of reward or gain.

    Through Your Spirit, help us find the courage to set aside the false gods to which we sometimes cling in order to make things seem less frightening or confusing and more predictable and tame. Let us love You—the One True God, the source of our being—Whom we know because we know Your Son, Jesus Christ. For as Jesus reassured the disciples, things do and will change but we will never be alone. May we claim the promise of Your Spirit, Your own heart, living and abiding within us. The promise that when we’ve exhausted our strength, You are there with inexhaustible reserves. The promise that even though the way ahead can be difficult, You call us to confidence because You have found us, and will find us, again and again, in every experience of unknowing we could possibly confront.

    May we accept the invitation to perceive our lives as lovingly held in Your all-encompassing Story through grace.

    For it is in the name of Jesus Christ, our Risen and Living Lord and Savior, we pray, Amen.

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