Monday of Pentecost 4 – Prayer for the Week

O God, because Your abiding presence always goes with us, keep us aware of Your daily mercies that we may live secure and content in Your eternal love; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

In this prayer we pray to live secure and content in God’s eternal love. But today we hear of war in the Ukraine, economic uncertainty, a political system that often seems broken, and crime is up, at least in my town. Security and contentment seem very far away right now. The young people I know are afraid for their future and are feeling very insecure.

I encourage you re-pray this prayer and focus on the first elements. God’s presence is cited, but we know that having God in the room is not always the source of security and contentment. After all, he is my judge! The source of security and contentment is found in the first thing we ask in this prayer. We want God to keep us aware of God’s daily mercies. Mercy is not the same thing as justice or love. Mercy is what you show to those who have done wrong. We need God’s mercy, every day, even on the days when we say our prayers, write our offering check, and go to church twice in one weekend. We need mercy in those moments too. God’s presence brings security and contentment, it is true, but that does not flow from our righteousness but from a righteousness which is given to us, but which must be put upon us from God.

Count this as a reminder for this day. God has put that righteousness on you in Christ. That truth allows you to own everything that is wrong in your life and see it anew as something which God has forgiven in Christ. If an angry person gets in your face today and accuses you of white privilege or inadequate outrage at police brutality and systemic racism, you do not need to be defensive. What that person says might be true, but it is not the only or final truth. God has shown mercy. Out of that contentment and security flows great possibilities for change, both in your heart and in this world.

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