Mercy Road Daily Prayer ~ Wednesday, September 28, 2011

O God of my praise,

I cannot help myself. I have to tell others about your justice and mercy. I have to proclaim your unfailing love. I have to tell them because if I love them as much as I claim to, I want them to know your grace and truth, so they can worship you as well.

So I will be careful to follow your ways. I will work hard to do your will. I will do my very best to avoid all that is vile and contrary to your goodness and truth, because I want to glorify you with every aspect of my life.

Keep all that is evil away from my heart so that I do not stumble and slip into sin. Help me to avoid gossip and slander, to reject the hurtful and hateful thoughts of the heart. Keep me, Lord, from becoming puffed up, or thinking better of myself than I ought, and help me to humbly recognize, that I am no wiser, stronger, smarter, or more mature than anyone else. Rather, in your eyes, I am a sinner in need of forgiveness, who is saved by grace through faith in Jesus, just like everyone else who calls on his name.

Focus your attention on me, Lord, and change my selfish heart. Help me to be faithful and true to your word as I follow your will for my life. Let no deceitfulness enter my heart, nor any dishonesty from my lips. Make my heart pure, so that I can see your face and live in your presence.

Lord, you know that I cannot survive outside your presence. You know how I struggle, even when you are silent. For when you are silent my ears are filled with deceitfulness and lies. When you don’t answer, others mock me and call my faith worthless. They tell me I cannot trust in you since you don’t really exist, and the call me weak and foolish when I try to convince them otherwise. They tempt me to abandon my beliefs in favor of doing whatever I want, and they respond to everything I do, with hatred and contempt.

Lord, how should I respond to such people? What would you have me do when others repay your goodness and love, with evil? Should I pray for their downfall at the hands of others who are more evil? Should I falsely accuse them and work for their destruction? Should I throw their words of hatred and contempt back at them? Should I seek the end of them and their family? Should I pray that they would lose everything they gained through their corruption? Or should I pray that they would be forever cut off from you, never to experience the peace, joy, or forgiveness that comes by grace through faith in Christ?

I admit, that is what I want to do, Lord. That is what I want to do to those who hate, mock and curse my name because of my faith. But I know, that is not how you treated me when I hated, mocked and cursed your name. No. Despite my rebellion, you were kind to me because of your unfailing love. You demonstrated your mercy and grace because you wanted others to see how good you are.

By the power of Spirit, through the grace of your Son, Jesus, I pray, Amen

~Read: Psalm 101, 109:1-30, (119:121-144); (2 Kings 18:9-25); (1 Corinthians 8); (Matthew 7:13-21)