Dear Lord, we need you

A prayer, shared upon request from the Editor.

Cathy here. Please excuse the public praying. I should be holed up in some lowly corner, sinner that I am. I need help, Lord, even to pray. So timid, afraid to speak peace, or even to speak at all. I need belief to overcome my unbelief. I distrust your promises, I doubt your call, I step gingerly around that man bloodied by bandits. Holy Spirit, wash my words. Saviour, carry them to the throne. God who bends down to feed me, accept this prayer.

Lord, my friends and I here in our small Christian Reformed Church (CRC) world love you. We all want to serve and glorify you. Over the years, we’ve prayed for one another. We’ve admitted our failures to one another, argued with one another, sometimes calmly and sometimes desperately, seeking clarity and unanimity, together mourned the loss of friends you’ve called home, celebrated when you’ve blessed us abundantly. Despite this collective history, and although we love you, Lord, we sometimes find it hard to love one another. We’re an unruly people. Forgive us.

Remind us that each one of us has sprung from your creative love and is marked with your image. When we converse, give us an awareness of what each person carries, what burdens, ailments, disappointments and traumas haunt their words. Give us a memory of the good deeds each one has proffered in your name, the pastoring, counselling, teaching, parenting, caregiving, tithing, encouraging, evangelizing, the committee work, the scholarship, the making of art.

I pray for the CRC, Lord God. Please rescue this unpolished gem that you love and we love. But should a new path be set before us, even one forged from our own failures, grant us a simple trust that we are safely held within your providential plan for the restoration of all things. We confess that you, Lord God, can turn even adversity to our profit. Within the embrace of this staggering promise, keep us, Lord, from dishonoring you with spitefulness against one another. I pray for the Council of Delegates and for all who will participate in the upcoming Synod. May your Holy Spirit hover over the proceedings, lustrous Counsellor and Comforter in the decision-making.

Sacramental hope

Even as we worry about our church, Lord, some of my friends are ill. Cancer. Parkinson’s. Heart issues. Others suffer quietly with all manner of heartache. Sustain them, Lord. Bless us as we try, imperfectly, to salve the hurt around us. Send faith to our straying children. Send peace to Ukraine. Clearly, in all things, we need you. Empower us to be your vanguard, prophets, priests and kings in your kingdom. Equip me, Lord, to speak though my voice shakes, to extend sacramental hope without hesitation, to lead despite self-doubt.

Before I forget, dear Lord, let me offer thanksgiving. Praising you, faith rekindles. I thank you for authors and poets who fill my days with delight. Thank you for pastors who preach your Word, sometimes even into retirement. Thank you for my CRC friends who practice wholehearted devotion to you. Thank you for medical professionals and for their expertise that has, along with your grace and mercy, brought my husband Mark back to stable health. So many reasons for gratitude.

Lord Jesus, I thank you for yourself. For your sacrifice on the cross that means more than I can ever articulate. For your glorious Resurrection that trumpets your victory. Your name is near. Open our eyes to see you, hear you, touch and taste your goodness. Fill us with joy and peace.



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