Monday of Epiphany 4 – Prayer of the Week

Almighty God, You know we live in the midst of so many dangers that in our frailty we cannot stand upright. Grant strength and protection to support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptation; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

 It went as badly as all of us expected, all of us, that is, except the man in question. He had been offered a new position and his co-workers and friends could see that this was not a good fit, he was not suited for the job, this was not going to succeed. But he did not heed our gentle and not-so-gentle warnings. Within six months he was out of work and in a tough spot.

We often have an enormous blind spot when it comes to seeing ourselves. I am susceptible to this too. Did you catch the little surprise in this prayer? We pray for support in danger, but that God would carry us through temptation. I think most of us, me included, would have reversed that prayer. We almost always imagine that we can resist a temptation but danger, the physical threat of death or the like, then we need God to carry us. We tend to think of God as a superman like character who swoops in and lifts us out of the bus about to explode. But the prayer reverses this because the author of this prayer is wise. He or she had a far more clear-eyed picture of me and you. Danger comes, we will need God’s support in days of danger. But temptation will overwhelm us and sweep us away unless he carries us.

It is a hard thing to admit limitations and frailty. Your enemy, the Devil, works on that blind spot you have, that false sense of your own capacity and ability. Pray this prayer with intent and the frank admission that you are indeed crippled and bent over by your frailty. You are in the middle of dangers which you may not even be aware of. Jesus is aware of them. He has run this human race with you. Count on Him to hear and answer this prayer.

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