Monday of Advent 4 – Prayer of the Week

Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come and help us by Your might, that the sins which weigh us down may be quickly lifted by Your grace and mercy; for You live and reign with the Father the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Bill was one of those guys who rarely missed church, always present, always with a smile. He is numbered among those stalwart souls whom congregations around the world count as a blessing. At one point, Bill had been a vigorous and strong man, serving and leading in the parish. But now, years of back breaking labor had done their worst to him. He literally was bent over double. His legs were vertical, but his aged back bent him inexorably forward so that his spine was parallel to the floor. Hand firmly on his cane, he would turn his head and wish this pastor his cheerful “Good morning!” every Sunday when he walked in.

But then, one Sunday, Bill was not there. God had come to finally lift from him the burden of his sins which, for Bill, had manifested in the curvature of his spine. I am not suggesting that there is something moral about Bill’s condition. But sin is far more than moral. Biblically speaking, sin is all that is not right with the world. Bill’s bent back is but one way we see it. Yes, of course, it is the wicked things that people do, the sins we commit, but it is also the brokenness of bodies and world which afflict us. Jesus has died on a cross to lift all that from us.

That will be a heavy lift. It requires the very might of God, for no one else can do that. So we pray in this prayer that God himself comes to us. We want Him to stir up his mighty power. We need that mighty power because no one else can possibly lift that burden from us. Yes, Lord, quickly come and help us.

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