Practice: Praying a Blessing
by Rev. Aune Carlson
Isaiah 42:1-9 🌿 Psalms 36:5-11 🌿 Hebrews 9:11-15 🌿 John 12:1-11
Already, this year has been filled with conflict, death, despair, and destruction. Memphis, Moon Bay, Jerusalem, Jenin, Ukraine, Armenia, Brazil, and on and on. May the words of Psalms 36:5-11 remind us of God’s steadfast love, faithfulness, righteousness, abundance, life, and light.
Consider praying the words of this passage as a blessing over each point of conflict mentioned or others you are aware of, pausing to consider points of distress in your personal life and the life of your community. Ask yourself who is in need of refuge or daily bread, who is thirsty, and who is in need of encouragement and freedom – available through faith in the redemptive work of Jesus.
Holy God, Servant of all, we know this wilderness and temptation-living, this Servant-following, this cross-taking, and cross-bearing is a risky and strange way to live in our culture. Being glorified this way doesn’t fit well into our categories. Thank you for showing us that we don’t have to live and behave by everyone else’s social rules. Thank you for not changing your mind at the mountain of temptation, in Galilee, at Gethsemane, or on the cross. Thank you for loving us to the end, from beginning to end.
So when we are tempted to give you a long wish list of desires or to see changes we would like you to make, remind us that what you can freely give us is your Spirit. We dare to believe that is what we really need, and we are willing to have faith that is what we will freely receive.
So when in this Lenten time, we repent of our shallow and sinful lives, we also intercede for others who suffer from many temptations and wounds. And when we do so, we want to pave the way for your love and your Spirit to fill them, anticipating for them and us the great wonder of a victorious Christ.
Nelson, Arthur A. R. Prayers Public and Personal. Chicago, Covenant Publications, 2010. (Nelson 53-54)